PSYA4 Research Methods

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  • Research Methods
    • Scientific process
      • Indiction
        • Reasoning from the particular to the general e.g. Newton's laws
        • Observation, hypothesis, conduct a study, draw conclusion & then propose theory
      • Deduction
        • Reasoning from the general to the particular e.g. psychology
        • Observations, propose theory, hypothesis, conducts a study & draw conclusion
    • Features of science
      • Reliability
        • If an experiment is repeatable & original results are found then it is valid.
      • Objectivity
        • Observations & experiments should be unaffected by bias
      • Empiricism
        • Info should be gained through direct observation & investigation
      • Control
        • Research attempts to find casual relationships. Other variables must be controlled
      • Theory constrution
        • Uses facts to construct theories to help understand &
    • Peer review
      • The assessment of scientific work and research by experts within the same field before publication
      • Ensures published research is of high and valid quality. Prevents fraudulent & dangerous research entering society
      • It isn't always possible to find an expert. Bias in review. File draw effect.
    • Research design
      • Research method
        • Experimental
          • Laboratory
            • Experiment in controlled enviroment
            • High internal validity; good replicability; cause & effect shown
            • Low ecological validity & mundane realism & experimenter effects
          • Field
            • Experiment in a natural enviroment
            • Reduced experimenter effects & increased external validity
            • Demand characteristics & less control
          • Natural
            • Uses existing IVs
            • No experimenter effects & increased external validity
            • Reduced validity; no control; no replicaiton
        • Non-experimental
          • Questionnaires & interviews
            • Series of questions to find out current/retrospective data. Structured or un-structured. Open or closed questions.
            • Easy & quick to collect lots of data
            • Ppts lie, low control, extraneous variables, low response rate
          • Observation
            • Behavioural categories used to record behaviour. Time or event sampling. Covert or overt. Participant or non-ppt.
            • Quantitative & Qualitative data & info is detailed
            • Obersiver bias, low control & possible ethical issues
          • Correlation
            • Identifies relationships between co-varibles
              • Cause & effect can't be established. Lack internal validity
            • Can use large sets of data= more reliable & high pop validity
          • Case studies
            • Detailed studies of a person or small group uses various methods
            • Qualitative & quantitative data, very detailed, longditudinal
            • Low pop validity & retrospective data
          • Meta-analysis
            • Analysis of many studies, used to draw overall conclusions
            • Lots of data=  high pop validity
            • File drawer effect
      • Sampling
        • Opportunity
          • Ppts who are most easily available
          • Easy & quick
          • Not representative
        • Volunteer
          • People asked to be ppts
          • Can have variety. Quick & easy
          • Sample bias
        • Random
          • Target identifies, then every one has an equal chance of being picked
          • Un-biased sample
          • Time consuming, not necessarily representative & expensive
        • Stratified & Quota
          • Sub-groups identified & ppts picked randomly (strat) or with opportunity (quota)proportionate to their representation in population
          • Represntative
          • Very time consuming, very difficult
    • Validity
      • If something measures what it is supposed to be measuring
        • Internal- If the findings are due to manipulation of variables
        • External- If findings can be generalised to different settings
      • Face validity
      • Concurrent validity
      • Population validity
      • Ecological validity
    • Ethics
      • Informed consent
      • Deception
      • Right to withdraw
      • Protection from harm
      • Confidentiality
      • Privacy
    • Data analysis
      • Graphical represnation
        • Bar chart for nominal
        • Histogram for continuous
        • Frequency polygon for multiple sets of data
        • Scatter grams for relationships between co-variables
      • Probability & significance
        • Significance- if the results couldn't have arisen by chance they are significant
        • Type 2 error- (negative) call results not sig when they are
        • Type 1 error- (positive) calls results sig when they aren't
      • Statistical tests
        • Nominal- chi-squared
        • Correlation- Spearman's Rho
        • Independent Groups- Mann-Whitney
        • Repeated measures- Wilcoxon
      • Qualitative data
        • Watch/read qualitative data
        • Create coding themes to record certain behaviour
        • Tally the behaviour
        • Analyse the data
      • Reports
        • Abstract- A summary of the study & its components
        • Introduction & aim- What the research intends to study
        • Methodology- detailed description of the procedure
        • Results- what was found
        • Discussion- Explanations, limitations of research & practical uses
        • References- any journals/books used
    • Reliability
      • Refers to how consistently a measure measures something
        • Internal- if a test method is consistent
        • External- Refers to if it is consistent over time

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