Observation of Social Behavior
Conduct an observation of human social behavior in a public place (i.e., supermarket, church, nightclub) but not in a private area (i.e., bathroom, bedroom). Specific references should be made in the observation to principles discussed in class. These may include: altruism, attraction, conformity, gender, group influence, persuasion and/or prejudice.
Goals: In this section, list two to three goals for your observation. You might want to view social behaviors between genders; examine social behaviors among ethnic/racial groups; or determine age related social behaviors in a group. Useful terms include investigate, discover, reveal, (one page).
Research question: For this observation , you must have a specific question or set of questions that you are trying to answer. You might explore, for example, whether participants in your setting have any characteristic behaviors which are observable. In this section, state the question you are trying to answer. Your question must be detailed and specific. For example, are there distinguishable behaviors that lead a man to ask a woman to dance in a bar setting?; What are the specific behaviors of people who are paying attention in church?; Do older people influence the behavior of younger people?
Populations: Are there specific typologies that can be formed based on the social behaviors observed? For example, “Cautious Carl” is the driver who has both hands on the wheel, drives no faster than the speed limit, and maintains a serious look on his face. “Smiling Samantha” is the woman who talks to all the people she passes in the supermarket aisle.
Abstracts: Locate five abstracts from social psychological literature relating to your observation. Attach the abstracts to your paper and explain how the research helps form the research question for your observation.
Introduction (the setting): In this section, discuss the setting in which your observation will occur. Include sufficient detail so that it is clear how the setting might have affected behaviors discussed throughout the paper.
Observational sessions: In this section, detail the behaviors which occurred during your observation. You should have between 1 to 3 sessions in your setting.
Results: In this section, state the results you observed related to your research question. Also, explain why you drew the conclusions you drew based on the behaviors. Include theories from social psychology that point to these results. Discuss the influence of your own experiences on your observation results.
References: In this section, list the references you quoted in your paper. Add a bibliography of books, articles, and Web sites that you recommend regarding your observation.
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