Research Methods

Report
2
Chapter 3
Studying
Inclusion and Identity
Groups
Just as researchers in the natural
sciences use exacting procedures to
study aspects of the physical
environment, so do group researchers
use scientific methods to further their
understanding of groups. They
measure as precisely as possible group
processes, develop theories that
provide coherent explanations for the
group phenomenon they study, and
collect evidence to test the adequacy of
their predictions and assumptions.
 What are the three critical
requirements of a scientific approach
to the study of groups?
 How do researchers measure group
processes?
 What are the key characteristics of
and differences between case,
experimental, and correlational
studies of group processes?
 What are the strengths and
weaknesses of case, experimental,
and correlational methods?
 What theoretical perspectives guide
researchers’ studies of groups?
2 Studying Groups
Measurement
Research
Methods
Theoretical
Perspectives
Observation
Case Studies
Motivation & Emotion
Self-report
Experiments
Behavioral
Correlational
Studies
Systems
Issues
Cognitive
Biological
What Are the Three Critical Requirements of a
Scientific Study of Groups?
Reliable and valid
measurement
Research procedures to test
hypotheses about groups
Theories that organize
knowledge of groups
Measurement
Observation


William Foote White’s
study of “corner boys” in
Street Corner Society
Types:
 Overt
 Covert
 Participant
The Nortons
Doc
Bill
Danny
Mike
Long
John
Nutsy
Angelo
Frank
Fred
Carl
Joe
Lou
Tommy
Alec
Issue: Hawthorne Effects
Measurement
Observation
Types:
Qualitative vs.
Quantitative
(structured)
Example: Robert
Freed Bales
Interaction
Process
Analysis system
Measurement
Self-report
Self-report measures:
group members
describe their
perceptions and
experiences
 Example: Moreno's
sociometry method
A Sociogram
Out
In
Social network analysis
Long
John
Tommy
Carl
Angelo
Nutsy
Frank
Doc
Joe
Alex
Mike
Fred
Danny
Lou
Research Methods
Case Studies
Experiments
Correlational Studies
Issues
Research Methods
Case Studies
An in-depth
analysis of one or
more groups based
on interviews,
observation,
analysis of archival
documents, and so
on.
Example: Irving Janis’s
analysis of groupthink
Research Methods
Case Studies
Other examples
Research Methods
Experiments
Key Ingredients:
• Manipulate one or
more independent
variables
Example: Lewin,
Lippitt, & White’s
leadership study
• Measure one or more
dependent variables
• Control other
variables, as much as
possible
Strength: Causal inference
Research Methods
Correlational Studies
Example: Newcomb’s
Bennington Study
Key Ingredients:
• Measure two or more
variables
• Assess the strength
of the relationship
between the
variables
Called “correlational” studies because the findings are often
expressed in the form of a correlational coefficient
Issues
Key Characteristics of, and Differences Between
Case, Experimental, and Correlational Studies of
Group Processes

Case studies: atypical of most groups, subjective,
stimulate theory

Experiments: too artificial, not “real” groups, but
clearest test of cause and effect

Correlational studies: limited information about
causality but precise estimates of the strength of
relationships, less artificial, fewer ethical concerns
Studying Groups
Measurement
Research
Methods
Theoretical
Perspectives
Observation
Case Studies
Motivation & Emotion
Self-report
Experiments
Behavioral
Correlational
Studies
Systems
Issues
Cognitive
Biological
Theoretical Perspectives
Behavioral
Example: Social
exchange theory
Satisfaction
Level
Quality of
Alternatives
Investment Size
Commitment
Level
Stay?
Theoretical Perspectives
Systems
Example: InputProcess-Output Model
of Group Performance
Theoretical Perspectives
Cognitive
The relationship
between perceptional/
inferential processes
and group-level
processes
Example: Group
Referent Effect
Theoretical Perspectives
Biological
Brain regions recruited
during social rejection
Biological perspectives,
such as evolutionary
theory, argue that some
group behaviors may be
rooted in physiological
and neurological
processes.
Anterior insula
Chapter 2: Studying Groups
20
Measurement
Research
Methods
Theoretical
Perspectives
Observation
Case Studies
Motivation & Emotion
Self-report
Experiments
Behavioral
Correlational
Studies
Systems
Issues
Cognitive
Biological

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