Psychology 6 - Psychology 6 Social Module 1 Doing Social...

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Psychology 6: Social Module 1: Doing Social Psychology Theory – An integrated set of principles that explain and predict observed events. Facts are agreed-upon statements about what we observed. Theories are ideas that summarize and explain facts. Theories not only summarize but also imply testable predictions, called hypotheses. They allow us to test a theory by suggesting how we might try to falsify it and predictions give direction to research and sometimes send investigators looking for things that might never thought of. The predictive feature of good theories can make them practical. How do we conclude that one theory is better than another? A good theory (1) effectively summarizes a wide range of observations. (2) Makes clear predictions that we can use to (a) confirm or modify the theory, (b) generate new exploration, and (c) suggest practical applications. Social-psychological research varies by location; it can take place in the laboratory (a controlled situation) or in the field (everyday situations). Correlation- Asking whether two or more factors are naturally associated Experimental – Manipulating some factors to see its effect on another. Correlation indicates a relationship, which may not be cause and effect. Correlation research allows us to predict, but it cannot tell us whether changing one variable (such as social status) will cause changes in another (such as health). Knowing that two variables change together (correlate) enables us to predict one when we know the other, but correlation does not specify cause and effect. Independent Variables- by varying just one or two factors at a time. Social psychologists have used the experimental method in about three-fourths of their research studies. Dependent variable – The variable being measured, so-called because it may depend on manipulations of the independent variable. Random Assignment – eliminates all such extraneous factors. Creates equivalent groups, any later aggression difference between the two groups will almost have something to do with the only way they defer. Achieving experimental realism sometimes requires deceiving people with a plausible cover story. Mundane realism – degree to which an experiment is superficially similar to everyday situations. Experimental realism – degree to which an experiment absorbs and involves its participants Informed consent – An ethnical principle requiring that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate. Module 2: Did You Know It All Along? One problem with common sense is that we invoke it after we know the facts. Events are far more “obvious” and predictable in hindsight than beforehand.
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Experiments reveal that when people learn the outcome of an experiment, that outcome suddenly seems unsurprising- certainly less surprising than it is to people who are simply told about the experimental procedure and the possible outcomes.
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