Flashcards in Social Psychology Research Deck (55):
What are the 4 steps of the research process?
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Develop hypothesis and theories
What is a hypothesis?
A testable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur (a researcher’s best guess of what the outcome of the study will be)
What is a theory?
An organized set of principles used to explain observed phenomena
What is basic research?
Seeks to increase our understanding of human behaviour and often designed to test a specific hypothesis from a specific theory
What is applied research?
Research designed to enlarge the understanding of naturally occurring events and to find solutions to practical problems
What is a conceptual variable (or definition)?
Abstract and general ideas about a variable
What is an operational definition?
The specific procedures for manipulating or measuring a conceptual variable
What is construct validity?
The extent to which the measures used in a study measure the variables they were designed to measure and the manipulations in an experiment manipulate the variables they were designed to manipulate.
What are self reports?
Reports in which participants disclose their thoughts, feelings, desires, and actions
What are potential issues with self reports?
Can be misleading
Participants can be influenced by wanting to look good
Self reports are affected by the way a question is asked
Context can elicit different responses
Can be affected by memory as they are usually past events being questioned
What are interval-contingent self-reports?
Reports where respondents report their responses at regular intervals.
How do signal contingent self reports work?
Have respondents report their experiences as soon as possible when signalled
What are event contingent reports?
Ask respondents to report on an event as soon as possible after it has happened
What is interrater reliability?
The degree to which different observers agree on their observations
What is a possible issue with the observation method?
Participants may change their behaviours because they know they’re being observed
What is qualitative research?
The collection of data through open-ended responses, observation, and interviews
What is quantitative research?
The collection of numerical data through objective testing and statistical analysis
What is descriptive research?
Obvious way of testing theories is to record the frequency of how someone thinks, feels, or acts
The goal of descriptive research is to describe people and their thoughts, feelings, and behaviour
What are observational studies?
We can learn about people by simply observing them
Using quantitative research or qualitative research can give us different but equally significant information about issues
What are archival studies?
Involves examining existing records of past events and behaviours - newspapers, medical records, statistics, etc
What are the limitations and advantages of archival studies?
Major advantage - observing secondhand so researchers are sure they did not influence that data in any way
Limitation - available records are not always complete or sufficiently detailed and may not have been collected in a nonsystematic manner
What is random sampling?
A method of selecting participants for a study so that everyone in a population has an equal chance of being in the study
What is correlational research?
Research designed to measure the association between variables that are not manipulated by the researcher
What is the correlational coefficient?
Statistic calculated by measuring the strength and direction of a relationship between two variables
Explain correlational coefficients
Range from -1.0 to +1.0
Absolute value indicates how strongly the variables are correlated
Positive or negative indicates the direction of the relationship
Positive correlation coefficient indicates that as one variable increases, so does the other
Negative correlation coefficient indicates that the two variables go in opposite direction
What do correlational coefficients range from?
-1.0 to +1.0
What does the absolute value of a correlational coefficient indicate?
The strength of their correlation
What does a positive correlation indicate?
As one variable increases, so does the other
What does a negative correlation indicate?
The 2 variables go in opposite directions
What are the advantages of correlational research?
Can study associations of naturally occurring variables that can’t be manipulated or induced
(Gender, race, ethnicity, age)
Can examine phenomena that would be difficult or unethical to create for research purposes
(Love, hate, abuse)
Offers researchers a great deal of freedom in where variables are measured
(Can be done in a lab or in the real world)
What are the disadvantages of correlational design?
Correlation is not causation
What is an experiment?
A form of research that can demonstrate causal relationships because the experimenter has control over the events that occur and participants are randomly assigned to conditions
What two characteristics do all social psychology experiments share?
Researcher has control over the experimental procedures, manipulating the variables of interest while ensuring uniformity elsewhere
Participants in the study are randomly assigned to the different manipulations included in the experiment
What is random assignment?
A method of assigning participants to the various conditions of an experiment so that each participant in the experiment has an equal chance of being in any of the conditions
Explain the difference between random sampling and random assignment.
Random sampling concerns how individuals are selected to be in a study
Random assignment concerns not who is selected to be in the study but how participants are assigned to different conditions
Why is random sampling important?
Important for generalizing the results obtained from a sample to a broader population
Why is random assignment important?
Essential to experiments because it is necessary for determining accurate cause-and-effect relationships
What are independent variables?
A factor that experimenters manipulate to see if it affects the dependent variable
What are dependent variables?
A factor that experimenters measure to see if it affected by the independent variable
What are subject variables?
Variables that are not dependent or independent (race, ethnicity, gender)
What does statistically significant mean?
Standard convention is that if the results could have occurred by chance five or fewer times in 100 possible outcomes, the result is statistically significant
What is internal validity?
The degree to which there can be reasonable certainty that the independent variables in an experiment caused the effects obtained on the dependent variables
What is a control group?
A control group consists of participants who experience all of the experimental procedures except the experimental treatment which provides baseline for comparison
What are experimenter expectancy effects?
If they know what conditions the participants have been assigned to they may, without realizing, treat participants in differently conditions differently
Because the experiments’ behaviours can affect the participants behaviour the results could then be produced by the experimenters actions rather than the independent variable
What is external validity?
The degree to which there can be reasonable confidence that the results of a study would be obtained for other people and in other situations
What is mundane realism?
The degree to which the experimental situation resembles places and events in the real world
What is an argued benefit of using mundane realism?
If research procedures are more realistic, research findings are more likely to be accurate
What is experimental realism?
The degree to which experimental procedures are involving to participants and lead them to behave naturally and spontaneously
What is the argued benefit of experimental realism?
Advocates of this argue that if the experimental situation is compelling and real to the participants while they are participating, their behaviour in the lab will be as natural and spontaneous as their behaviour in the real world
What is deception in a social psychology experiment?
A method that provides false information to participants
Why do we use deception?
Strengthens experimental realism, allows experimenter to manufacture situations in the lab that would be difficult to observe in a natural setting
To study potentially harmful behaviours in a regulated, safe manner, to assess people’s spontaneous reactions rather than socially acceptable presentations
What are confederates?
Accomplice of an experimenter who, in dealing with the real participants of an experiment, acts as if he or she is also a participant
What is meta-analysis?
Another way to test hypotheses is to use a set of statistical procedures to examine in a new way
What is informed consent?
An individual’s deliberate, voluntary decision to participate in research, based on the researcher’s description of what will be required during such participation