Social psychological research methods vary by location: in the laboratory or in the field. Also, it varies by method: correlational or experimental (David G. Myers, 2008).
A field research method is everyday situations, for example, Piliavin et al. (1969) Good Samaritanism. Laboratory research method is a controlled situation; for example, Zimbardo (1973) Stanford Prison Experiment.
A correlational method measure relationship between two or more variables: independent variable(s) and dependent variable. The independent variables are the experimental factors that the researcher can manipulate, while dependent variables are the things that the experimenter no control over, that include the outcome of the experiment (Class notes). The experimental method explores cause and effect of the study (David G. Myers, 2008).
In a decent city of New York, Kitty Genovese on her home was brutally murdered. Within half hour, on two separate occasions, she was sexually molested and stabbed to death by a man (Malim and Birch, 1998). The fact that she was crying for help must have conveyed to the 38 people who heard her screams that no-one else had gone to help her. The event spurred Lantene and Darley (1970) to conduct a Laboratory experiment, investigating two important concepts: diffusion of responsibility and pluralistic ignorance. Diffusion of responsibility is the idea that people are less likely to help when there are others; no one helps because everyone is thinkin...
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Kendra Cherry (2012). About.com. (A part of The New York Times Company) What Is Social Psychology? Available: http://psychology.about.com/od/socialpsychology/f/socialpsych.htm. Last accessed 14/02/2012
Mark Holah. (2008). Piliavin, Irving., Rodin, Judith., & Piliavin, Jane. (1969). Available: http://www.holah.karoo.net/piliavinstudy.htm. Last accessed 7th March 2012.
MalimTony and Birch Ann (1998). Introduction to psychology. London and New York : Palgrave Macmillan. 102-105, 640-642,826, 830.
Richard Gross . (February 2012). Bystander intervention in the New York subway. Psychology Review. 17 (3), 11-13. Www. Phillipallan.co.uk/magazines.
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