chapter 1(2) - research methods

chapter 1(2) - research methods - Chapter 1 Introducing...

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Chapter 1 Introducing Social Psychology CONDUCTING RESEARCH IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY Social psychologists are not, of course, the only people interested in understanding, and predicting social behavior, or the only people who study it. Social behavior is also studied by religious leaders, philosophers, politicians and novelists, to name just a few. Social behavior is also a common topic on TV talk shows, and people gossip about the behavior of others every day. But social psychologists are different in their approach to understanding behavior, because they believe that a real understanding of the causes of behavior must go beyond the mere observation of others – social psychologists believe that this understanding must be obtained through a more scientific approach, and that is why they conduct scientific research, including experiments. The Importance of Scientific Research Because social psychology concerns the relationships among people, and because we can frequently find answers to questions about human behavior by using our own common sense or intuition, you might think that it is not necessary to study it formally. Although there is no question that we do learn about people by observing others, and so social psychology is in fact in part common sense, social psychology is not entirely common sense. Perhaps you are willing to test whether or not social psychology is just common sense by taking a short quiz. Based on your past observations of people’s behavior, along with your own common sense, you will likely have answers to each of the questions on the quiz. But how sure are you? Would you be willing to bet that all, or even most, of your answers have been shown to be correct by scientific research? Would you be willing to accept your score on this quiz for your final grade in this class? 1. Opposites attract. True False 2. An athlete who wins the bronze medal (3rd place) in an event is less happy about his or her performance than the athlete who won the silver medal (2nd place). True False 3. People prefer others who have liked them a lot from the beginning to people who did not like them at first, but later came to like them. True False 4. Men have a stronger sex drive than women.
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True False 5. Having good friends that you can count on can keep you from catching colds. True False 6. The greater the reward promised for an activity, the more one will come to enjoy engaging in that activity. True False 7. Punching a pillow or screaming out loud are good ways to reduce frustration and aggressive tendencies True False 8. People pull harder in a tug-of-war when they’re pulling alone than when pulling in a group True False 9. Physically attractive people are seen as less intelligent than less attractive people.
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