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Social Psychology: Chapter 1- The Mission and the Method

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Define Social Psychology
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The scientific study of how people affect and are affected by others.
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What was the topic of study of the earliest social psychologists; Max Ringelmann and Norman Triplett?
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The presence of others and the affect on individual performance.
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According to Lewin, Behavior is a function of what 2 variables?
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Person and Situation
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According to Allport, what was the most central concept of Social Psychology?
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Attitudes
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In the 50’s and 60’s psychology was divided into what 2 groups?
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Behaviorist and Psychoanalytical
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What 3 dimensions are involved in the ABC triad?
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Affect, Behavior, Cognition.
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In the ABC triad, what is A and what does it involve?
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Affect- how people feel inside: How people feel about THEMSELVES, OTHERS and VARIOUS SITUATIONS and ISSUES
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In the ABC triad, what is B and what does it involve?
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Behavior- What people do, their actions
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In the ABC triad, what is C and what does it involve?
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Cognition-what people think about: What people think about THEMSELVES, OTHERS and VARIOUS PROBLEMS
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Define Economics
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Study of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
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Define Anthropology
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The study of human culture
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Define History
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The study of past events
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Define Political Science
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The study of political organizations, institutions, particularly governments
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Define Sociology
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The study of human society and the groups that form these societies
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What is the focus of sociology as opposed to social psychology?
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Sociology and Social psych have an interest in how people behave in groups and societies, however sociology starts with the large group and works from there while Social Psych starts at the individual and works outwards.
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Unconscious forces are to reinforcement histories as _____ is to _______.
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Psychoanalysis (Unconscious forces) is to Behaviorism (Reinforcement histories)
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What research methodologies do most SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGISTS use?
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Experimental
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What is the primary approach that SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGISTS use to uncover the truth about human social behavior?
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Scientific Method
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What are the 5 steps of the scientific method?
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1. State the problem for study 2. Formulate testable hypothesis as a tentative solution 3. Design study to test hypothesis and collect data 4. Test hypothesis with data 5. Report study results
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What is a hypothesis?
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Educated guess
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Define Psychology
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The study of human behavior
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Define Biological psychology.
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Focuses on form and function of the brain, nervous system and other aspects of the body.
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Define clinical psychology.
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The study of “abnormal” behavior
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What is the focus of social psychology?
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Focuses on “normal” behavior and how humans think, act and feel
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Define cognitive psychology
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The study of thought processes and what people notice
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Define developmental psychology
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How people change from conception to death
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Define personality psychology
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The important differences between individuals and inner processes
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Define applied research
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Research focused on solving a SPECIFIC problem
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Define basic research
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Research focused on the GENERAL understandings of basic principles that can be applied to MANY different problems.
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Define theory
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Unobservable constructs that are linked together in some way
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Define within-subject design
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Participants are exposed to ALL levels of INDEPENDENT VARIABLES.
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Define between subject design.
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Participants are exposed to ONLY ONE level of INDEPENDENT VARIABLES.
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Define Independent Variable
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Variable MANIPULATED by the researcher that is assumed to lead to changes in the dependent variable (INDEPENDENT OF THE PARTICIPANT)
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Define Dependent Variable
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Variable in a study that represents the RESULTS of events and processes
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Define operational definitions
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Observable operations, procedures and measurements based on BOTH Independent and dependent variables
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Define confederate in regards to research
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A research assistant pretending to be a participant in the study
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Define construct validity of the CAUSE
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Extent to which the INDEPENDENT variable is a valid representation of the theoretical stimulus
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Define construct validity of EFFECT
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Extent to which the DEPENDENT variable is a valid representation of the theoretical response.
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Define Experiment
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A study in which the researcher manipulates an independent variable and randomly assigns people to groups.
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Define random assignment
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Each participant has an equal chance of being in each group- it is an attempt to ensure no initial differences between groups.
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What is considered to be “The Great Equalizer” of experiments?
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Random assignment
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What are two essential features of a good experiment?
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1. The researcher has control over the procedures.-The researcher manipulates the independent variable and holds all other variables constant. 2. The participants are randomly assigned to the levels of the independent variable- Random assignment
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As a result of the Tuskegee syphilis study, what must occur before a federally funded or unfunded experiment can be carried out?
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Review by the IRB (Institutional Review Board) as of the National Research Act in 1974
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What are demand characteristics?
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Any clues in a study that suggest to participants what the researcher’s hypothesis is.
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What are deception studies?
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False information provided to intentionally mislead participants about the purpose of a study to decrease demand characteristics.
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What is debriefing?
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Explanation of the study upon completion that fully explains the study to participants and reduces or eliminates stress or harm the participant experienced while involved in the study. Deceptions are also revealed to the participant.
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What is a quasi-experiment?
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The type of study in which the researcher can manipulate an independent variable but cannot use random assignment.
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Define internal validity
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The extent to which changes in the independent variable caused changes in the dependent variable
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When does confounding occur in an experiment?
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When the effects of variables cannot be separated
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What is stimulus sampling?
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Using more than one exemplar of a stimulus (eg. using more than 1 violent videogame)
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What is a factorial design experiment?
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Experimental design that includes more than one independent variable or factor
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What are the 2 factors in a factorial design?
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1. Main effect 2. Interaction
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What is a main effect?
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The effect of a single independent variable on the dependent variable, ignoring the effects of the other independent variable
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What is interaction in regards to a factorial design experiment?
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The joint effects of more than one independent variable on the dependent variable.
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Define reactance
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An unpleasant emotional response that people often experience when someone is trying to restrict their freedom or encroach on their territory
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Define field experiment
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An experiment conducted in a real-world setting, not a laboratory.
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Define Experimental realism
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The extent to which study participants get so caught up in the procedures that they forget they are in an experiment
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Define Mundane realism
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Refers to whether the setting of an experiment physically resembles the real world.
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Define external validity
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The extent to which the findings from a study can be generalized to other people, other settings and other time periods (experiments with high experimental and mundane realism provide high external validity)
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Define correlational approach
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A nonexperimental method in which the researcher merely observes whether variables are associated or related.
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Define correlation
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A relationship or association btw two variables.
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Define correlation coefficient (r)
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The statistical relationship or association between 2 variables.
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What happens when a correlation is positive?
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As one variable goes up, the other also goes up. (eg. Increased smoking correlates with increased chance of lung cancer)
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What happens when a correlation is negative?
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As one variable goes up, the other variable goes down. (eg. Increased time spent playing videogames = decreased gpa on avg.)
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What happens if there is NO correlation?
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The two variables are not related in linear fashion (eg. No correlation btw IQ scores and shoe size
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+ .1 is considered to be a __________ correlation.
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Small correlation
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+.3 is considered to be a _________ correlation.
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Medium correlation
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+.5 is considered to be a ___________ correlation.
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Large correlation
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Define meta-analysis
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Quantitative literature that combines statistical results (eg correlational coefficients) from all studies conducted on a topic.
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What is the primary weakness of the correlational approach?
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The correlational approach does not allow the researcher to conclude that changes in one variable CAUSED changes in the other variable. (Correlation does not equal causation)
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List 3 possible outcomes of the correlational approach.
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1) x could cause y 2) y could cause x 3) some other variable (z) could cause both x and y.
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Define margin of error
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Statistical measure of the amount of random sampling error in a survey’s results (eg. 3% m.o.e means that a survey could be 3% lower or higher than the avg response. The larger the sample size, the smaller the m.o.e)
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Define Reliability.
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A measure that gives consistent results.
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Define Validity
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Refers to whether a measure actually measures what it purports to measure.
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Define test-retestability
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The correlation between scores on the same measure taken at 2 different times.
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Define internal consistency
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If a survey contains multiple items that measure the same construct, these items should be strongly correlated with eachother.
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What method is used to measure INTERNAL consistency?
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The Cronbach statistic.
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Define Cronbach
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Measures internal consistency items within a scale; values can range from 0 to +1 and values greater than +.7 are very good. The closer to 1, the higher the validity.
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Define convergent validity.
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Measure has a convergent validity if it is highly correlated with similar measures.
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Define divergent validity
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The measure that is uncorrelated with different measures.
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Define face validity.
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A non-statistical measure of validity that appears to measure what it purports to measure.
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What is the difference between validity and face validity?
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Validity is whether something measures what it purports to measure, face validity is a non-statistical measure OF validity that appears to measure what it purports to measure.
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What is a testable prediction about the conditions under which an event will occur?
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Hypothesis
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Explain the “self correcting nature of science”
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New theories are based on old studies and weed out inaccuracies secondary to replication.
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What is replication?
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Repeating a study to see if the effect is reliable.