social psych notes

social psych notes - Research Methods: Pros and Cons 1....

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Research Methods: Pros and Cons 1. Laboratory – typically experimental method, manipulating independent variable and measuring dependent variable, if all other things are equal except experimental condition you can assign cause and effect Example: thought suppression and choking behavior Set up putting green and told half the people to simply putt and the other half to not think about missing, the second group was much more likely to miss the putt, he can say that thought suppression is the cause of the missed putt Pros- can talk about causation Cons- typically artificial in nature, people know they are being evaluated and tends to lower external validity One way to get around this is by use of deception 2. Observational Studies - observe behavior in a real world environment -key is to have a specific coding key for interpreting behavior Example : determine if people flirt more toward closing time, have grad students go to a bar and code the women’s flirting behavior, everyone must have the same method of coding Pros- high in external validity -subjects should not know they are being observed Cons- cannot assess causation, difficult to have everyone code the exact same way - get around this by video taping situation and reviewing them more systematically 3. Field Experiment – try to manipulate independent variable in a real world environment Example- touch or no touch at restaurant, have waiter either touch or not touch customer when handing them the check, people who were touched were more likely to tip more Pros- maintains external validity (people in natural environment), able to assign causation Cons- hard to keep control of situation when administering an experiment in the real world 4. Surveys- ask people to report about their own feelings or behavior Pros- can collect a large amount of data relatively quickly, easy to administer Cons- people might lie or answer the question wrong - people might try to hide socially undesirable traits - people might not know how to answer the question can reduce this by telling people that the information is confidential -surveys are very passive and they don’t actually measure behavior they measure reports of behavior
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5. Experience Sampling- have subject report on his behavior as it occurs in the real world Example: diary method- have people keep track of every social interaction that lasts more than 10 minutes beeper method- have people fill out survey every time they are beeped Pros- getting people to report on real life behavior as it actually occurs - don’t have to follow people or watch them like an observational study - more real than a passive survey Cons- people may not follow instructions and might fill out surveys the hour before they are due 6. Simulation- put people in a situation where they take on a role - goal is to learn about situations that are difficult to study Example- Stanford Prison Experiment, half assigned to guards and half prisoners, guards became extremely cruel and began dehumanizing the prisoners
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2011 for the course PSYCH 133 taught by Professor Drigotas during the Spring '11 term at Johns Hopkins.

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social psych notes - Research Methods: Pros and Cons 1....

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