A2 AQA PSYCHOLOGY A - RESEARCH METHODS REVISION BOOKLET

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ RESEARCH METHODS
INTRODUCTION
To be successful in Section C of your Unit 4 exam you will need to show that you are
able to carry out psychological research for yourself.
CHECKLIST OF EVERYTHING FOR RESEARCH METHODS
RESEARCH METHODS
Major features of science ­ objectivity, hypothesis testing
Validating new knowledge ­ peer review
Types of methods Lab, field, natural
Experiment designs (repeated measures etc.)
Research techniques ­ observational, selfreport,
correlational & case studies
Reliability
Validity
Sampling
Ethical considerations in research
Probability & significance
Type 1/type 2 errors
Inferential analysis
Descriptive statistics ­ measure of dispersion, graphs,
central tendency, SD
MannWhitney U test
Wilcoxon T test
Spearman's Rho test
ChiSquared test
Justification for all 4 tests
Designing your own study ­ abstract, intro, method
Analysis & interpretation of qualitative data

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ RESEARCH METHODS
THE SPECIFICATION…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ RESEARCH METHODS
MAJOR FEATURES OF SCIENCE
TERM DEFINITION
Objectivity An approach to events that is characterised by freedom from interpretative bias or prejudice. It
is a nonsubjective approach based on the assumption that there is an external reality
uncontaminated by internal interpretation
Replicability Refers to the idea that good research should be able to be repeated and similar results
achieved. Tied to the idea of reliability
Theory Facts alone are meaningless.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ RESEARCH METHODS
Type Nature & Use Strengths Weaknesses
Lab IV is manipulated by an Can draw causal conclusion Contrived, tends to lack
experimenter to observe its Extraneous variables are mundane realism
effect on the DV. These are minimised Investigator bias
highly controlled Can be easily replicated participant effects such as
demand characteristics
Field More natural surroundings, IV Can draw causal conclusion Less control
is directly manipulated by the Higher ecological validity May have demand
experimenter.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ RESEARCH METHODS
RESERACH TECHNIQUES
Method Strengths Weaknesses
Observational Naturalistic observation ­ Can study behaviour Poor control of extraneous
everything is left as where it isn't possible to variables
normal, all variables free manipulate variables Observer bias
to vary High ecological validity Low interobserver reliability
Controlled observation ­ Can manipulate variables Less natural, reduced ecological
some variables controlled to observe effects validity
by the researcher Investigator & participant
effects
Observer bias
low interobserver reliability
Content analysis ­ High ecological validity…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ RESEARCH METHODS
event. Involve s many Used to investigate Researcher may lack objectivity
different techniques unusual instances of
behaviour
Complex interactions
studied
RELIABILITY VALIDITY
INTERNAL & Internal reliability ­ is a measure of the Internal validity ­ concerns what goes on
EXTERNAL extent to which something is consistent inside a study ­ whether the researcher did
within itself (e.g.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ RESEARCH METHODS
Reliability can be improved through Observational studies are likely to have hig
training observers in the use of, e.g. ecological validity because they involve mo
coding systems natural behaviours
SELFREPORT Internal reliability can be assessed using Face validity ­ does the test look like it is
TECHNIQUES the splithalf method ­ compare a measuring what the researcher intended to
person's performance on two halves of measure? (e.g.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ RESEARCH METHODS
Difficult to do when you have
a large target population
Stratified Involves classifying the population in More representative Opportunity sampling may
sampling to categories and then choosing a than other methods lead to bias
sample which consists of participants because there is Difficult
from each category in the same proportional Timeconsuming
proportions as they are in the representation of
population, e.g.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ RESEARCH METHODS
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REASONS FOR CONDUCTING RESEARCH USING NONHUMAN ANIMALS
Animals may be studied because they are interesting in their own right and such research may
benefit animals
Animals offer the opportunity for greater control and objectivity in research procedures
Animals may be used when we can't use humans, e.g.…read more

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Corn on the Cob

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