RESEARCH IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Research in Social Psychology
smile.pngThis week you will be conducting your own “mini-study” (using a field experiment, as opposed to a laboratory experiment) to examine the power of the situation. Specifically, you will be examining the impact of nonverbal cues on social responding. This homework gives you the chance to:
Explore the expression of emotions, including individual and sex differences in such expression
Demonstrate the power of nonverbal communication
Increase awareness of how self-image is affected by the responses of others
Develop students’ skills as experimenters; and to study the influence of experimental variables.”
Your task is to look at strangers and either smile or not smile, and to record these strangers’ responses to you. Specifically, you must make eye contact with each stranger and, on the basis of a random assignment determined before you choose the stranger with whom you will make eye contact, you should smile or not smile at this person, and should maintain this eye contact for a few seconds. If the stranger has not already done so, you should end the eye contact and move away. Then, you should record whether the stranger:
neither smiled nor acknowledged your smile in any way
acknowledged without a smile — as by nodding the head or showing some other form of greeting without smiling
showed avoidance — as by looking away and avoiding further response
other, which you should describe in your notes
You should choose only one of these categories to describe each stranger’s response. You should also be sure to note the gender of each stranger and which condition he or she was in (i.e., did you smile or not?).
It is very important that you use random assignment (such as a flip of a coin) to determine whether or not you will smile at a person, and this random assignment should be done before you select the stranger with whom to make eye contact. Also, you should try to select strangers who are alone.
You must collect data on at least three men and three women in each condition (so, smile at three men, don’t smile at three men, smile at three women, don’t smile at three women – total of 12 targets).
Condition Men Women
Calculate Number of Smiles:
When the data have been collected, calculate the number and the percentage of strangers in each condition who smiled, the number and the percentage who did not smile, the number and the percentage who acknowledged without a smile, and so on. Then do these calculations separately for each condition, as well as separately for males in each condition and females in each condition. Examine your results and look for differences between conditions and between male and female strangers. Provide an interpretation of the results. Suggest a theoretical reason to account for any differences that you found between or among conditions.
Examine your results and look for differences between conditions and between male and female strangers. Provide an interpretation of the results. Suggest a theoretical reason to account for any differences that you found between or among conditions.
Discuss Your Findings:
Discuss what you learned about experimentation by conducting this “mini-study”?