AQA Psychology Unit 1 Research Methods Notes

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Jemini Barchha
Psychology ­Research Methods
Independent Variable= The variable that is manipulated in an experiment
Dependent Variable= The variable that you measure in an experiment
Experimental Hypothesis= A precise, testable statement about the expected outcome of
the experiment (that IV will affect the DV)
Null Hypothesis= States that there will be no difference between experimental conditions
Directional and Non-Directional Hypothesis'=
Directional- One tailed > Non-Directional- Two tailed > or <
Predicts the way the results will turn out Just says there will be a difference between
Predicts which group will do better Do not know which will do better
Uses phrases such as: Uses phrases such as:
-Faster than... -A difference between that...
-Higher than... -Will affect...
-Greater than...
-More than...
Operationalising a Variable: Making something clear/unambiguous
Types of Experiments: Lab, Field and Natural
Laboratory Experiments: -Controlled setting (artificial)
-Controlled conditions
-Manipulating IVs
-Keep everything the same
e.g. temperature, lighting
High degree of control Lacks ecological validity
-Reduces extraneous variables -Experiment taken place in a controlled
-IV affects DVs setting which cannot be artificial,
-Establishes cause and effects therefore cannot apple to real-life
Easy to replicate Increases demand characteristics
-As there is control of other variables. -Easier to guess the aim as it is a
-Operationalized controlled environment
experiment/standardised procedure -This may affect the participant's
behaviour, affecting the results
Field Experiments: -Participant's own environment
-Manipulating IVs
-Can't control all extraneous variables
Has ecological validity Less control
-Experiment can be applied to real life -Greater chance of extraneous variables,
as it takes place in the participant's as it is in the participant's own
own environment: see natural environment.
behaviour -Harder to establish cause & effect

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Reduces demand characteristics Hard to replicate
-As participant's are in their natural -Can't control all variables in a natural
environment, so it is harder to the setting
guess aim from cues
Natural (Quasi) Experiments: -Quasi= Cannot manipulate IVs
-Group comparison
-Naturally occurring
e.g.…read more

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Jemini Barchha
No individual differences Time consuming
-Matched participants in every -Takes a long time to match people.
variables, except independent Changeable.
variables, e.g. mood, IQ, etc.
Reduces demand characteristics
-As different participants are used
Extraneous Variables
Participant variables:
=Individual differences
E.g. Age, personality, ethnicity, experience, IQ, mood, memory, gender
How to control this
1. `Sample' control:
Sample large and randomly to gain representative samples
2. Design control:
Use repeated measures or matched pairs
3.…read more

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Jemini Barchha
supposed to measure
Criterion/Concurrent validity
=Is a way of assessing validity by comparing the results with another measure
External Validity:
=Can the findings be generalised beyond the present study?
Ecological validity
Refers to the extent to which the findings can be generalised beyond the present situation
Population validity
Refers to the extent to which the findings can be generalised to other populations
Temporal validity
Refers to the extent to which findings can be generalised to different times
Random Sampling= Where every member…read more

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Jemini Barchha
Qualitative Data=Descriptive data >> Allows for elaboration, thoughts and opinions
Frequency tables= Creating a tally or total for each value of the data
E.g.…read more

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Dispersion: Range and Standard Deviation
Range= The difference between the highest and the lowest `score'
Quick and easy the calculate Doesn't include all of the results
-Doesn't take up time -Less reliable
Outliers distort the results
-Less accurate
Standard deviation= Measures the spread of data collected around the mean of the data
Uses all results Distorted by outliers, which could skew
-More accurate- we can see the spread normal distribution
of data -Less reliable
Questionnaires vs.…read more

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Jemini Barchha
Ethical Issues
Informed consent=
-Should be briefed with as much information as possible about a study to enable them to
make an informed judgement as to whether to take part or not
-Lying about the aim
-Should only be used if there is no alternative
Right to withdraw
-Must make participants aware that they are free to leave a study at any time
-They can also refuse permission for their data to be used
Protection from physical and psychological harm=
-Participants' psychological…read more

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Easy to plot results
-Numerical data
Open questions:
=Allows for the participant to elaborate
-E.g. Why? Explanation? How?
Detailed Difficult to analyse
-Gives researcher deeper understanding into -Qualitative data, so you have unique
studied topic responses from your participants
-Need to turn into quantative data
Studying Using Correlation Analysis
Observational Methods
Naturalistic observation= Naturally occurring behaviour observed in natural setting
Controlled observation= Behaviour observed in a controlled setting, e.g.…read more

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Non-participant observation= Observer remains outside the group being observed
Overt (Disclosed)= Participants aware they are being observed
Covert (Undisclosed)= Participants unaware they are being observed
Structured observation= Researcher determines precisely what types of behaviour are to
be observed and constructs a standardised checklist
Unstructured observation= Data gathered in unplanned
The Coding System
=E.g.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY UNIT 1: ATTACHMENT Chapter 3/3Jemini Barchha
Due to distorted intra-family relationships, hostility, discord or lack of
Research into institutional care
Hodges and Tizard
o Natural experiment
o No IV manipulation
>>Raised at home/institute
o Institution: High staff-turnover -> Different staff, so no
children-staff bond
o 65 Children were placed in an institution when they were less than 4
months old
o Little opportunity to form bonds with the staff due to the high
o Age 4: 24 had been adopted
o…read more


Lizzie archibald

These are so helpful!

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