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KSU PSYC 3325 - Social Psychology CH. 1-2

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Social Psychology Chapter 1: Methods of Social PsychologyDescriptive Methods – Measuring or recording behavior, attitudes, or feelings in natural sight.- Observation, Case Studies, Archival Studies, Surveys- Attempt to naturally study social behaviors- Analysis may involve correlationObservationPros?- Behavior = Spontaneous- Not self-report- Can involve multiple observers which allows for interrater reliability. Cons?- Observer can influence behavior- Observer BiasCase StudiesPros? - Source of hypothesis- Study rare behaviorsCons?- Limited generalizability- Reporter/observer biasArchival StudiesPros?- Easy access to data- High external validityCons?- Many behaviors are not recorded.Social Psychology SurveyPros?- Describes information that you cannot see or observe- Good for large samplesCons?- Respondent bias- Extent of external validitySampling – Sampling should be representative of the entire population of interest. Random sampling means that each person in the population of interest (sampling frame) has an equal chance of being selected- Samples can be nonrepresentative; samples can include biased questions which result in biased responses.Third Variable Problem – When a third variable influences both the independent and dependent variable.Ex:In this case, weather is the third variable.Directionality Problem – Don’t know direction of causationWhat causes what?Ice Cream SalesWeatherDrowning CasesDepressionLow Self EsteemSocial Psychology Correlation Coefficient ( r ): Statistic measuring extent to which 2 factors vary together- Can be positive or negative- Strong, moderate, weak, or no correlationExperimental Methods – Manipulating some aspect of a situation to determine its effect on behavior- Manipulation of independent variable  measurement of dependent variable- Control groups, random assignmentPros?- Cause & Effect Conclusions- Control of extraneous variablesCons?- Demand characteristics- Participant reactivityEthics in Social PsychResearchers sometimes hide the true purpose of an experiment to obtain a more natural, less biased response. - Informed Consent- Avoid deception if possible- Right to decline/withdraw with no penalty- Protect from harmo Risk-Benefit Analysis- Confidentiality- DebriefingTheory: Integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events.- Theory often means “less than fact”- Theories are ideas that summarize and explain factsHypothesis: Testable proposition that describes a relationship that may exist between two events.- Allows us to test theory through suggestion of how to falsify itSocial Psychology: Scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another.Social Psychology The study of social psychology involves…1. Social Thinking – How we perceive ourselves and others; our beliefs, judgements, and attitudes.2. Social Influence – Culture; Pressure to conform; Persuasion; Groups3. Social Relations – Prejudice; Aggression; Attraction/Intimacy; HelpingSocial Psychology – BIG IDEASSocial Thinking1. We construct out own social reality.a. It is human nature to explain behavior, attribute it to something to make it seem orderly,predictable, and controllable.2. Our social institutions are powerful, sometimes perilousInstant intuition shapes fears, impressions, and relationships.- Intuitive capacity represented in science by automatic processing, heuristics, implicit memory, and spontaneous trait inference.- Intuition = Unconscious information procession.3. Attitudes shape and are shaped by behaviorSocial Influence4. Social influences shape behaviorOur attitudes and behaviors are shaped by external social influence.- “Power of the situation”  We adapt to our social context.- Culture can define perception of situation.5. Dispositions shape behaviorInner attitudes affect our behavior.- Disposition/personality also shapes behavior; different people react differently to the same situation.Social Relations6. Social behavior is also biological behaviorSocial behavior is biologically rooted inherited; inherited natural human dispositions helped our ancestors survive.7. Feelings and actions towards people are sometimes negative and sometimes positive.Social Psychology Social Neuroscience: Integration of biological and social perspectives that explore the neural and physiological bases of social emotional behaviors.Principles of social psychology are applicable to everyday life and have recently been incorporated into health fields.Central Themes of Social Psych1. How we construe our social worlds2. How our social intuitions guide and sometimes deceive us3. How our social behavior is shaped by other people, by our attitudes and personalities, and by our biologySocial psychology is less of a collection of findings, but rather a set of strategies for answering questions.Social Psychology and Human ValuesSocial psychologists’ values penetrate their work in both obvious and subtle ways.Obvious ways values enter social psychology…o Social psychologists choose research topics.o Social psychology reflects social history.o Values differ across times and cultureso Theory of social identity.- Values influence the type of people who are attracted to various disciplines- Values enter social psychology as the object of analysis.o How values form, why they change, how they influence our attitudes and actions.Not so obvious ways values enter social psychology…- Subjective aspects of scienceo All information must be recorded and interpreted and is subject to error.o Tendency to prejudge reality based on our expectationso Scholars at work in any field often share a common viewpoint or come from the same culture.- Psychological concepts contain hidden values.o Values influence the perception of a “good life”o Individualistic vs. Collectivist cultureso Forming concepts: hidden values often influence research-based concepts.- Labeling Judgementso Hidden assumptions when forming concepts, choosing labels, and giving advice.Human thinking always requires interpretation.Hindsight Bias: Tendency to exaggerate after learning an outcome, one’s ability to have forseen how something turned out.- Makes people overconfident about the validity of their judgements and predictions.Social Psychology Social psychology is criticized for being trivial because it proves and documents things that seem obvious, which relates to hindsight bias because experiments seem to confirm the obvious.Ethics of


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