Social Psychology: PSY 321
Prof. Diana T. Sanchez
[email protected]
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This LECTURE INCLUDES THIS
VIDEO:
• Research Methods Insight Media
– Available at Media Library Rutgers
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Social Psychology
• Recognizes the importance of social
relationships
• ____________ is why social context matters
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Social PSYCHOLOGICAL
QUESTIONS
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Social Psychological
Questions
Social Psychology’s
Fundamental Contribution
Our responses are largely determined
by ___________________;
they are not simply the products of
our individual personalities.
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Today’s Plan
• Introductions
• Syllabus
• What is Social Psychology?
• Introduction to Research Methods
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RESEARCH INTERESTS
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Syllabus
• Syllabus Available at Sakai or
www.sanchezlab.com
• Course format
• Reading:
o Kassin, S.M., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2014). Social Psychology (9th
Edition). Wadsworth, Cengage.
– Supplementary readings available on line.
• Pared-down lectures notes will be posted at:
http://www.sanchezlab.com
Click courses
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Syllabus
• Course format
• Reading
• Grading
– 3 Exams (1-Online, Timed, Not Open Book, Via
Sakai)
– Each worth 1/3 of your grade
• Missing exams
• Extra credit worth .5 credits = 2 points on final
grade
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Syllabus
•
•
•
•
Studying
Etiquette
Academic Honesty
Students with Disabilities
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Defining Social
Psychology
• The scientific study of how individuals think,
feel, and behave in social context.
• Each part of this definition needs to be
examined closely:
– Scientific study
– How individuals think, feel, and behave
– Social context
Scientific Study
• Social psychology relies on the scientific method.
– Not just intuition and casual observation
• Scientific method involves:
– Forming hypotheses – testable predictions
– Systematically testing hypotheses
– Organizing ideas and findings into theories
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How Individuals Think, Feel,
and Behave
• Social psychology concerns a diverse set of
topics.
• Focus is on the psychology of the individual.
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Social Context
• Emphasis is on the social nature of
individuals.
Example: Stampede in Iraq
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Three Sections
• Section 1: Social Perception
– The social self
– Perceiving other individuals
– Perceiving groups (stereotyping, prejudiced
emotions, and discrimination)
– The effects of social stigma
– Reducing prejudice
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Three Sections
• Section 2: Social Influence & Thinking
– Conformity, & compliance
– Obedience
– Group processes and influence
– Attitudes & Behavior
– Persuasion
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Three Sections
• Section 3: Social Relations & Applications
of Social Psychology
– Attraction and close relationships
– Gender/Body
– Helping
– Aggression
– Law and social psychology
– Health
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How does Social
Psychology Differ FROM
OTHER DISCIPLINES??
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Social Psychology
and Sociology
• How are they different?
– Sociology tends to focus on ______________.
– Social psychology tends to focus on
_________________.
• How do the fields intersect?
– Often share the same training and publish in the
same journals.
– Both can help in understanding societal and
immediate factors that influence behavior.
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Social Psychology and
Personality Psych
• How are they different?
– Personality psychologists
– Social psychologists—regardless of personality,
• How are they similar?
– Joint journals/programs
– Combined theoretical approaches
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Social Psychology and
Cognitive Psychology
• How are they different?
– Cognitive psychologists –study learning,
reasoning, mental processes, not necessarily
social processes
• How do the fields intersect?
– Social cognition
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Social Psychology and
Clinical Psychology
• How are they different?
– Clinical psychologists –
– Similarities examine how social contexts help
or hinder anxiety.
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Social Psychology and
Related Fields
Research Methods in
Social Psychology
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Today’s Plan
• Developing Ideas
• Refining Ideas
• Testing Ideas
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Developing Ideas
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Beginning the Research
Process
• Step #1: Start asking questions.
• Step #2: Search the literature.
• Step #3: Begin shaping the idea into a
hypothesis:
– An testable prediction about the conditions
under which an event will occur
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Theories
• An organized set of principles used to
explain observed phenomena.
• Usually evaluated in terms of three criteria:
– Simplicity (Parsimony).
– Comprehensiveness.
– Generativity
• Preference for “mini-theories” rather than
the all-encompassing grand theory.
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Basic and Applied Research
• Basic research: Designed to test a
specific hypothesis from a specific
theory.
• Applied research: Designed to find
solutions to practical problems.
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Refining Ideas
Defining and Measuring Social
Psychological Variables
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Conceptual & Operational
Definitions
• empirical realization
– translating the conceptual or abstract variables
contained in your hypothesis to real, measurable
constructs
– conceptual variable – abstract level
– operational variable – the way you measure the
conceptual variable
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Effects of Guilt
(Regan, Williams, & Sparling, 1972)
• people who feel guilty are more likely
to help others than people who do not
feel guilty
• description of study
– Ps were asked to take a paid actor’s (i.e., a
confederate) picture in mall
– Operationalization of guilt
• ½ Ps were induced to believe that they
had broken his very expensive camera
• ½ Ps were informed that the camera
malfunctioned all of the time; they were
not responsible
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Construct Validity
• Used to evaluate the manipulation and
measurement of variables.
• Refers to the extent to which:
– The manipulations in an experiment really
manipulate the conceptual variables they were
designed to manipulate.
– The measures (often self-report) used in the
study really measure the conceptual variables
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Measuring Variables:
Self-Reports
• Participants disclose their thoughts, feelings,
desires, and actions.
• Problems with self-reports:
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How Many Hours
of TV Do You Watch?
(Schwarz et al. 1985)
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Global Warming or Climate
Change?
Measuring Variables:
Self-Reports
• Participants disclose their thoughts, feelings,
desires, and actions.
• Problems with self-reports:
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EXPERIENCE SAMPLING
• Interval contingent
– Participants are asked to report …
• Signal contingent
– Participants are asked to report …
• Event contingent
– Participants are asked to report…
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Measuring Variables:
Observations
• Observations can be simple or elaborate
• Interrater reliability: degree to which
multiple observers agree on their
observations
• Advantages:
• Disadvantages:
Measuring Variables:
Technology
• New technologies used in contemporary
social psychology include:
– Computers in experiments
– Reaction time measurements
– Physiological/biological measures measures
– Brain imaging techniques: fMRI
Testing Ideas
Research Designs
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Descriptive Research
• Goal is to describe people and their
thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
• Observational studies
– Interrater reliability
• Archival studies = existing records
• Surveys
– Importance of random sampling
• A method of selection in which everyone in a
population has an equal chance of selection
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RESEARCH Methods
• We’ll focus on two other methods:
– Correlational designs
– Experimental designs
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Correlational Designs
• Represents the strength of the relationship between
two variables
– e.g., # of hours of media exposure to violence & level of
aggression
– e.g., sickness/illness and optimism
– e.g., ability to delay gratification as a child and success in
college
• Concurrent v. Prospective
• Correlation coefficient (“r”) ranges from +1 to -1
– e.g., r = +.34
– e.g., r = -.52
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Interpreting Correlations
• Positive correlation
– increase in exposure associated with increase in
aggression
• Negative correlation
– increase in exposure associated with decrease in
aggression
• No correlation
– Variables are not related
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Correlations: Positive,
Negative, and None
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Correlation ≠ Causation
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Why can’t we infer
causality?
• Reverse-Causality Problem
X→Y
or Y ← X
Is there a relationship
between exposure to
violent TV and aggression?
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Why can’t we infer
causality?
• Reverse-Causality Problem
X→Y
or Y ← X
• Third-variable problem
A→X
and
A→Y
e.g., ice cream sales (X) and violence (Y) (r = +.29)
What is A in these cases? What is the third variable that
can explain this relationship?
VERY IMPORTANT FOR INTERPRETING NEWS
ABOUT HEALTH RESEARCH!!!
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NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE:
Coffee as a Health Drink?
• “Researchers have found strong evidence that coffee
reduces the risk of several serious ailments, including
diabetes, heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver.”
• “Still, after controlling for age, smoking and alcohol
consumption, women who drank one to five cups a
day — caffeinated or decaffeinated — reduced their
risk of death from all causes during the study by 15 to
19 percent compared with those who drank none.”
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Explaining Correlations:
Three Possibilities
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Advantages of Correlational
Methods
• Allow assessment of behavior as it occurs in people’s
everyday lives
• Allow study of variables that cannot be studied in
experimental designs
– Gender, Age, Race
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Experiments
• Cornerstone of social psychological
research.
• Used to examine cause-and-effect
relationships.
• Two essential characteristics:
– Researcher has control over the experimental
procedures.
– Participants are randomly assigned to different
treatment conditions.
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Random Sampling vs. Random
Assignment
• Random Sampling
• Selecting Ps to be in
study so that everyone
in population has an
equal chance of being in
the study.
• Representative samples
 Generalization
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•
Random Assignment
•
Assigning Ps (who are already in
study) to the different conditions so
that each P as equal chance of
being in any of the conditions.
•
Equalizes the conditions of
experiment so that it is unlikely
that conditions differ because of
pre-existing differences
•
Required for inferences of causality.
Variables
• Independent Variable
– variable that we expect causes an outcome
– the antecedent event
– variable that the experimenter can control and
manipulate
• Dependent Variable
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– the variables measured to see if they are affected by
IV
– “the outcome variable” or “the effect”
– it’s value depends on the changes introduced by the
IV
IVs and Conditions
• Must have two conditions (also called “levels”) of the IV
in order to demonstrate that the IV has an effect on the
DV
• Experimental group (IV present) vs. control group (IV not
present)
• Example
– interested in mood and helping
• experimental group – told they received “A” or “F”
• control group – does not grade feedback
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Laboratory Experiments
• Conducted in settings in which:
– The environment can be controlled.
– The participants can be carefully studied.
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Field Experiments
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Some exercises
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Crusco & Wetzel (1984)
• interested in how touching influences individuals’
perceptions of others
• description of study
– waitress performed normal duties
– when she gave change to customer, she approached the
paying customer from the side, leaned forward, and
w/out making eye contact, said in a friendly yet firm
tone, “Here’s your change.”
• 1/3 – no touch control condition
• 1/3 – a brief hand-touch condition
• 1/3 – a longer shoulder-touch condition
– left a blank survey for customers to complete
– collected survey and tip
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A social psychologist wants to assess the optimal level
of crowd noise for enhancing the shooting accuracy of
professional basketball players. She has individual
professional basketball players shoot free throws in a
gym as she varies the intensity of crowd noise by
playing an audiotape of a crowd at low, medium, and
high levels. She randomly assigns the players to the
conditions.
IV:
Conditions:
DV:
Design:
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Two psychologists are interested in the effects of mood on
helping (based on Isen & Levin, 1972). They go to shopping
malls and set up observation near phone booths. Their
participants are individuals who use the phone booths when the
vicinity is otherwise unoccupied. For half of the Ps, the
researchers leave a quarter to be found near the booth. For all
of the Ps, when the phone call is completed and the person
leaves the telephone booth, a confederate walks by the booth,
and drops a file folder full of papers. The researchers watch to
see if the Ps help pick up the dropped papers.
• Conceptual
• IV:
• DV:
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• Operational
• IV:
• DV:
Last One!
Researchers are interested in influences on self-esteem. Specifically,
researchers want to assess how performing a difficult task under
pressure influences college students’ self-esteem. Ps are given a set of
anagrams to solve. Half are randomly assigned to receive very easy
anagrams, and half are given difficult ones. Crossed with this, half are
randomly assigned to be given 10 minutes to complete the anagrams,
and half are given 30 minutes to complete the task. After completing
as many of the anagrams as they can, Ps are given a Q’aire labeled
“Thoughts and Feelings Questionnaire” that is really a measure of
self-esteem.
• Conceptual
• Operational
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• IV1:
• IV2:
• DV:
• IV1:
• IV2:
• DV:
Main Effects and Interactions
• Main Effect:
• Interaction:
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Female Infidelity, Male Honor,
and Culture
Based on Vandello & Cohen, 2003, 2005.
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The Results
(How “manly?”)
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Statistical Significance
• How likely is it that the results could have occurred
by chance?
• If 5 or fewer times in 100 possible outcomes, then
considered to be “statistically significant.”
• Replication
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Internal Validity
• How reasonably certain is it that the IV caused the effects
obtained on the DV?
• Control groups are important in ruling out alternative
explanations for results.
• Important to minimize experimenter expectancy effects.
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External Validity
• To what degree can the findings be generalized to
other people and to other situations?
• External validity considerations:
– Is the sample representative?
– What is the setting in which the research is
conducted?
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Mundane vs. Experimental
Realism
• Mundane Realism: The extent to which the
research setting resembles the real-world
setting of interest.
• Experimental Realism:
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Meta-Analysis
• A set of statistical procedures for examining relevant
research that has already been conducted and reviewed.
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