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Social Psychology PSYC 3580 Week 2 lecture notes

by: Ivy Notetaker

Social Psychology PSYC 3580 Week 2 lecture notes Psyc 3580

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About this Document

Notes from lectures from 8/23/16 and 8/25/16.
Social Psychology
Dr. Gitter
Class Notes
social, Psychology
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ivy Notetaker on Monday August 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 3580 at Auburn University taught by Dr. Gitter in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychology at Auburn University.

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Date Created: 08/22/16
Social Psychology Dr. Gitter 8/23/16 How Does Social Psychology Work? Social psychologists have 2 main venues for their ideas. 1. Theories­ integrated principles that explain and predict observed events Based on:  Educated guesses on how things work  Previous research­ more common, more likely to support theory 2. Hypothesis­ testable predictions; more specific than theories  Allows theories to be tested The Scientific Method ­ 5 step process for testing theories 1. Generate a theory.  Theories organize a set of constructs and explain how they work together. o Ex. playing violent video games will increase aggressive behavior,  because… o Must say increase or decrease, not just influence. o Make predictions before experiment; be prepared to question your theory  if experiment proves it wrong. o post­hoc­ after the fact  Constructs are the individual components of a theory.  o Ex. be specific with “aggressive behavior” and “violent video games” o Need to operationalize our theory  get very specific  2. Form a hypothesis based on that theory. ­ Usually do Steps 1 & 2 at the same time. 3. Design and conduct a study to test that hypothesis. ­ Independent variable (IV)­ “the cause”; what we manipulate ­ Dependent variable (DV)­ “the effect”; what we think will change Ex. The wind blows and the leaves sway. DV= leaves, IV=wind Experiment: 2 groups of similar demographics, both play racing games ­ 1  group­ just racing, no violence nd ­ 2  group­ racing but can run over bystanders for extra point (violent game)  Confound­ any other variable that can influence results Researchers are motivated for experiments to work= must try very hard to not be biased  Random assignment­ each participant has equal chance for each conditions;  eliminates experimenter bias Larger assignments are almost always better! ­ Measuring violent behavior: allow participants to think they are administering electric  shocks and see how far they will go with it.  Proof of concept­ evidence that there is some change in variable we are studying Ex. Some type of violent behavior increases, but not all types. ­ IV­type of game participants are playing; control and experimental ­ DV­ administering electric shocks (violent behavior) 4. Analyze the data.  ­ We use statistics.  ­ Most often used is probability/significance testing. o No greater that 5% chance (p<0.5) that the study resulted from a chance  occurrence.  ­ Representing data.  o Can manipulate graphs by changing intervals.  o Statistics take into account variability average scores in class; can’t see all  variables in graphs o Statistics look at degree of overlap between 2 groups and how likely it is due to  random chance.  5. Report the results. ­ Peer reviewed journals­ editor and experts review paper and give feedback. ­ Conferences­ develop relationships with like­minded people; get advice o Most scientific journals have at least a 70% rejection rate, most have to be  reviewed and resubmitted many times. o Peer review publications are looked at for promotions, hiring, etc. because it was  reviewed so strictly by experts. 6. Start over again­ reformulate your theory based on your findings and generate a new  hypothesis. ­ Measure different variables­ use different video games, measure different types of violent behavior, etc. Multi­method approach ­    Study just described (video games and violent behavior) is an experimental approach. o Manipulate IV then measure DV.  ­    Other methods: Quasi­experimental­ in real world; limitations on other variables Correlational (cross­sectional)­ not manipulating anything; just measuring;  easier to study Longitudinal­ measuring people’s behavior across time ­ Major differences o Internal vs. external validity o Inference about causality 3 requirements of causality 1. Covariation­ variables change together in a predictable way; all studies do that – easy to show ­ Experiments, Longitudinal, and Correlation 2. Temporal precedence­ one variable is first then leads to the other variable Ex. Video game causes violent behavior. Could be that people who already have violent  behavior like to play violent video games. ­ Experiments, Longitudinal 3. Elimination of spuriousness­ another factor (or factors) that make it look like a relationship  between variables, but there really isn’t a relationship (confounds) ­ Experiments  Third­variables­ something changing at the same time and influencing the study Ex. Parenting styles influence violent behavior and being allowed to play violent  video games. 8/25/16 Nature and Nurture Multiple contributions to behavior: Evolutionary factors biology/physiologycultural/experience behavior ­ Interactionist perspective­ both nature and nurture contribute to behavior o Ex. What is the beagle’s job? Tracking and hunting  Offshoot of fox hound, common man’s hunting dog  Large nose­ >200 million scent receptors  Long ears­ act as “blinders” to the nose to help him stay on scent  Perfectly short legs­ makes him slower than fox hound­ humans are able to keep up; keeps him closer to the ground  White tip on the tail­ good to see him in the tall brush  Bay (howl)­ distinct; can be heard from far away ­ Selective breeding­ agent that changes (or controls) variations (humans breeding hunting dogs) ­ Natural selection­ process that changes over time due to evolution ­ Variation­ differences in characteristics of a population o Some variations are more adaptive for the environment­ depends on the hostile  and unfavorable forces of nature. o Organisms best suited for environment will most likely pass on genes to next  generation. Adaptiveness influences evolutionary fitness in 2 ways: 1. Increases chances of survival (food, water, air, shelter, safety) ­ Ex. camouflage variations of moths on different colored trees­ black moths survive  where trees are black ­ Does not ensure passing on of genes. 2. Increases reproductive success. ­ Sexual selection­ evolutionarily derived traits that are passed on through reproduction o Only those traits that can be passed on through reproduction will follow the  principles of natural selection.  ­ Grandparents clause­ improving chance of survival for future generations o Traits that aid in attaining a mate and reproduction will be selected for  Often times indicators for survival fitness Evolutionary psychology ­ Not just physical characteristics, but also psychological predispositions. o Ex. German shepherds bred to be calm because of their size, Chihuahuas bred to  be loud bc of size. What makes for a good adaptation? ­ Simple processes that reliably help an organism avoid crucial mistakes. o Will it be perfect? Probably not… ­ Eliminating crucial mistakes ­ Error management theory­ the importance of avoiding crucial mistakes, but sometimes  bringing in other problems o Based on signal detection theory How do we test evolutionary psychology? Several methods: ­ Make and test predictions based on evolutionary principles. ­ Twin studies o Concordance and heritability  Comparing monozygotic/dizygotic (identical/fraternal).  Comparing raised together vs. apart. o About 50% of personality is due to genetics, rest due to experiences.  ­ Cross­ cultural comparisons o Same everywhere= evidence for evolutionary roots Ex. emotions o Different in some places= evidence for cultural basis ­ Inductive reasoning­ from observation to theory  o Ex. Darwin noticed different finches’ beaks and made theory about adaptive  circumstances. ­ Deductive reasoning­ from theory to prediction to observation  ***better option, tests more conservative, harder to succeed, better results ­ “just­so theories”­ find out something about environment and make up story for it to fit  with evolutionary theory; Watch out for these! Culture ­ Enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions ­ Shared by a large group of people o Ex. U.S.A, Southern, Alabama, Auburn, campus organization ­ Transmitted from one generation to the next o A cultural animal is different from being social animals. Role of Culture: ­ Shapes self as a social entity­ plays large part in shaping self ­ Individualist vs. Collectivist o Ex. I am statements  Physical qualities­ I am blond, I am male, I am attractive  Social­ roles, membership­ I am a son, I am a student  Attributive­ psychological of physical states­ I am smart, I am tired  Global­ comprehensive of vague­ I am human, I am me, I am alive  ­ Individualists­ more physical and attributive statements; men; USA, Europe, etc. ­ Collectivists­ more social statements; women; Asian, Central American, African o Some people can be both depending on gender, family influence, etc. Independent and Interdependent ­ Independent cultures= individualism o Personal traits in isolation o Self­contained identity ­ Interdependent cultures= collectivism o Identity is in relation to others. o Other­containing identity.


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