Research methods

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  • experiments
    • Variables
      • Extraneous: this is any factor which could influence the participants behaviour and therefore influence change in the dependant variable.
        • We can attempt to control these so that they don't affect the DV. We can do this by standardising the experiment.
      • confounding variable: if the extraneous variable does not affect the Dependant variable it is a confounding variable.
        • This study will lack internal validity because the results are not caused by the independent variable but another factor.
      • independent variable: the thing we change.
      • operationalise, this is making the varibles measurable.
        • You need to define clearly how you will measure the variables in which the hypothesis refers too.
      • dependant variable: the thing we are measuring.
    • Hypothesis
      • Alternative
        • One tailed
          • directional
          • Predicting specifically how the independent variable will affect the dependant varible
          • We tend to use words such as fewer, higher and faster
        • Two tailed
          • Non-directional
          • We tend to use words such as: difference, effect and impact
      • Null
        • The opposite of hypotheses.
        • A prediction that the independent variable will have no affect on the dependant variable.
        • Three things needed for a good null hypothesis:
          • IV and DV
          • Finish with: Any differences found will be due to chance
      • How to answer 4 mark questions,
        • How is the Independent variable   operationalised?
        • How is the DV measyred?
        • Direction of prediction: one tailed or two tailed
        • The word 'significant'
    • Types of experiments
      • Laboratory
        • Experiments conducted in artificial environments
        • Allows for easy control of varibles
        • Allows for standardisation
        • Still allows manipulating  of the IV and measuring of the DV
        • Advantages
          • Uses sophisticated equipment
          • Easy to replicate
          • Control over extraneous varibles
        • Disadvantages
          • Less ecological validity
          • more demand characterstics
          • Chances of experimenter bias
      • Field
        • experiments conducted in the participants' normal environment
        • still manipulating the variable (IV) and measuring another (DV)
        • Advantages
          • higher ecological validity
          • Reduced demand characteristics
        • Disadvantage
          • chances of experimenter bias
          • Hard to establish cause and effect
          • harder to control variables
          • difficult to replicate
      • Quasi
        • Carried out in a field or lab environment
        • Naturally occurring IV such as age.
        • Disadvantage
          • Chance of sample bias
        • advantages
          • Takes place in both field and lab.
          • No artificial modification of the IV

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