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Definition of Social Psychology

The scientific study of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of individuals in social situations.

Is science
About affects (feelings), cognition (thoughts), and behaviors
Social refers to actual, imagined, and implied others

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Social psych vs. sociology

Sociology- the scientific study of large-group behavior and institutional society

Similarities- interested in how people interact
Differences- sociologist study group; social psyc study individuals in group

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Social vs. personality psyc

Personality- how individuals differ on stable traits

Similarities- both focus on the individual
Differences- personality focuses on the individual; social focuses on the situational context

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Person, situation, construal, behavior

Graph

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Problems with common sense

Bad at introspection
Fall victim to hindsight bias
Have confirmation bias

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Hindsight bias

Knew it all along

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Confirmation bias

Seek out information to confirm our beliefs

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Observational research

Involves observing participants in social situations
Attempts to systematically observe behavior (may be recorded and categorized)
May involve additional measures like interviews and questionnaires

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Archival research

Involves analyzing social behaviors documented in past records
Can be used to test theories about social behavior

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Surveys

Involve asking participants questions, usually through an interview or questionnaire
Important to consider sampling (number and type of people surveyed)
Results maybe limited is sample is bias
Random sampling (randomly choosing people from a population will create an unbiased sample)

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Population

Group you want to know about

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Random sample

Taken at random from the population

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Convenience sample

Taken from available subgroup in the population

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Correlational research

Examines the relationship between variables without assigning participants to different situations or conditions.
NO random assignment
No manipulation of variables

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Limits of correlational research

Correlation does NOT equal causation
Third variable problem
-another viable may explain correlation

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Experimental research

Involves unbiased assignment of participants to different situations or conditions (random assignment) of IV

Experiments allow for causal inference about how different conditions influence behavior

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IV

Manipulated by researcher
Hypothesized to cause change in DV

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DV

Measured
Often a change in behavior, feelings, attitudes

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Internal validity

Confidence that the experimental results were being caused by the manipulated variable
Confounds create problems here!

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External validity

Degree to which exp. results can be generalized to other contexts
Depends on similarity between experimental context and "real world" context

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Researchers often face trade offs between

internal and external validity

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Reliability

How consistently a test will measure the variable of interest

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Measurement validity

Degree that a test accurately measures the variable of interest

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Basic research

Don't help, just study (INTERNAL VALIDITY)
Concerned with: trying to gain knowledge in its own right
Aim is to gain: greater understanding of a phenomenon

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Applied research

Helping people or changing them (EXTERNAL VALIDITY)
Concerned with: using current understanding of a phenomenon in order to solve a real-world problem

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Research conducted at university must be approved by

IRB

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Ethical considerations

Informed consent- participants should have enough info about procedures to approp. judge whether desire to participate
Deception- may be used if properly justified. May mislead to conceal purpose of study, must debrief after study