psychology- observations (research methods)

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  • psychology- observations
    • controlled observations
      • Observations can occur as part of a laboratory study
      • naturalistic observations
        • Most observations measure naturally occurring behaviour - no manipulation of the IV. These are called
        • POITIVE: high ecological validity
        • NEGATIVIE: lacks control
      • psychologists observe behaviour but remain inconspicuous and do nothing to change or infer it
      • in order to conduct an observation, you must operationalize your variables. you must create behavioural categories in order to do this
      • POSITIVE: high level of control
        • NEGATIVE: low ecological validity
    • collecting data- structured
      • when observers operationalize behaviour into behavioural categories and create a behavioural check list
      • collecting data- unstructured
        • when the observer simply writes down everything they see- it provides rich in depth detail
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    • event sampling
      • counting the number of times a particular even occurs
      • time sampling
        • recording behaviour in pre established time frame
    • main problem of observations is observer bias
      • This is where different experimenters interpret behaviours differently. If observers know the purpose of the study they may see what they want to see. This would lead to the results becoming invalid
      • how to overcome observer bias
        • operationalize terms and behaviour
        • use double blind procedure
        • use a pilot study
        • inter-observer reliablity


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