Social psychological research

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Social psychological research

Observational To create a snapshot of the current state of affairs Provides a relatively complete picture of what is occurring at a given time. Allows the development of questions for further study. Does not assess relationships between variables. Correlational To assess the relationships between two or more variables Allows the testing of expected relationships between variables and the making of predictions.

Can assess these relationships in everyday life events. Cannot be used to draw inferences about the causal relationships between the variables. Experimental To assess the causal impact of one or more experimental manipulations on a dependent variable Allows the drawing of conclusions about the causal relationships among variables.

Cannot experimentally manipulate many important variables. May be expensive and take much time to conduct. The most basic research design, observational researchis research that involves making observations of behavior and recording those observations in an objective manner.

Although it is possible in some cases to use observational data to draw conclusions about the relationships between variables e. One advantage of observational research is that in many cases it is the only possible approach to collecting data about the topic of interest.

A researcher who is interested in studying the impact of a hurricane on the residents of New Orleans, the reactions of New Yorkers to a terrorist attack, or the activities of the members of a religious cult cannot create such situations in a laboratory but must be ready to make observations in a systematic way when such events occur on their own.

Thus observational research allows the study of unique situations that could not be created by the researcher. Another advantage of observational research is that the people whose behavior is being measured are doing the things they do every day, and in some cases they may not even know that their behavior is being recorded.

More specifically, the group members were convinced that the earth would be destroyed, as the result of a gigantic flood, sometime before dawn on December 21, When Festinger learned about the cult, he thought that it would be an interesting way to study how individuals in groups communicate with each other to reinforce their extreme beliefs.

He and his colleagues observed the members of the cult over a period of several months, beginning in July of the year in which the flood was expected.

The researchers collected a variety of behavioral and self-report measures by observing the cult, recording the conversations among the group members, and conducting detailed interviews with them. Festinger and his colleagues also recorded the reactions of the cult members, beginning on December 21, when the world did not end as they had predicted.

This observational research provided a wealth of information about the indoctrination patterns of cult members and their reactions to disconfirmed predictions.

Social psychological research

This research also helped Festinger develop his important theory of cognitive dissonance. Despite their advantages, observational research designs also have some limitations. Most important, because the data that are collected in observational studies are only a description of the events that are occurring, they do not tell us anything about the relationship between different variables.

However, it is exactly this question that correlational research and experimental research are designed to answer. The Research Hypothesis Because social psychologists are generally interested in looking at relationships among variables, they begin by stating their predictions in the form of a precise statement known as a research hypothesis.

A research hypothesis is a statement about the relationship between the variables of interest and about the specific direction of that relationship.

Because the research hypothesis states both that there is a relationship between the variables and the direction of that relationship, it is said to be falsifiable.

Being falsifiable means that the outcome of the research can demonstrate empirically either that there is support for the hypothesis i. Correlational Research The goal of correlational research is to search for and test hypotheses about the relationships between two or more variables.

A Structural Definition Of Social Privilege

In the simplest case, the correlation is between only two variables, such as that between similarity and liking, or between gender male versus female and helping.

In a correlational design, the research hypothesis is that there is an association i. For instance, many researchers have tested the research hypothesis that a positive correlation exists between the use of violent video games and the incidence of aggressive behavior, such that people who play violent video games more frequently would also display more aggressive behavior.

A statistic known as the Pearson correlation coefficient symbolized by the letter r is normally used to summarize the association, or correlation, between two variables. One advantage of correlational research designs is that, like observational research and in comparison with experimental research designs in which the researcher frequently creates relatively artificial situations in a laboratory settingthey are often used to study people doing the things that they do every day.

And correlational research designs also have the advantage of allowing prediction. Similarly, if we know how many violent video games a child plays, we can predict how aggressively he or she will behave. Despite their advantages, correlational designs have a very important limitation.

This limitation is that they cannot be used to draw conclusions about the causal relationships among the variables that have been measured. An observed correlation between two variables does not necessarily indicate that either one of the variables caused the other.

Although many studies have found a correlation between the number of violent video games that people play and the amount of aggressive behaviors they engage in, this does not mean that viewing the video games necessarily caused the aggression. Although one possibility is that playing violent games increases aggression, another possibility is that the causal direction is exactly opposite to what has been hypothesized.

Perhaps increased aggressiveness causes more interest in, and thus increased viewing of, violent games. Although this causal relationship might not seem as logical to you, there is no way to rule out the possibility of such reverse causation on the basis of the observed correlation.

Still another possible explanation for the observed correlation is that it has been produced by the presence of another variable that was not measured in the research.We show, via a massive (N = ,) experiment on Facebook, that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness.

We provide experimental evidence that emotional contagion occurs without direct interaction between people (exposure to a friend expressing an emotion is sufficient), and in the . A listing of psychological research being conducted online.

Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. In this definition, scientific refers to the empirical investigation using the scientific terms thoughts, feelings, and behavior refer to psychological variables that can be measured in humans.

Start studying Psychology Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Search. the theory that experience of emotion is based on two factors psychological arousal, and cognitive interpretation of that arousal.

Social psychology research is a necessary and endeavors because our common sense. For proof that rejection, exclusion, and acceptance are central to our lives, look no farther than the living room, says Nathan Dewall, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky.

“If you turn on the television set, and watch any reality TV program, most of them are about rejection and. What is the Research Methods Knowledge Base?

The Research Methods Knowledge Base is a comprehensive web-based textbook that addresses all of the topics in a typical introductory undergraduate or graduate course in social research methods.

Social research - Wikipedia