non-experimental research methods

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  • Non-experimental research methods
    • observations
      • definition: a study based solely on observing behaviour, which is recorded
      • Positives:
        • low demand characteristics (Ps don't know they're being watched)
        • high validity (natural behaviour)
        • high ecological validity
        • no invasion of privacy
        • often only practical/ethical method
      • Negatives:
        • not very reliable as hard to replicate
        • time consuming
        • ethical issues: no consent, discomfort, can't withderaw
        • subjectivity of observer - different interpretations, could miss behaviour
        • no control
      • types of observation
        • naturalistic observation: in natural environment
        • controlled observation: in controlled env. (strange situation)
        • participant observation: researcher part of group they are researching
      • use of categories = more consistent as less subjective
    • Self Reports
      • questionnaires
        • definition: Ps answer set of written questions
        • positives:
          • easily repeated
          • Ps more honest due to anonymity
          • v. quick to do + gain large samples
        • Negatives
          • social desirability
        • Types: open + closed Qs
      • definition: participants tell their own thoughts/behaviours
      • interviews
        • definition: a researcher asks Ps questions face to face
        • Positives
          • follow-up Qs can be asked to clarify
          • Qs can be tailored to P
        • Negatives
          • answers may be influences by interviewer
          • social desirability
        • types
          • structured: Qs decided beforehand
          • unstructured: unplanned Qs guided by P's answers
          • clinical: semi-structured (a few standard Qs
    • correlation
      • types: positive, negative, no correlation
      • correlation coefficient: strength and direction of correlation
        • ALWAYS between -1 and 1
        • either strong/weak negative, or strong/weak positive
      • definition: looking at the relationship between covariables
      • weaknesses
        • doesn't determine cause + effect relationship  (no variables manipulated)
        • may be 3rd unknown variable affecting relationship


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