Research Methods

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  • Research methods- Psychology
    • Validity
      • Ecological validity- Whether the setting of research can be generalized to over settings
      • Mundane realism-The extent in which the research mirrors the 'real world'
      • Experiment realism- The extent to which ppts believe in the experiment set up
      • External Validity- The extent to which research can be generalized beyond the research situation
      • Population validity- Whether research can be generalized to other people
      • Internal Validity- Whether the study has measure what it has indented to measure
    • Reliability
      • External reliability- The extent to which a measure varies over time.
      • Internal reliability- The extent to which something is consistent with itself.
    • Type of experiments
      • Field experiment- Conducted in ppts own environment.Ppts are unaware that they are in an experiment
        • Advantages- Can draw casual conclusion, high ecological validity and avoids participant effects
        • Disadvantages- Less control than lab and demand characterisitcs
      • Lab experiment- Experiment conducted in specially designed enviroment
        • Advantages- Can draw casual conclusion, extraneous variables minimised and easily replicated
        • Disadvantages- Lack of mundane realism and experiment and participant effects
      • Natural experiment- Observing the effects of the IV on a DV
        • Advantages- IV can't be manipulated and enables research for 'real' issues
        • Disadvantages- Can't show casual relationships, extraneous variables and experimenter and particpiant effects
    • Experimental design
      • Repeated measure design- Participants take part in every condition
        • Good control of participant variables and few participants needed
        • Can be order effects (boredom, practice) and may guess aim of the study
      • Independent groups design- Participants only take part in one condition
        • Reduces order effects and participants are less likely to gues the aim of the study
        • No control over participant variables
      • Matched pair design- Two groups of ppts are members of one group are paired with members of the other group due to similarities
        • Avoids order effects and partially controls participant variables
        • Matching is difficult and time consuming
    • Observations
      • Naturalistic- Observations made in the natural setting
      • Controlled- Same aspects of the enviroment are controlled by researcher
        • Advantages- Can manipulate variables to observe effects and there is reduced ecological validity
        • Disadvantages- Possible investigator effects and problems with observer bias and reliability of observations
    • Behavioural Categories
      • Behavioural checklist- A list of component behaviors that are operationalised
      • Coding System- A code given to individual behaviours for ease of recording
    • Structured and unstructured observation
      • Structured- observer uses behvioural categories or sampling procedures to control of structure observation
        • Sampling Procedures
          • Event Sampling- Counting the number of times a certain behaviour occurs
          • Time Sampling- Recording behaviours at regular intervals- e.g. every 30 secs
      • Unstructured-The observer records all relevant behaviour but with no system
        • Used when behviour to be studied is unpredictable
    • Questionnaires
      • Strengths- Easily repeated so lots of people can be questioned and respondents many be more truthful
      • Weaknesses-Answers may not be truthful because of leading questions or social desirability bias and sample bias because only certain people fill out questionnaires
    • Interviews
      • Structured Interview
        • Strengths- Easily repeated, easier to analyse than unstructured interview
        • Weaknesses- Social desirability bias and answers may be influenced interviewer (interviewer bias)
      • Unstructured Interview
        • Strengths- More detailed information can be collected and can access extra information because questions are developed due to respondents answers
        • Weaknesses- More likely to be affected by interviewer bias and requires trained interviewers
    • Case Studies
      • Advantages
        • Useful for studying unusual circimstances
        • Rich, in depth data
      • Drisadvantages
        • Lacks generalisability because they are unique
        • Researcher may lack objectivity because of involvement with case
    • Ethical Issues
      • Informed consent
      • Right to withdraw
      • Protection from harm
      • Deception
      • Confidentiality
    • Quantitative and qualitative data
      • Quantitative- numbers
        • Strengths- easy to analyse, can be summarised using measures such as mean and range
        • Weaknesses- Oversimplifies human experience
      • Qualative- words
        • Strengths weaknesses- Represents true complexity of human behaviour, provide detail
        • Weaknesses- more difficult to detect patterns and draw conclusions, could be bias
    • Sampling
      • Opportunity sampling- selecting people who are most easily available at the time of the study
        • Strengths- Easiest method because using participants you can find, which means it's quicker
        • Weaknesses- Inevitability bias because the sample is drawn from a target population
      • Random Sampling- every memember of tager population has equal chance of being selected
        • Strengths-Unbiased because all members of the target population have an equal chance of selection
        • Weaknesses- May end up with a unrepresentative and therefore biases sample
      • Volunteer Sampling- produced by asking for volunteers
        • Strengths- Access to a variety of participants
        • Weaknesses- Biased- certain people volunteer

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