2 Doing Social Psychology Research

2 Doing Social Psychology Research - Social Psychology...

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Social Psychology Chapter II : Doing Social Psychology Research [ Anmerkung: Im Großen und Ganzen ist das zweite Kapitel eine Zusammenfassung des Buches „Social Research Methods“. Fast alles, das im Folgenden zusammengefasst wurde, sollte daher schon größtenteils bekannt sein.] Social psychology can, and should, be studied according to scientific principles. Why Should You Learn About Research Methods? Training in research methods in psychology can improve your reasoning about real-life events. It can make you a better, more sophisticated consumer of information in general. You will be in a better position to critically evaluate the information to which you´re exposed and separate fact from fiction. Developing Ideas: Beginning the Research Process Asking Questions: Every social psychology study begins with a question. And the question comes from everywhere; also from reading about research that has already been done. Searching the Literature: Once the researcher has an idea, it is important to see what research has already been done on this topic and related topics. Electronic databases can store tremendous amounts of information Going from article to article, sometimes called treeing can prove very valuable in tracking down information about the research question. The question should become more precise, more specific to particular sets of conditions that are likely to have different effects, and more readily testable. Hypotheses and Theories: Hypothesis – a testable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur. Formulating a hypothesis is a critical step in toward planning and conducting research. It allows us to move from the realm of common sense to the rigors of the scientific method. Theory – an organized set of principles used to explain observed phenomena. Theories are usually evaluated in terms of three criteria: simplicity, comprehensiveness, and generativity. The best theories are elegant, and precise; encompass all of the relevant information; and lead to new hypotheses, further research, and better understanding. Basic and Applied Research: Basic research – research whose goal is to increase the understanding of human behavior, often by testing hypotheses based on theory. Applied research – research whose goals are to enlarge the understanding of naturally occurring events and to find solutions to practical problems. Despite their differences, basic and applied research are closely connected in social psychology.
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Refining Ideas: Defining and Measuring Social Psychological Variables Conceptual Variables and Operational Definitions: From Abstract to the Specific: When a researcher first develops a hypothesis, the variables typically are in an abstract, general form. These are conceptual variables .
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