chapter  9
20 Pages

20 ideas for an investigation

One way of improving ecological validity might be to identify the impressions people have of a number of famous people. You could

then tell your participants that as a result of reading a number of “gossip” magazines and several tabloid newspapers you have new information about each person – something they have said or done that contrasts to their popular image. Give them that information and see if their impression changes. You could mix plausible and bizarre stories about the person, to see if the more unlikely the story is, the more people’s impression changes. Also think of positive stories (e.g., did a hundred-mile walk for charity) as well as negative stories (e.g., beat up a photographer so badly they were put into hospital). To rate them you could use adjectives, such as those Table 9.1.