Methodology

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  • Methodolgy
    • Social
      • Questionnaires
        • open - allow PPs to respond how they want
        • closed- PPs can only give set number of responses
        • Social desirability, question construction, likert scale, response bias
      • Interviews
        • Unstructured
        • Semi Structured
        • Structured
        • Researcher effects, social desirability, rapport
      • Sampling Techniques
        • Stratified
        • Random
        • Volunteer
        • Systematic
        • Opportunity
      • BPS Guidelines
        • Right to Withdraw
        • Consent
        • Confidentiality
        • Deception
        • Debriefing
        • Protection
    • Cognitive
      • IV's and DV's
        • IV = what you maniplate
          • DV = what you measure
      • Extraneous and Confounding Variables
        • Extraneous = anything, not IV which could affect result
          • Confounding = specific type of EV - systematically vary with IV
      • Lab and Field Experiments
        • Lab = controlled environment, control for EV
          • Strengths: can control EV, same for everyone, high int. validity, no deception
          • Weaknesses: low ext. validity, artificial settings, difficult application
        • Field = natural environment, where behaviour = naturally take place, still manipulation of IV etc.
          • Strengths: more realistic, high ext. validity, more likely to act natural/not alter behaviour
          • Weaknesses: low int. validity, hard to replicate, cant control EV, deception = possible
      • Experimental Designs
        • Independent Groups
          • PPs allocated to 2+ groups, diff conditions of IV
          • PPs = only takes part in 1 condition of IV
          • Issue: Individual Differences
            • Naturally different characteristics/abilities = reduce validty
          • Strengths: avoids order effects, don't become bored/tired
            • Weaknesses: more people needed, differences between groups - affect results
        • Repeated Measures
          • PPs take part in every condition of IV
          • Issue: Order Effects
            • Second condition = experience fatigue or practice effect
            • Can be overcome by counterbalancing
              • half PPs = complete condition A first, half complete B then swap
              • Using random allocation
                • Computer randomly assigns each PP to condition A/B first
          • Strengths: less people needed, reduce individual diff.
            • Weaknesses: order effects, affect Ps behaviour = reduce validity
        • Matched Pairs
          • PPs are matched on key/relevant variables eg. IQ, age
            • One member = control, other = in exp. condition
          • Better control of PPs variables
          • Strengths: avoids order effects, decrease PPs variables
            • Weaknesses: v. time consuming, impossible to identically match, if one PP drops out = lose both data
    • Biological
      • Twin Studies
        • MZ twins = share 100% genes (identical)
        • DZ twins = share 50% genes (non-identical)
        • Gottesman and Shields (1966)
          • Studies MZ and DZ twins over 16 yr period, one diagnosed with Schizophrenia, 42% at end diagnosed = MZ, 9% of twins = DZ
        • Strengths: reliability = large samples = replicable, application = whether important behaviours are inherited, validity= researchers are not manipulating DZ/MZ = reduce researcher bias
          • Weaknesses: generalisability = limited as no representable of pop, usefulness = limited rarely show concordance rate of anything like 100%, limited sample size = scale and scope
      • Nature vs Nurture Debate
      • Adoption Studies
        • Best way to measure nature/nurture
        • Correlate behaviour of adoptees with behaviour of biological family
        • Cadoret and Stewart (1991)
          • PPs more likely to have hyperactive/agg. characteristics if bio parent = convicted of crime and higher rates of hyperactivity and agg behaviour = those who had psychiatric issues in adoptive fam memebers
        • Strengths: application = whether good parenting can correct genes
          • Weaknesses:  many EVs and CVs = hard to control - validity, generalizable = not repr. of general pop. sample size = limited in size and scope
      • Brain Scanning Techniques
        • CAT/CT Scans
          • Structural only, takes 5 mins, exposed to X-rays (greater risks for children), £1m, £100-400 per scan
        • PET Scans
          • Functional only, higher and lower activity and NTs,30 mins, radioactive tracer injected, £2-3m, £200-500 per scan
        • fMRI Scans
          • Limited structural detail, functional = blood flow and activity, 30-45 mins, no exposure to radiation, takes long time = blur image, £1.9m, £500-800 per scan
        • Strengths: reliable, v accurate, standardised, high int. validity, reduce EVs, no social desirability
          • Weaknesses: ethical issues, low ext, validity, human error/bias, lacks generalisability = need large sample = not practical
      • Correlations
        • Relationship between two co-variables
        • Strengths: see if initial rel = warrant further investigation, rely on quant data = increases reliability and easy to replicate
          • Weaknesses: don't infer causal relationship, hidden variables = affect co-variable = reduce validity, quant data = lack validity - reducing complex to simple, number
    • Learning
      • Observations
        • Time sampling = observations made at regular intervals
          • may not be representative = certain behaviour = missed
        • Event sampling = recording certain behaviours every time it occurs
          • Too many instances = hard to record correctly
        • Types of Observation
          • Naturalistic vs Structured
            • own environment/ experimenter has some degree of control
          • Covert vs Overt
            • covert= PPs don't know being observed/ overt = PPs know
          • PP vs Non-PP
            • PP=  part of  group/ observer remains detached
      • Animal Research
      • Psychology as a Science
        • Objectivity and Control
        • Hypothesis Testing and Falsification
        • Empricism
        • Replicability
        • Reductionism

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