Research methods

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  • Research methods
    • Observation
      • Controlled: watching and recording behaviour in a structured environment
      • Natural: watching and recording in a natural setting
      • Covert: watching and recording without consent
      • Overt: watching and recording with consent
      • Participant: researcher becomes part of observation group
      • High EV- findings can be generalised
      • No demand characteristics- increases validity
      • Hard to replicate: less reliable
      • Ethical issues: makes people deliberately distressed
      • Not very objective: become biased
      • Example: strange situation
    • Self-report questionnaires
      • Participants answer open/closed questions in order to communicate their thoughts/feelings/experiences to the researcher
      • Cost effective- lots of data collected quickly
      • Comparisons can be made quickly
      • Easy analysis
      • Demand characteristics
      • Social desirability
      • Low objectivity
      • Example: Love quiz
    • Self-report interviews
      • Structured: pre-determined set of questions asked in fixed order
      • Unstructured: no set questions, more conversational
      • Semi structured: list of questions, has conversational feel
      • Easily replicated: results more reliable
      • Can acquire lots of  information
      • Difficult to analyse
      • Social desirability
      • Example: cognitive interview
    • Correlations
      • Researcher investigates an association between two variables: co-variables
      • Allows preparation for experiments
      • Can't be certain of cause and effect


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