Psychology- Research Methods (Part 1)

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  • Research Methods Key Terms
    • The Experimental Method
      • Experimental Method- Involves the manipulation of an Independent Variable to measure the effect of the Dependent Variable
      • Hypothesis- a statement made at the start of a study that clearly states the relationship between variables
      • Directional Hypothesis- where the researcher makes clear the sort of difference that is expected between the two variables
      • Non-Directional Hypothesis- states that there will be a difference between the variables, but doesn't state the nature of the difference
      • Null Hypothesis- there will be no difference
      • Aim- General Statement of the area to be investigated
      • Independent Variable (IV)- the variable that is manipulated by the researcher or changes naturally
      • Dependent Variable (DV)- this is the variable that is measured/the variable that changes as a result of manipulating the IV
      • Operationalisation- clearly defining variables in terms of how they can be measured
    • Variables
      • Extraneous Variable- Any variable other than the IV that may have an effect on the DV
        • Situational Variable- certain aspects of the situation or the environment that may affect participants behaviour in an experiment
        • Participant Variables- when an individual characteristic of participants affect their behaviour in an experiment
        • Demand Characteristics- where a participant figures out the aims of the study
        • Investigator Effects- where the researcher may give clues to the participant unconsciously
      • Confounding Variable- Any variable other than the IV that may have had an effect on the DV after the experiment has taken place
      • Randomisation- using chance to reduce the researchers influence on the design of the investigations
      • Standardisation- the same rules apply in every condition
      • Reliability- where you get consistent results if you test a person on more than one occasion or if your results have been recorded by two or more researchers
      • Validity- whether a particular measure used in research actually measures what it claims to be measuring
    • Types of Experiment
      • Laboratory Experiment- An experiment that takes place in a controlled environment within which the researcher manipulates the IV and records the effect on the DV, whilst maintaining strict control of extraneous variables
      • Field Experiment- An experiment that takes place in a natural setting within which the researcher manipulates the IV and records the effect on the DV
      • Natural Experiment- An experiment where a change in the IV is not brought about by the researcher but would've happened even if the researcher had not been there. The researcher records the effect on the DV
      • Quasi Experiment- The IV occurs naturally and participants can not be randomly allocated in each experiment
    • Experimental Design
      • Independent Groups Design- when two separate groups of participants experience two different conditions
      • Repeated Measures- Each participant would first take part in Condition A and then Condition B
      • Matched Pairs- participants are paired together on variables related to the experiment and then one person from each pair will take part in a separate condition
      • Random Allocation- an attempt to control for participant variables in an independent groups design which ensures that each participant has the same chance of being in one condition as the other
      • Counterbalancing- An attempt to control for order effects in a repeated measures design, half the participants experience the conditions in one order, whilst the other half do it in the opposite order
      • Order Effects- fatigue, boredom and practice


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