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Psychology - sOCIAL PSY, Coursework

Readings MUST HAVE TEXT AS WELL.... BAUMEISTER R.F. AD FIKEL E.J. (2010). ADVANCE SOCIAL PSY THE STATE OF SCIENCE NY OXFORD UIVERSITY PRESS. ISBN 13 978-0195381207 Textbook: Chapter 1 Baron, R. M. & Kenny, D.A. (1986). The Moderator-Mediator variable distinction in Social Psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173-1182. Anderson, C.A., Lindsay, J.J., & Bushman, B.J. (1999). Research in the psychological laboratory: Truth or triviality? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8, 3-9. Assignments Critical Questions 1 (see link to Discussion Board below) Application Exercise 1 (see below) Also, please post your introductions (see link in the "Getting Started" section of the course site) Critical Questions 1 Application Exercise 1 Please complete the “What’s Wrong with this Research” exercise below. Relate your answers to the assigned readings for this week and submit your responses to the following questions as a pdf attachment here. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS RESEARCH? Understanding research methods will help you not only to understand and evaluate social psychology research but also to improve your reasoning about consumer information. We are constantly bombarded with "facts" from the media concerning every aspect of our lives--products, politics, and health, to name a few. Much media information turns out to be wrong or, at best, oversimplified and misleading. Instead of blindly accepting media claims, we should react with the challenge, "Prove it." We need to examine the evidence for the claims: "Show me the facts!" We also need to consider who is making the claim. Is the president of the Chamber of Commerce in your city claiming that your city has the best public transportation in the state? If so, consider the biased source. Although there are many types of research methods, the most valuable is the experimental method. Properly conducted experiments allow researchers to conclude that something caused something--for instance, that having an ethnically diverse group of students work together on a project lessened prejudice between members of ethnic groups. Not all experiments are created equal! In order to be valid, an experiment must meet these minimum requirements: a random sampling of people to be studied, a random assignment of participants to experimental and control groups, control over external variables that might affect the research, control over the experimenter's ability to influence participants, and results that are statistically significant, meaning that they could not have occurred by chance more than 5 out of 100 times. Only when these requirements have been satisfied can researchers conclude that the research results can be generalized to other people in other situations. This is a very simplified analysis of experimental research but one that gives you a foundation for evaluating the methods presented in the following situations. You will be given two hypothetical research situations that have some methodological flaws. Your job is to find the flaws in the basic methods. Write down what they are as you read each scenario, then go on to the next one. After you have completed all of them, check your answers against the answer key. 1. Taste Test The owners of Diet Dream soft drink want to prove that their soda is better than that of their competitor, Diet Hit. Diet Dream's marketing division ran what they called a "blind taste test," in which individuals tasted some of each product without knowing which cup contained which drink. These were the methods the Diet Dream team used: Two hundred men and women from three communities in the United States were randomly selected to participate in the test. Each participant was seated at a table. A cup on the left was labeled "X" and contained four ounces of Diet Hit. A cup on the right was labeled "Y" and contained four ounces of Diet Dream. The participants were not told which drink was in each cup. Half of the time the participants were told to try the cup on the left first, and half of the time they were told to try the cup on the right first. The drinks in both cups were equally fresh and cold. Diet Dream's marketing team believes that the results fulfilled their hopes. The results indicated that: 105 people preferred Diet Dream. 84 people preferred Diet Hit. 11 people were unable to indicate a preference for either drink. Diet Dream began an advertising campaign that stated, "In a blind taste test, more people preferred Diet Dream to Diet Hit." What methods call their advertising claim into question? 2. Political Attitudes A group of researchers was concerned with what they believed to be an increasing polarization in the political attitudes of Americans. They wondered if people who are either extreme conservatives or extreme liberals might become less extreme if they could spend some time imagining themselves taking the opposite position. To test this idea, the researchers used the following methods: They asked 500 adults to complete a questionnaire that measured their political attitudes. From these 500, they chose the most extreme responses by selecting 60 people who scored very high on liberalism and 60 people who scored very high on conservatism. They asked the members of each group to write an essay arguing in favor of some position that they, in real life, opposed or took the opposite position on. Four weeks later, these two groups took the same questionnaire they had taken before. The researchers believed that the results supported their hypothesis. They found that: On the average, the conservatives had become more liberal. On the average, the liberals had become more conservative. The researchers wrote an article claiming that role playing caused extreme conservatives and liberals to become more moderate in their positions and more understanding of the other side. What methods call their conclusions into question?
Readings MUST HAVE TEXT AS WELL.... BAUMEISTER R.F. AD FIKEL E.J. (2010). ADVANCE SOCIAL PSY THE STATE OF SCIENCE NY OXFORD UIVERSITY PRESS. ISBN 13 978-0195381207 Textbook: Chapter 1 Baron, R. M. & Kenny, D.A. (1986). The Moderator-Mediator variable distinction in Social Psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations.
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