Lecture 2 - Research Methods

Lecture 2 - Research Methods - Social Psychology Lecture 2...

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Social Psychology Lecture 2 Research Methods The Scientific Method Steps in the research process: 1. Specify the hypothesis -something to compare results to 2. Form an operational definition -How you would define your variables? 3. Collect data -Measuring your variables (asking questions) 4. Analyze data -statistical analysis 5. Form a theory -Explanation for why did this happen Sources of Research Questions Dissatisfaction with previous theories Previous studies Personal observations of social events Theories and Hypotheses Theory – proposition or set of interrelated propositions that purports to explain a given phenomenon Hypothesis – testable prediction about conditions under which event will occur Basic and applied research
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o Basic research Goal: To answer fundamental questions No immediate practical goal May be time lag o Applied research 0. Goal: to solve a specific problem Operational Definitions Operational definition – redefines concepts in terms of clearly observable operations Construct validity –the extent to which the operational definition of a variable represents the true meaning of the variable Research Designs: Descriptive methods o Do not address cause o Five major types: Observation Case studies Archival research Surveys Observation o Observations in natural settings (naturalistic observation) o Laboratory-based observation Pros Directly access behavior Less reliant on memory More objectivity Cons Reactivity
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Effort required Case study o In-depth analysis of one subject (or more) , usually because the case is rare o Advantages: More complete and unique information Can generate new hypotheses o Disadvantages: Cannot generalize Cannot infer causation Observer bias Archival research o Examination of accumulated documents (archives) –Accessing Data that already exists o Advantage: -Fast access to large amount of data o Disadvantage:
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2011 for the course 830 321 taught by Professor K.brynildsen during the Fall '10 term at Rutgers.

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Lecture 2 - Research Methods - Social Psychology Lecture 2...

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