Although best known for experimental methods, social psychology also has a strong tradition of measurement. This volume seeks to highlight this tradition by introducing readers to measurement strategies that help drive social psychological research and theory development.
The books opens with an analysis of the measurement technique that dominates most of the social sciences, self-report. Chapter 1 presents a conceptual framework for interpreting the data generated from self-report, which it uses to provide practical advice on writing strong and structured self-report items. From there, attention is drawn to the many other innovative measurement and data-collection techniques that have helped expand the range of theories social psychologists test. Chapters 2 through 6 introduce techniques designed to measure the internal psychological states of individual respondents, with strategies that can stand alone or complement anything obtained via self-report. Included are chapters on implicit, elicitation, and diary approaches to collecting response data from participants, as well as neurological and psychobiological approaches to inferring underlying mechanisms. The remaining chapters introduce creative data-collection techniques, focusing particular attention on the rich forms of data humans often leave behind. Included are chapters on textual analysis, archival analysis, geocoding, and social media harvesting.
The many methods covered in this book complement one another, such that the full volume provides researchers with a powerful toolset to help them better explore what is "social" about human behavior.