Research Methods

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  • AS Psychology Research Methods
    • Definitions
      • Qualitative data - Quantities and opinions, not numerical
      • Quantitative data - Numerical quantities that can be measured
      • Independent variables (IV) - variables which values don't depend on another variable
      • Dependent variables (DV) - Variables which values depend on another
      • Control - the management of external factors so DV modification is exclusively due to the IV
      • Extraneous  variables -Undesired variables which influence the IV + DV relationship
      • Cause and effect - the relationship between actions so that they are the result of another
      • Correlation Analysis - to investigate the relationship between variables and there strength and direction
      • Reliability - how consistent the results are. if similar results occur - high reliabilty
      • Validity - Hoe accurate and representative results are
      • Aims - The studies purpose, what is being investigated
      • Hypothesis - a precise statement predicting he outcome of the study
      • Operationalisation - What is being taken as the IV + DV measure
    • Research Methods
      • Self Report Techniques- useful to find out opinions. Interviews and questioners
      • Observational Methods- natural observations in p's natural environment or controlled observation in artificial setting (lab)
    • Research Methods
      • Laboratory Experiment - carefully controlled environment  where all variables are controlled
        • High replicability, high control, high precision. Artificial and  demand characteristics
      • Field Experiment - takes pace in a naturally occurring environment with a manipulated IV.
        • Less artificial and less demand characterises on lab experiments. Extraneous variables more likely
      • Natural Experiement - observation studies to asses outcomes and impacts of natural intervention
        • P's are less conscious so less demand characteristics. likelihood of behaviour happening again is low. Low replicability
    • Ethical Issues
      • Informed consent
        • Gaining consent from child's' vulnerable person's parent/guardian
      • Deception
        • With holding information about the purpose of the study
          • Deception should be disclosed to participants prio to giving consent and right to withdraw
      • Protection from harm
        • potential threats to physical, psychology and personal beliefs/values
          • Consider study form P's perspective, pilot study and right to withdraw
      • Anonymity and confidentiality
        • P's to expect all data to be collected to remain anonymous and securely stored
          • P's should be warned prior if confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
      • Right to withdraw
        • Right to withdraw at anytime with out reason and request any data to be destroyed
          • P's should be told that they have the right to withdraw prior to the study
    • Sampling Techniques
      • Random Sampling
        • Every person in a given population has an equal chance of being chosen.Not gaurnette random, small sample can be represetitive
      • Opportunity sampling
        • Non random when researcher selects P's from a given population. Specific and controlled, good for selecting characteristics, not representitve
      • Volunteer sampling
        • P's select them selves
    • Validity
      • Internal
        • Investigator effects ,demand characteristics (interpret purpose change behaviour),social desirability
      • External
        • Population, temporal and ecological
    • Experimental Design
      • Repeated Measures
        • Same group used for both conditions. Less individual difference but practise - order effects
          • Counterbalancing - P's undertaking tasks in different orders
      • Independent Groups
        • Individual differnces, no order effects.
      • Matched Pairs
        • Groups for different conditions are matched on characteristics. no order effects, hard to achieve matched pairs
    • Graph Measures
      • Bar Charts - separate catergories
      • Histograms - frequency on continuous scale
      • Scattergrams - correlation data
    • Hypothesis's
      • Directional/ One Tailed -states which will be higher/lower
      • Non-Directional/Two Tailed - only states there will be a difference
    • Measures of Central Tendency (identify the most typical score)
      • Median - putting all scores in order and identifying middle one. may be more than one, not affected by outliers
      • Mean - adding all the scores and dividing my no. of scores. takes all date into account, affected by outliers
      • Mode - the most commonly occurring score. Not affected by outliers,docent take all data into account. may not be one
    • Measures of Dispersion (how the data is spread)
      • Range - subtracting lowest score from highest,higher the range the less representative
      • Standard Deviation - the average distance of each score from the mean. How representative the mean is. High deviation, less repetitive
    • Designing
      • Interviews
      • Questionairs
      • Observations
    • Research Method
      • Interveiws
        • face to face social interaction. Closed interview - fixed set of responses. Open interview - can deviate off topic with few structured questions
      • Questionairs
        • Written format, qualitative and quantative
          • Once developed, simple and cheap, large amounts of data can be gathered with high distribution. If wording is ambiguous P's can interpret questions, anonymous - social desirbility
      • Observations
        • Trained observers watching P's in certain situations
          • Training needed, different interpretations, little control but high replicability
      • Case Studies
        • Longitudinal exceptional circumstances, in depth investigations of individuals
          • Data has high degree of realism which can challenge theories. Lengthy in depth investigation with low replicability
      • Correlation Analysis
        • Investigate relationships between two variables
          • Can measure many variables and their direction and strength. But correlational not causal so cause and effect cannot be established
      • Meta Analysis
        • Combining and analysing the results of many different individul studies
          • High reliability

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