lecture2_researchmethods_tessa_revised

lecture2_researchmethods_tessa_revised - The Scientific...

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Come up with a theory or idea Gather evidence (i.e., data) to test hypothesis Update theory based on findings Formulate a testable hypothesis The Scientific Method: Revise Theory and Repeat as necessary
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Operationalize your variables Operationalize: Translate an abstract idea or construct into a concrete behavior that can be measured Do socially anxious people flirt less? What is the operational definition of social anxiety ? Self-report : ask subjects about their typical feelings Nonverbal behavior : do they fidget, avoid eye contact, etc.? Physiological response : increased heart rate at social events What are some operational definitions of flirting ?
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Operational Definition of Flirting From: Moore (1985) Flirting Study Pattern of behavior (for women): 1.Glance at a man for a few seconds 2. Smile 3.Flip her hair 4.Tilt her head at a 45 degree angle exposing her neck How about men?
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Construct validity Once variables are operationalized, it is important to assess construct validity Two aspects of construct validity: 1. Validity of independent variable (in an experiment): Does the independent variable really manipulate the intended construct? E.g., If you are theoretically interested in social anxiety, are the measures we are using ACTUALLY capturing social anxiety… perhaps they are capturing something else? 1. Validity of dependent variable (i.e., outcome measure): Is the dependent variable measured in a way that really captures its essence? E,g., flirting measure
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Construct Validity: Desire to Kill! Does killing beget more killing? A questions posed by Martens et al. (2007) Manipulation : # of bugs participants were asked to grind in a coffee grinder at beginning of the study Participants asked to kill: 0 bugs vs. 1 bug vs. 5 bugs Outcome measure: # of bugs participants killed by their own choice If participants killed one bug as instructed by the experimenter, would they kill more bugs on their own?
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Martens et al.’s Kill machine
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Construct Validity Example Evaluate the construct validity: Did the manipulation test the idea that killing begets killing? Remember, the researchers were interested in why people kill people Is killing bugs a good way to test this theoretical idea? Did the measurement of “number of bugs killed” really measure the conceptual variable of interest? What about the operational definition? Did they look at actual killing?
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How can you determine causality? Do an experiment!
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Experimental method Manipulate one variable, then measure its effect on the other variable Manipulated variable is called the Independent Variable The measured “outcome” variable is called the Dependent Variable Have two (or more) groups:
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  • Spring '12
  • TessaWest
  • Social Psychology, operational definition, construct validity

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