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Chapter 2 - Methodology - Chapter 2 Methodology How Social...

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Chapter 2 – Methodology: How Social Psychologists Do Research Social Psychology: An Empirical Science Hindsight bias – the tendency for people to exaggerate how much they could have predicted an outcome after knowing that it occurred. - LEARY’S FOOTBALL STUDY Formulating Hypotheses and Theories Diffusion of responsibility – the more people who witness an emergency, the less likely it is that any given individual will intervene. Method Focus Question Answered Observational Description What is the nature of this? Correlational Prediction From knowing X, can we predict Y? Experimental Causality Is variable X a cause of variable Y? The Observational Method: Describing Social Behavior Observational method – the technique whereby a researcher observes people and systematically records measurements or impressions of their behavior Ethnography – the method by which researchers attempt to understand a group or culture by observing it from the inside, without imposing any preconceived notions they might have - Key to this is to avoid as much as possible imposing one’s preconceived notions Interjudge reliability – level of agreement between two or more people who independently observe and code a set of data; by showing that two or more judges independently come up with the same observations, researchers ensure that the observation are not the subjective, distorted impressions of one individual.
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Archival analysis – a form of observational method in which the researcher examines the accumulated documents, or archives, or a culture (e.g., diaries, novels, magazine, and newspapers) The Correlational Method: Predicting Social Behavior A goal of social science is to understand relationships between variables and to be able to predict when different kinds of social behavior will occur. Correlational method – the technique whereby two or more variables are systematically measured and the relationship between them (i.e., how much one can be predicted from the other) is assessed.
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