PSYC2020 in-class experiments

Generally helpful materials:

Week #1: Replication Crisis


  1. Course reading: Book chapter: Replication Crisis in Psychology

Week #2: Morality

  1. Hindsight bias
    1. Takeaways:
      1. We think we knew the answer all along even when we didn't/don't.
  2. Why do people cheat?
    1. How we study cheating
    2. Takeaways:
      1. You can study unethical behavior in the lab
      2. There are some fascinating findings in behavioral ethics social psychology studies.
  3. Who cheats more?
      1. Takeaways:
        1. We all cheat
        2. We all cheat about the same
  4. Cheating behaviors (you versus average HKU student)
    1. Takeaways:
      1. We lie and yet still think of ourselves as good honest people
      2. Justifying own unethical behavior
  5. Experiment: Employee versus manager manipulation
    1. Unethical judgments depend on context/perspective and individual differences
    2. You need to understand the social context
  6. Morality in every day life
    1. Takeaways:
      1. Understanding morality is very important for everyday life, in everything we do
    2. Fundamental attribution error bias
  7. Morality of self-driving car
    1. Takeaways:
      1. Understanding morality is very important for everyday life, in everything we do
      2. We make moral decisions all the time, even when not realizing it
      3. A good example, is when faced with having to articulate decision for a machine, very uncomfortable and confusing


Week #3: Judgment and Decision Making

  1. Cognitive illusions
    1. Akiyoshi Kitaoka
  2. Judgment and decision making cognitive biases
    1. Free money experiment
      1. Bias: Escalation of commitment
      2. Cooperation versus self-interest
    2. Heuristics: Availability Heuristic
    3. Heuristics: Representative Heuristic Bias
    4. Bias: The decoy effect
    5. Bias: Ease of Recall Bias
    6. Bias: Retrievability Bias
    7. Bias: Framing effects (Prospect Theory)
    8. Bias: Anchoring effect
    9. Bias: Action effect
    10. Theory: Norm Theory (Kahneman & Miller, 1986)


  1. Course reading: Book chapter: Judgment and Decision Making

Week #4: Social cognition and attitudes

  1. Stereotypes and consistency
    1. Riddles experiment
      1. Riddle Me This (Skorinko, 2018, PLT)
      2. The case of stumpers (Bar-Hillel etal, 2018, JDM)
      3. Takeaways:
        1. We can study this in the lab using simple (fun) experiments.
        2. We all have these biases.
    2. Implicit association test
      1. Takeaways:
        1. Difference between explicit and implicit jugdments.
        2. There are tools to study either.
        3. They don't always correlate, both not always strongly correlate to behavior.
    3. Country face detection
      1. Website: Alllooksame
      2. Website: Face research
      3. Takeaways:
        1. Stereotypes don't always work and can lead to wrong judgments.
        2. People generally randomly guess country of origin.
        3. On average, the variations in appearance are very subtle, and all judged as attractive.
  2. Lie detection
    1. Takeaways:
      1. There are some behaviors we associate with lying
      2. We are generally very bad at detecting lies
      3. If we are to make evaluations, we need to know the baseline (person) well and rely on objective quantifiable measures.
      4. Bias: Truth bias, we are inclined to believing others and trusting.
  3. Intuitions about life/physics/math
    1. Takeaways:
      1. Are often biased and wrong. Again, we need objective reliable trustworthy sources rather than our intuitions.


  1. Course reading: Book chapter: Social cognition and attitudes

Week #5: Persuasion and manipulation

  1. Influence tactics
    1. The 6 influence tactics by Robert Cialdini
    2. Effects
      1. Contrast Effect
      2. Scarcity Principle - importance of loss aversion and competition
      3. Consensus Principle - importance of similarity
      4. Consistency Principle - importance of active and public commitment
      5. Reciprocity Principle - importance of tailored, significant, and unexpected
  2. Manipulation techniques
    1. Foot-in-the-door [FITD] (Freedman & Fraser, 1966)
    2. Door-in-the-face [DITF] (Cialdini)
    3. Low-balling [LB] (Cialdini)
    4. That’s not all [TNL](Burger, 1986, 1999)
    5. Creating similarity [CS]
  3. Nudging
    1. Defaults (Opt in opt out in organ donations)
    2. Focusing attention (urinals)
    3. Perception and context (plate size)
    4. Social information (tax compliance)


  1. Course reading: Book chapter: Persuasion

Week #6: Cooperation

  1. Economic games
    1. The homo-economicos hypothesis - actors are fully rational
    2. Game theory games to study economics and show deviation from the neo-classic economics hypothesis
      1. Dictator game
        1. Dictator (giving) game (the classic)
        2. Social change 1: Dictator (taking) game
        3. Social change 2: Dictator (giving) game (the classic), but public
        4. Social change 2: Dictator (taking) game, but public
      2. Ultimatum game
        1. Social change: Ultimatum game, but public
      3. Trust game
      4. Prisoner's dilemma
        1. Social change 1: Prisoner's dilemma, but with a judge
        2. Social change 2: Multiple rounds (learning, adjusting)
    3. Demos


  1. Course reading: Book chapter: Cooperation

Class #7: Helping / Prosocial behavior

  1. Misalignment between what we expect from society/others and ourselves
  2. Misalignment between causes of deaths (people affected) and funding to address.
  3. Differences in helping between countries - not what you thought
  4. Ruining a 1000US$ suit to help a drowning child versus donating 1000US$ to save a girl from South America
    1. The importance of relatability, statistics versus faces/names/people
  5. Risking your life to help others
  6. The bystander effect (Darley & Latané, 1968)
    1. Hurdles to helping those in crisis
  7. Biases
    1. Identifiability
    2. Compassion fade & psychic numbing (Slovic, 2007; Västfjäll, Slovic, Mayorga, & Peters, 2014);
    3. Scope neglect (Desvousges, Johnson, Dunford, Boyle, Hudson, Wilson, 1992)
    4. Proportion over number (Slovic et al., 2002)
    5. Futility thinking (Fetherstonhaugh, Slovic, Johnson, & Friedrich, 1997)
  8. Videos:
hku_psyc2020_in-class_experiments.txt · Last modified: 2018/03/19 05:02 by filination
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