social psychological study

For this first assignment we are asking you to carry out a social psychological study, which you will have to write up as a report. You are asked to investigate a research question that is based on one out of three social psychological theories. To ease data collection, the data you are collecting should be material that can be accessed via the internet (e.g. news sites, online newspapers & magazines, advertisements, blogs, discussion forums, social media etc.; incl. images but excl. video or sound! – if in doubt, please consult the module leader).
The three theories that you may choose from are listed below. Please, only choose one of those theories for your assignment:

• Elaboration–Likelihood Model (ELM)
• Social Identity model of De-individuation Effects (SIDE)
• Stereotype Content Model (SCM)

In order to address your research question, you are asked to use a widely used social psychological methodology (i.e. content analysis). You will need to apply social psychological theory to ground your research question and interpret your results. Similarly, the selection or sampling of your data should be in line with your research question.
You need to ensure that you follow all general requirements of this type of report. Briefly:
1. Title
2. Abstract, brief summary of your whole project
3. Introduction: you should review the relevant literature leading up to your research question
4. Ensure that your research question is grounded in social psychological theory and reflected in a testable hypothesis;
5. Method: describe and justify your methodology (e.g. brief description of material, procedure etc).Your methodology (i.e. content analysis) should be clear and replicable;
6. Results: Your statistical analysis (i.e. chi-square) should test your hypothesis; report the analyses that was carried out and the findings obtained
7. Discussion: interpret your results; relate back to the relevant literature that appears in your introduction; come to a conclusion as to how the results from your study fit with the literature and how they answer the research question; evaluate the study and methodology, as well as discuss study limitations and so on
8. References as appropriate
9. Appendix e.g. annotated material (e.g. written media, examples of images)
10. You should follow the conventional quantitative report format (i.e. Title, abstract, introduction, method –with appropriate subsections-, results, discussion, references, and appendix (e.g. written media, examples of images).

Refer to the “Report Structure” document for a detailed account of your report structure.
Useful reference:
Bryman, A. (2012) Social research methods. Oxford University Press. Chapter 13 OR
Bryman, A. (2008) Social research methods. Oxford University Press. Chapter 12
deals with “content analysis” in some detail and will provide you with research examples.

General consideration – or FAQ

Whatever theory you may select, please remember to provide a good rationale for your research, ethical issues and other appropriate conventions. This document aims to guide you in your work but is not exhaustive. Finally, the team is particularly interested in how you engage as social psychologists and develop a piece of research. Your methodology here is a tool rather than the end goal.
The mayor part of your mark will be determined by you showing that you understand and can apply social psychological theory. So please do focus on this.
Some important points to keep in mind; this is a social psychology assignment this means:
• Your assignment should demonstrate that you understand, can apply and discuss social psychological theory as covered in the lectures, seminars and associated reading. Please make sure that the focus of your assignment topic is on the social psychological theory and not any content on the internet that you are interested in.
• You are asked to take a top-down approach in this assignment. This means you will first need to decide on your theory and research question or hypothesis and then think about material on the internet that might be useful for answering your questions – not the other way around!
• It is not a dissertation project. Keep your ideas simple and clear. If you have further ideas save them for a potential larger project to be done in the future.
• Please make sure that you have read the relevant report guidelines (i.e., report structure document) before you start your assignment!
What belongs into the appendix?
• If you use written text, please copy and paste your entire material
• If you use images, only add some examples of your material
• If you do a content analysis, add the coding manual. The coding manual consists of a detailed description of the categories that you are coding, so the coding of your material could potentially be replicated by another coder than yourself yielding the same or very similar results. Please refer to the seminar slides of week 4 for details.


  • Enter the code: AE30