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Unformatted text preview: Methodology: Methodology: How Psychologists Study Social Behavior Research Methods Research Methods Descriptive methods
Naturalistic Observations Case Studies Archives Surveys Experimental methods Naturalistic Observations
Advantages: Descriptive Methods: Descriptive Methods: Behaviors are spontaneous Not biased by a subject’s selfreport Naturalistic Observations
Disadvantages: Descriptive Methods: Descriptive Methods: Some interesting behaviors are rare SOCIAL DESIRABILITY OBSERVER BIAS Can’t determine causality Descriptive Methods: Case Studies Descriptive Methods: Case Studies:
An indepth examination of a single person or group Examples: Feral children Phineas Gage Descriptive Methods: Case Studies Descriptive Methods: Advantages:
Lots of information Allow the study of rare behaviors Disadvantages: Possible observer bias Lack of generality Descriptive Methods: Descriptive Methods: Archival research Examination of records left behind Some examples:
Defendants’ race and prison sentences Suicide contagion (Phillips & Lesyna, 1995) Homicide rates and TV (Phillips, 1983) Heart attack mortality and NYC (Christenfeld et al., 1999) Descriptive Methods: Archival research Descriptive Methods: Advantages:
Often easy and inexpensive The data already exist Disadvantages:
Many interesting social behaviors are never recorded Descriptive Methods: Surveys Descriptive Methods: Use questionnaires/interviews to obtain information about attitudes, beliefs, opinions and intentions Three Important Questions:
1. 2. 3. Who shall we survey? When shall we survey? What shall we ask? 1. Who shall we survey? 1. Who shall we survey?
The importance of sampling, and generalizing E.g., Randomly survey rich elderly men, it only generalizes to rich elderly men Beware of poor surveys… AMA’s spring break survey on AMA’s spring break survey on women
Survey of 644 women, aged 1735, which was gathered on the internet 11% 14% 4% 3% Problems with results Problems with results
Misleading statistics inflated the risk factors Not a random sample; does not generalize well to all collegeaged women 2. When shall we survey? 2. Before or after major events Example: Polls before elections 3. What shall we ask? 3. Influencing Factors: Ignorance of language E.g., Trees and Plants vs. Botany Influence of Surveyor E.g., Male vs. Female Wording Choice E.g., "Hillary Clinton" vs. "Hillary Rodham Clinton" Question wording
Do you think the United Do you think the United States should forbid public speeches against democracy? Yes (forbid) 21.4% No (not forbid) 78.6% Do you think the United States should allow public speeches against democracy? No (not allow) Yes (allow) 47.8% 52.2% Descriptive Methods: Surveys Descriptive Methods: Advantages:
Allows study of difficult to observe behaviors, thoughts and feelings Disadvantages: May use poor questions or non representative sample People may not be accurate or truthful Still can’t determine causality Descriptive Methods: Descriptive Methods: Psychological Tests
Psychological tests involve attempts to assess an individual’s abilities or behaviors Advantages: Allows measurement of characteristics that are not always easily observable Rosenberg Selfesteem Scale (1965) Rosenberg Selfesteem Scale (1965)
1 2 Strongly Disagree Disagree 3 Neither 4 Agree 5 Strongly Agree 1. I feel that I am a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others. 2. I feel like a person who has a number of good qualities. 3. All in all, I am inclined to feel like a failure. 4. I feel as if I am able to do things as well as most other people. 5. I feel as if I do not have much to be proud of. 6. I take a positive attitude toward myself. 7. On the whole, I am satisfied with myself. 8. I wish that I could have more respect for myself. 9. I certainly feel useless at times. 10. At times I think that I am no good at all. Basic concerns about tests Basic concerns about tests Reliability Validity ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/02/2010 for the course SOP 3004 taught by Professor Champers during the Fall '09 term at University of Florida.
- Fall '09