Ch2Research - Ch. 2: Doing Social Psychology Research Why...

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Ch. 2: Doing Social Psychology Research Why Should You Learn About Research Methods? One practical reason is that it will help you do better on tests and in future courses! You can improve your reasoning about real-life events. You’ll become a better, more sophisticated consumer of research in general. Developing Ideas: Beginning the Research Process Step #1: Start asking questions. Step #2: Search the literature. What research has already been done on this topic and related topics? Step #3: Begin shaping the idea into a hypothesis. Hypothesis : An explicit, testable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur. Theories Theory : An organized set of principles used to explain observed phenomena. Theories are usually evaluated in terms of three criteria: Simplicity. Comprehensiveness. Generativity. Social psychologists rely on more precise “minitheories” rather than the all- encompassing grand theory (cf. Freud or Piaget). Basic and Applied Research Basic research : Goal is to increase our understanding of human behavior. Often designed to test a specific hypothesis from a specific theory. Applied research : Goal is to enlarge our understanding of naturally occurring events. Additional goal is to find solutions to practical problems. Refining Ideas Defining and Measuring Social Psychological Variables Conceptual Variables and Operational Definitions Conceptual variables are abstract or general variables. An operational definition states specifically how the conceptual variable will be manipulated or measured. Transforms the variable from the abstract (conceptual) to the specific (operational). Construct Validity Used to evaluate the manipulation and measurement of variables. Construct validity refers to the extent to which:
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The manipulations in an experiment really manipulate the conceptual variables they were designed to manipulate. The measures used in a study really measure the conceptual variables they were
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course PSYC 314 taught by Professor Frieden during the Spring '08 term at William & Mary.

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Ch2Research - Ch. 2: Doing Social Psychology Research Why...

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