Research Methods in Social Psychology
This chapter discusses the research methods used in contemporary social psychology. There are several issues common to all forms of empirical research. The chapter considers the objectives that typically underlie empirical research, the nature of the hypotheses that guide research, and the factors that affect the validity of research findings. It describes steps researchers take to increase the validity of their findings and the defining characteristics of quantitative research methods such as surveys and experiments, and qualitative methods such as observation and archival research, and be able to compare them. The chapter explains the issues that are raised when the authors undertake research on diverse groups within US society or with members of other cultures. It explains the ethical issues that are important in the conduct of social psychological research, and also describes the safeguards available to protect the rights of participants.