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41 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Scientific study of how individuals think, act and feel
Norman Triplett
• First social psychology experiments
o Do bicyclists race faster against each other or against the clock?
 Racing times seemed to be better when competing against other cyclists
o Experiment to test this hypothesis
 40 children were asked to wind up a fishing reel
 Children were faster when they worked side by side than when they worked alone.
o Conclusion: people perform better when another person is present
Stanley Milgram
Video with dude screaming and buttons
Scientific Method
State a problem for study
• Formulate a testable hypothesis
• Design and conduct a study
• Data analysis
• Share results of the study
Research process
Begin with a question
• Search literature - has this question already been answered?
o Even if it has, reading the literature often leads to new questions
• Refine your question into a testable hypothesis
• Must be specific and falsifiable
• Design & conduct the study
• Publish the results
o Conferences, journals
o Peer reviewing keeps quality of research high
• After years of testing hypotheses you may be able to combine your results into a theory - this in turn leads to more hypotheses
Basic research
Goal is simply to understand some behavior
o Add to knowledge base
o Mostly academic
Applied research
Solve practical problems
o Apply basic research in the real world
o Mostly industry
Descriptive research
o Archival studies
o Surveys & polls
o Focus groups & interviews
o Standardized procedures
o Can help define hypotheses
o Ecological validity (it’s the real world)
o Cannot infer causality (you don’t know why they did what they did)
Archival studies
Use existing data
o Helpful for tracing trends over time
o Cheap, longitudinal
o Cannot infer causality (what causes what)
Surveys & polls
Can measure variables that can not be manipulated (sexual identity)
o Easily conducted - phone, internet, classroom, mail
o Self-reports (just asking without proof)
o Can measure many variables that can not be directly manipulated
o Wording may effect responses; cannot infer causality
Interviews & focus groups
Combine elements of observation and surveys
o Used to determine group opinions - not just individual opinions
o Ecological validity & ability to measure many variables
o Very sensitive to wording and behavior of interviewer; lack of control; cannot infer causality
Correlational research
Used to test relationship hypotheses
• Can be used to examine subject variables (things that cannot be manipulated, such as hair color)
o Can examine variables that can not be manipulated (as with descriptive research); allows more control than descriptive research
o Correlation is not causation! (as with descriptive research)
Experimental research
Conducted in a lab
• Most of the research we will discuss is experimental
• Must have a falsifiable hypothesis
o It must be able to be proven wrong
• Manipulate a variable and measure responses
• Control as many extra variables as possible that may affect your measure
Experimental research
o Can infer causality; lots of control
o Lack of ecological validity - being in a lab may change what you are studying
Combine data from many studies
• Helps to identify consistent findings (some experiments may have inconsistent results)
brain imaging
o By understanding the brain mechanisms underlying cognitive processes we can gain insight into the processes
o Expectations cannot influence
o Expensive equipment! (fMRI costs millions)
o Temporal resolution may be poor - one PET scan takes 30 sec
o Spatial resolution may be poor - which part of the brain is active?
Individual differences in brains makes averaging across people difficult
o May require a team of researchers to conduct a study (about 12 people)
o Radioactive tracers may limit the ability to retest a single subject
o Pictures of the brain
o Used to identify areas of damage
o Measure blood flow
o PET uses radioactive trace and fMRI relies on magnetic principles of blood
o Used to identify areas of the brain that are active during a task
Electrical activity
o EEG is used to measure states (awake, asleep) and ERP can be used to measure expectations and categories
Internal validity
o Quality of cause - effect relationship (did the IV cause the effect) (how well you you believe the independent variable actually controlled the dependant variable)
o Confounds (anything other than the independent variable that can effect the dependant variable (colorblindness)
o Experimenter expectancy effects
External validity
o How generalizable are your results? (is this true of other people or only the people you study
o Mundane realism
o Experimental realism
 Deception
 conferation
The Self
Self-concept (self-knowledge)
o Public self
o Executive function (behavior control)
What we believe about ourselves
Im steve
Im allergic to peanuts
I like music
o Based on self-schemas
 These are beliefs we hold about ourselves
 Self-schemas guide our interpretation and understanding of experiences
• How often do we think about ourselves?
o 8% of reported thoughts
o Mainly unhappy when thinking about self
• Development of self-concept
o When you recognize yourself in a mirror
o 18-24 mos.
o Great apes are only other animals
Private self-awareness (just you. Alone)
o Thinking about your inner states, like emotions, desires
o Introspection
Public self-awareness
o Worry about how others see you
o Compare yourself to various standards
Avoid self-awareness
• May avoid mirrors if you feel you have done something “bad”
• Drugs, binge eating, alcohol (escaping a negative view of self-awarness)
o Suicide
• Where does it come from?
Two possibilities:
o From other people
o Introspection
From others:
• Sometimes you use feedback to develop your self-concept
o Sometimes other people (friends, family) see you very differently from your own self-concept
• Others don’t like to give negative feedback
• We only believe feedback that is consistent with our self-concepts
The idea is we have privileged access to ourselves
Children actually think their parents know more about their internal states until age 11
• There are other problems with introspection (just how good are we at figuring ourselves out)
o We may be more aware of the end result than of the process
Affective forecasting
Predicting how you will feel about something in the future
o How happy will you be if you get an A? How unhappy will you be if you get in a car accident?
• People generally think that their feelings will last longer than they actually do
o Durability bias
Bem’s self-perception theory
Observe our own behavior to learn about ourselves
o Mainly in situations where we don’t have strong explanations for our behavior
Overjustification effect
Turns play into work
o Intrinsic motivation is reduced by addition of extrinsic motivation
o Depends on individual characteristics
Working self-concept
Self-awareness focuses on parts of self-concept
o Depends on situation, yourself
• Unique qualities will stand out
o Ex. More aware of being a woman when in a group of all men
• Pay more attention to things about yourself
• Can remember words better when you associate them with yourself during learning
Endowment effects
Things that belong to you have more value than other things
Changing self-concept
We see other people as very stable, they see us as very stable
o Same personalities, behaviors, etc.
o This means people continue to treat you the same way, even when you change
• Self-concept is easier to change when your social group changes
• What purpose does it serve?
o Innate need to interact with others and have their approval - self-esteem acts as indicator
• Self-esteem may perpetuate itself
o High self-esteem may lead to increased efforts and greater chance of success (more confidence means bigger challenges)
Self-discrepancy theory
Self-discrepancy is a component of self-esteem
o Self-discrepancy: difference between how we see ourselves and how we would like to be
o Actual self, standards, ideals
• Large discrepancies may be related to anxiety, depression, disappointment (when you think you are below the standard)
Overestimate contributions, abilities, control, intelligence, social skills
o Students who performed at 12th percentile estimated their performance as 62nd percentile
o The worse they were the more they overestimated performance
• Implicit egotism
o Implicit - not aware of (also called automatic)
o Ex. preference for things that begin with the first letter of our name
• Point out a possible reason for failure in advance to avoid taking personal blame
• Procrastination
• Sabotage your own performance so you have an excuse when you fail
o Drinking, drugs, not studying
• Basking in reflected glory
• Brag about connections with successful people
o When your team wins “we won!” but when your team loses “they lost”
• Reflected failure - try to distance from those who fail
o Sports fans whose team loses may lose faith in themselves (lower testosterone)
Action Identification Theory
Vallacher & Wegner (1987)
• How do we experience our own behavior?
• Different levels of action occur at once, but one is dominant
o Ex. You want to find out if your friend is home BY ringing the doorbell which you do BY pushing it with your finger
o Finding out if your friend is home is the highest level identity, and pushing with your finger is the lowest
Focus on higher levels when:
o Action associated with positive emotion
 Winning the soccer game is better than scoring a goal or kicking a ball
o Are fairly practiced at a task, or the task is easy
Focus on lower levels when:
o Action associated with negative emotions
 Reduce test anxiety by thinking about reading questions instead of getting a bad grade
o Avoid feeling guilty
 Criminals focus on low level actions like how to break into a house, sell stolen goods, not high level actions like stealing from someone