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Psych 160 Week 2

by: Jennifer Fu

Psych 160 Week 2 Psych 160

Jennifer Fu

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Lecture 2&3, Discussion 1, Textbook reading chapter 1&2
Social Psychology
Serena Chen
Class Notes
social, Psychology, experiment, correlation, variables
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jennifer Fu on Tuesday September 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 160 at University of California Berkeley taught by Serena Chen in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Social Psychology in Psychology at University of California Berkeley.

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Date Created: 09/06/16
LECTURE NOTES Lecture 2 Overarching Themes - people construct their own reality – everyone has their own interpretation o construals = constructions of reality o interpreting, meaning making o ambiguous situations often lead to different interpretation (we will focus on social situation in this class) - social influence is pervasive (and often invisible) o ex. People don’t sit next to others when there are many empty seats on the Bart o ex. Students from Cal will have different construal from Stanford students during a football game Motivational Principles - need for understanding and control (includes need for accuracy) - need to feel good about “me & mine” - anything that’s connected to “me” o blaming others - need for connectedness and belonging Research Methods: Formulating hypotheses – states a prediction about the relationship between 2 variables Correlational research designs – the strength of the relationship between 2 variables that vary in quantity or amount - correlation coefficient (“r”) ranges from +1 to -1 - CORRELATION DOESN’T MEAN CArdATION! o There could be a 3 variable § Ex. Children’s violent behavior (1 variable) could have a correlation with the time expose to violent media (2 variable) – however, parental education (3 variable) could be a factor as well o Reverse causality § Ex. childhood experience can have an impact on adult experience, but it can’t go another way o Advantages § Allow assessing behavior in everyday life § Allow studying variables that can’t be manipulated § Serve as a first step (establishes a relationship exists) o The most commonly used research Lecture 3 Variables in experiments - Independent variable (IV) = hypothesized cause - Dependent variable (DV) = hypothesized effect - Ex. Inter-group contact (IV) & prejudice (DV) / # of bystanders (IV) & helping (DV) Conceptual definition = variables of interest (ex. Aggression) Operational definition = translations of conceptual variables (how to bring “aggression” to life) Mind the Gap! – the gap between conceptual definition and operational gap Essential ingredients of experiments - A causal hypothesis - Conceptual definitions of IV & DV - Operational definitions of IV & DV Let’s design an experiment - Hypothesis: positive mood increases helping - Conceptual IV: positive mood - Conceptual DV: helping - Operational IV: ex. Listen to music that promotes positive mood - Operational DV: ex. # of volunteer events people participate 2 characteristics that allow casual inferences to be made - Control – manipulate variables of interest while holding everything else constant - Random assignment – each P has an equal chance of being in any condition Internal Validity - Refers to degree to which one can be sure that IV causes DV in experiment - High internal validity o High control o Random assignment - Low internal validity o Low control o No random assignment External validity - Extent to which results can be generalized to other situations & people The trade-off - Increasing external validity is often associated with decreasing internal validity (vice versa) DISCUSSION NOTES Discussion 1 TEXTBOOK IS IMPORTANT! Over-justification effect Self-awareness theory Voice, negative emotion words, less first person pronounce, less exclusionary words, speed, content, talking less (easier cues to tell if someone is lying than facial expressions) Halo effect Variables in experiments - IV – hypothesized cause - DV – hypothesized effect TEXTBOOK READING Chapter 1: An Invitation to Social Psychology Social Psychology: the scientific study of the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors of individuals in social situations Explaining behavior Comparing social psychology with related disciplines - Personality psychology vs social psychology o PP – try to find a consistent pattern in the way a person behaves across situations o SP – examine the general situation - Cognitive psychology vs social psychology o CP – study categorization processes or memory for words or objects o SP – study social behavior and perceptions of other people - Sociology vs social psychology o S – study of behavior of people in the aggregate o SP – more likely to bring an interest in individual behavior to the study of aggregates Hannah Arendt suggested that everyone is capable of acts of brutality in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem - The power of situation Kurt Lewin believed that the behavior of people, like the behavior of objects, is always a function of the field of forces in which they find themselves The Milgram Experiment - Focus on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience - Conclusion: even ordinary people are likely to follow orders given by an authority figure, even to the extent of severely harming another person Seminarians as Samaritans - Conducted by John Darley and Daniel Batson - The power of the situation and helping – Princeton seminarians usually helped a victim if they were not in a hurry, but rarely helped if they were in a rush People are governed by situational factors more than internal factors Dispositions (internal factors): beliefs, values, personality traits, and abilities that guide behaviors Fundamental Attribution Error: the failure to recognize the importance of situational influences on behavior, together with the tendency to overemphasize the importance of dispositions Channel Factors: situational circumstances that appear unimportant on the surface but that can have great consequences for behavior – facilitating it, blocking it, or guiding it in a particular direction Gestalt Psychology: based on the German word gestalt, meaning “form” or “figure”, this approach stresses the fact that people perceive objects not by means of some automatic registering device but by active, usually nonconscious interpretation of what the object represents as a whole - Ex. Kanizsa triange (the white triangle) / Salvador Dali’s Slave Market (image of Voltaire) Construal: an interpretation of or inference about the stimuli or situations people confront Schema: a knowledge structure consisting of any organized body of stored information - Capture the regularities of life and lead us to have certain expectations we can rely on so we don’t have to invent the world anew all the time Many of the persuasion attempts we are exposed to in the media have the goal not so much of changing our judgment about something, but rather of changing what it is that’s being judged Stereotype: a belief that certain attributes are characteristic of members of a particular group - Schemas that we have for people of various kinds Although our understanding of situations often seems to be the result of a direct, unmediated registration of meaning, our comprehension of even the simplest physical stimulus is the result of construal processes that make use of well-developed knowledge structures. Such structures are called schemas when they summarize commonly encountered situations, and they called stereotypes when they describe different types of people The mid processes information in two ways when you encounter a social situation - Automatic/nonconscious o Often based on emotional factors o Give rise to implicit attitudes and beliefs that can’t be readily controlled by the conscious mind - Conscious/systematic o Often controlled by careful thought o Results in explicit attitudes and beliefs of which we are aware – though these may become implicit or nonconscious over time Types of Nonconscious Processing - Ex. When people are surrounded by greenery they are less aggressive than when in an environment with lots of red in it Functions of nonconscious processing - Efficiency A very important implication of the concept of nonconscious processing of stimuli is that research on human behavior should not normally depend on people’s verbal reports about why they believe something or why they engaged in a particular behavior Human Universal - Humans share some of the characteristics with other animals, especially the higher primates o Facial expressions o Dominance and submission o Food sharing o Group living o Greater aggressiveness of the part of males o Preference for own kin o Wariness around snakes - The number of universal we share with other animals is quite small Theory of mind: the ability to recognize that other people have beliefs and desires - People with autism can have normal or even superior intellectual functioning, but less comprehension of people’s beliefs and desires Parental Investment: the evolutionary principle that costs and benefits are associated with reproduction and the nurturing of offspring. Because these costs and benefits are different for males and females, one gender will normally value and invest more in each child than will the other Naturalistic Fallacy: the claim that the way things are is the way they should be Social neuroscience - Focus on the neural underpinnings of social behavior - Heavy utilization of fMRI - It tells us which areas of the brain function most when certain kinds of activities are taking place - It also informs us about how the brain, the mind, and behavior function as a unit and how social factors influence each of these components at the same time Cultural differences go far deeper than beliefs and values – they extend all the way to the level of fundamental forms of self-conception and social existence, and even to the perceptual and cognitive processes people use to develop new thoughts and beliefs Independent (individualistic) Culture Interdependent Culture Chapter 2: The Methods of Social Psychology Hindsight Bias: people’s tendency to be overconfident about whether they could have predicted a given outcome Hypothesis: a prediction about what will happen under particular circumstances - Tested by studies, which examine predictions about what will happen in particular concrete contexts Theory: a body of related propositions intended to describe some aspect of the world - More general than hypothesis Balance theory: theory that people like their thoughts to be consistent with one another, and will do substantial mental work to achieve such cognitive consistency Familiarity, in general, breeds liking. The more a person has been exposed to a stimulus, with broad limits, the more the person likes it People are more persuaded by he lies they tell if they are paid nothing or a small amount than if they are paid a lot We like people more if we do them a favor When people are reminded of their own mortality, they focus on the values they hold dearest, such as religion and love of country The duration of pain has little effect on people’s willingness to experience a painful procedure again Males give higher grades to females who are good looking When people discuss things in a group, they tend to shift their opinions about something further in the direction they were inclined to hold when thinking about it by themselves Thinking more about an issue makes people’s opinions about the issue more extreme Rewarding children for doing something they would do anyway makes them less interested in doing it Observational Research - Research can be a matter of merely looking at a phenomenon in some reasonably systematic way, with a view to understanding what’s going on and coming up with hypotheses about why things are happening as they are - Participant observation – involves observing some phenomenon at close range - Social psychologists often observe social situations in a semiformal way, taking notes and interviewing participants – however, they typically design additional formal studies to verify the impressions they get from participant observation - Observations are often misleading, so any tentative conclusions gleaned from observation should ideally be tested using other methods Archival Research - Research can be conducted without ever leaving the library - Researchers look at evidence found in archives of various kinds to come up with a hypothesis Surveys - It can be conducted using either interviews or written questionnaires - Random sampling is important – more likely to capture the proportions of given types of people in the population as a whole - Convenience samples – can produce proportions that are severely skewed away from the actual proportions in the population as a whole Correlational Research - Psychologists simply determine whether a relationship exists between two or more variables - Correlation does not establish causation - Third variable: a variable that exerts a causal influence on both variable 1 and 2 - Correlational research usually can’t provide convincing evidence that there is a casual relationship because of the possibility of self-selection - Self-selection: the investigator has no control over the level of a particular participant’s score on a given variable - Can be very helpful in alerting investigators to various possibilities for valid causal hypotheses about some aspect of the world - Sometimes it is the best option when an experimental study would be difficult or unethical Experimental Research - Goes a step further, by enabling investigators to make strong inferences about how different situations or conditions affect people’s behavior - Best way to be sure about causality in to conduct an experiment - Independent variable: hypothesized to be the cause of a particular outcome - Dependent variable: hypothesized to be affected by manipulation of the IV - Random assignment ensures that participants are as likely to be assigned to one condition as to another - Carefully crafted control condition – comparable to the experimental condition in every way except that it lacks the one ingredient hypothesized to produce the expected effect on the dependent variable - Natural experiment: events occur that the investigator believes to have causal implications for some outcome External validity: an indication of how well the results of a study generalize to contexts besides those of the study itself - Field experiment: conducted in the real world, usually with participants who are not aware they are in a study of any kind o One of the best ways to ensure external validity Internal Validity: confidence that only the manipulated variable could have produced the results - Requires that the experimental setup seem realistic and plausible to the participants - Researchers can help ensure that their experimental design meets the criteria for internal validity by debriefing participants in pilot studies, which are preliminary versions of the experiment - Debriefing may involve directly asking participants whether they understand the instructions and whether they find the setup to be reasonable Reliability: the degree to which the particular way researchers measure a given variable is likely to yield consistent results Measurement validity: the correlation between some measure and some outcome the measure is supposed to predict - Validity coefficients typically do not exceed .5 Regression to the Mean: the tendency for extreme scores to be followed by, or to accompany, less extreme scores A finding has statistical significant if the probability of obtaining the finding by chance is less than 0.5 Statistical significance is primarily due to two factors - The size of the difference between groups in an experiment or the size of a relationship between variables in a correlational study - The number of cases the finding is based on The larger the difference or relationship and the larger the number of cases, the greater the statistical significance The practice of scientific research is of two broad types - Basic science – science or research concerned with trying to understand some phenomenon in its own right, with a view toward using that understanding to build valid theories about the nature of some aspect of the world - Applied science – concerned with solving important real world problems There is a two-way relationship between basic and applied research - Basic research can give rise to theories that can lead to interventions, or efforts to change certain behaviors - Applied research can product results that feed back into basic science Replication: the reproducing of research results by the original investigator or by someone else Research conducted at universities has to be approved by an institutional review board (IRB) In medical research, the principle of informed consent governs the acceptability of research For certain types of studies, known as deception research, it’s not possible to obtain informed consent from the participants Deception research: research in which the participants are misled about the purpose of the research or the meaning of something that is done to them


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