2 social behavior represents a continual interaction

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(2) social behavior represents a continual interaction between the person and the situation motivations inside the person interact with events in the outside situation to produce social behavior Research Methods in Social Psychology How Psychologists Study Social Behavior: Scientific methods used to draw conclusions about the causes of social behaviors The scientific method ­ observations theories ­ scientific explanations that connect and organize existing observations hypotheses ­ predictions about what a study will find data collection (research methods) data analysis (statistical methods) Research methods Descriptive methods ­ involve attempts to measure or record behaviors, thoughts, or feelings in their natural state (without influencing in any way) ­ hard to understand causality, but good for correlation ­ because descriptive methods don’t have the ability to establish a causal effect, you want to pair it with an experimental method naturalistic observation ­ observe behavior as it unfolds in its natural setting case studies ­ intensive examination of one individual or group (­): generalizability (+): rich in detail/longitudinal archives ­ examines a number of similar cases to establish patterns (­): correlation, but maybe not causality; hard to remove bias of researcher when searching; lack of available data (+): easier to see associations/generalizations; easier accessibility sometimes surveys ­ ask people questions about behaviors, beliefs, and opinions
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(­): people answer too quickly, complete the way they think they should, selection bias (+): can be done anonymously psychological tests ­ assess abilities, cognitions, motivations, behaviors Descriptive methods ­ useful in determining correlation correlation ­ the extent to which 2 or more variables are related to one another in some way correlation coefficient (r) ­ indicates the magnitude and direction of the relationship between 2 variables range: ­1.00 to +1.00 direction: indicated by the sign of the correlation coefficient strength: perfect correlation (­1 or +1), zero correlation (0) Experimental methods ­ to determine causality we must turn to experimental methods Experimental methods : Cause­Effect Independent Variable (IV) the variable that we think has an effect on another variable the variable that is manipulated in an experiment Dependent Variable (DV) the variable that we think will be affected by the independent variable the variable that is measured in an experiment Control Group group of subjects who receive no treatment (tells you what direction should be if variable hadn’t been manipulated) Confounds outside variables that influence the DV (besides the IV) ­ we try to minimize these can lead to faulty causal conclusions need to be able to control for these; examples: time of day, individual differences Random assignment
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