The role of social value orientations in decisions that affect communities
APA style empirical research reports usually consist of four main content sections: Introduction, Method, Results, and Discussion. Reports also include an Abstract at the start of the paper and a list of References at the end. The two assignments will focus on
writing these sections in a logical sequence.
In the first assignment you write the Introduction of a research report, and build an initial list of References. The introduction of a lab report explains the research question and key concepts. It presents a short literature review, summarizing relevant past research, and develops a logical argument that leads to a set of hypotheses about the anticipated results of the study. To complete this task you will need to locate and read research articles, and correctly cite and reference them.
In your second assignment you will take the data from the survey and finish the article by writing the final three sections, specifically: a description of the data collection process (the Method section); plot graphs of your data and describe what they show (a Results section); and write a Discussion where you state whether the data are consistent with your hypotheses from Assignment 1, discuss the implications of your findings, and critique the study. When you have finished you then write an Abstract summarising the whole report. Depending on what you write you may have to add to your reference list.
Assignment Topic – The role of Social Value Orientations in Decisions that affect Communities
The assignments focus on social value orientation (SVO). SVO concerns the general preferences we have for the way we deal with other people – particularly in social exchanges where the decisions we make have an impact on others. One of the most widely used measures of SVO is the Triple Dominance Measure (TDM) published by Paul Van Lange and colleagues in 1997. We will use this measure and study how it works – it is a bit different to the kinds of questionnaires you might have seen before. Understanding this instrument is one of the first tasks you will need to undertake for these assignments.
SVO has been found to predict a number of social behaviours, such as willingness to help strangers, donate to charity, etc. It is often used in studies of how individuals interact, but it has also been found to predict other kinds of more general behaviours with social implications, such as intention to recycle. In our study we will look at how it predicts people’s attitudes towards public and private transportation.
Does SVO (as measured by the TDM) allow us to predict people’s decisions in situations where their decisions could affect a large number of unknown persons (e.g., environmental, political, social issues affecting communities)?
Hypotheses and Variables
The independent variable is the participant’s social value orientation as measured by the Triple Dominance Measure (see Van Lange et al., 1997 in the starting references below).
The dependent variables are participants’ self-report opinions and perceptions about the construction of a toll road and a train line. You can read about these in the survey information which will be posted on Blackboard.
Hypotheses are generally specific and directional predictions about the pattern of independent and dependent variables. In this report we are hypothesising that some a group with social value orientation X (the IV) will have the most/least favourable attitude (the DV) towards a proposal. Because the attitude is measured in terms of an approval rating, the hypotheses will take the form:
“Those with social value orientation X are predicted to give higher mean support ratings for the toll road proposal than those with orientation Y and Z.”
You may also predict that no differences will be found, or that two groups will give similar ratings.
You must locate, read, and use the following two sources in your report:
Article Title: Development of prosocial, individualistic, and competitive orientations: theory and preliminary evidence.
Authors: Paul Van Lange, Wilma Otten, Ellen De Bruin, and Jeffrey Joireman
Journal: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Details: Published 1997, Vol 73, No 4, Pages 733-746
Book Chapter: Self-interest and beyond: Principles of social interaction
Authors: Paul Van Lange, David De Cremer, Eric Van Dijk, and Mark Van Vugt
In the book: Social Psychology – Handbook of Basic Principles
Edited by: A.W. Kruglanski and E.T. Higgins
Pages: 540-561 Available from the lead author’s web site
Note that these references are NOT in APA format. One of your early tasks will be to create correctly formatted reference for the sources you use.
Assignment 1 – Submission Requirements review about SVO and developing an argument about how it might relate to decisions that affect communities. The section should culminate in hypotheses that address the research questions. Assignment submission must contain the following components, which are weighted as indicated below. For further grading information see the Marking Rubric.
1. Assessment Cover Sheet – Mandatory
• Download the Assessment Cover Sheet from Blackboard. Copy this text to the first page of your assignment. Modify the relevant sections of text (e.g., your name, title of report, etc.). See Findlay section 5.1 on the importance of a title page. Good on the topic you are investigating and builds a logical argument leading to your hypotheses. To make this task manageable we have chosen some starter readings for you and given you some questions to help focus your review.
• Locate and read the TWO sources listed as “Starter References”.
• Find at least THREE additional articles published after 2000. In addition to these articles you may also cite textbooks for more general concepts you wish to draw on.
• Use these articles as the basis for an introduction. Your review should build an argument that leads logically to your hypotheses.
• In writing your review, consider addressing the following points:
• Describe the principle of rational self-interest or rational egoism
• Define social value orientation
• Describe/define the three orientations discussed in Van Lange et al.’s 1997 journal article.
• Describe some previous research linking SVOs to decision making or behavior.
• Hypotheses (10%)
You must develop FOUR hypotheses covering the following
1. About the road proposal: (a) Which of the three orientations you would you expect to be most supportive of the road proposal, and (b) Which of the three orientations would you expect to be least supportive of the road proposal?
2. About the train proposal : (a) Which of the three orientations you would expect to be most supportive of the
train proposal, and (b) Which of the three orientations would you expect to be least supportive of the train proposal?
You may also predict that some groups will give the same ratings, if you provide an argument to back the prediction.