Research Methods

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  • Research Methods
    • Types of Experiments
      • Lab Experiment
        • Replicability of procedure- carefully designed and reported so can be repeated by other researchers.
        • Control over variables -easier in lab than other settings.
        • Loss of Validity= artificial therefore different to real life.
        • Demand characteristics- participants aware of experiment, may change behaviour.
        • Artificial environment-low realism
      • Field Experiment     (Controlled experiment conducted outside a lab)
        • Reduction of demand characteristics- less conscious they're part of a study
        • Easier to generalise from results
        • Weak Control of extraneous variables - Replications difficult
        • Can be Costly and time consuming
      • Natural Experiment
        • Reduction of demand characteristics as participants less conscious
        • Can be used when unethically acceptable to manipulate the independent variable
        • Lacks control- difficult to establish cause + effect
        • No control over allocation of participant groups
    • Variables
      • Independent Variables (IV)
        • The variable the experimenter has control over.
      • Dependent Variable
        • What is measured in the experiment and what's affected during the experiment
      • Extraneous Variables
        • Undesirable variables that influence relationships that an experimenter examines.
    • Experimental Design
      • Independent Groups (participants allocated to two or more conditions)
        • Lots of participants needed- More representative
        • No order effects- participants unlikely to be bored or tired in design which may affect results
        • Cannot account for participant variables
        • Requires more participants so study may take longer
      • Matched Pairs Design (Attempts to match participants in each condition on basis of age, gender, intelligence etc)
        • Matching participants may help control for individual differences
        • Design better suited when repeated design may not work due to order effects
        • Matching is time consuming and still may be participant variables
        • Sample may be smaller as trying to match participants across similar traits may be difficult
      • Repeated Measures Design (Uses same participants in all conditions)
        • Complete control of participant variables
        • Requires less group members as simply re-use same participants
        • Order effects may occur-participants may become better in second condition
        • Participants may display demand characteristics if study results in them guessing what the study is

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