People create their own understanding of reality.
-Power of the situation
-Meaning, we create the world, but the world shapes us as well.
How is How is social Psychology distinct from other sciences?
- Focused on topics of everyday concern
- Focused on how people think and behave in general
- Uses scientific methods
- Describes events: Determine that a phenomenon does or does not exist
- Predict events: Determine the extent to which one variable can be used to predict the value of another variable (correlational studies)
- Explain events: Determine the extent to which one variable causes another (experimental studies)
How are these goals reached?
- Scientists develop THEORIES and HYPOTHESES
- A theory is an explanatory statement about a phenomenon
- A hypothesis is a specific application of the theory; it provides a testable assumption about what should happen if the theory is correct.
Steps in Scientific Investiagation
1. Identify what you want to explain/understand
E.g., Why did Americans become more patriotic following the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks?
2. Develop a theory
E.g., “Fear of death leads people to defend their cultural beliefs”
3. Develop a specific hypothesis
E.g., “When Americans are led to think about their mortality, they will defend…”
4. Design a study and collect data
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