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Exam: PSYA1 Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research
Methods









Research
Methods
PSYA1: Cognitive Psychology, Developmental
Psychology and Research Methods

This booklet contains descriptions and evaluations of anything to do with research
methods, alongside guidance on how to put things into practice.




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Page 2

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Exam: PSYA1 Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research
Methods




Contents
What the specification says: 2
Research in psychology; aims, sampling, ethical issues, validity, 4
reliability, pilot studies
Methods in Psychology:
Experiments 12
Correlations 21
Self-reports (questionnaires and interviews) 25
Observations 30
Content analysis 37
Case studies 39
Analysing and presenting…

Page 3

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Exam: PSYA1 Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research
Methods




What the specification says:
Candidates will be expected to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the
following Research Methods, their advantages and weaknesses:
Experimental method, including laboratory, field and natural experiments
Studies using a correlational analysis
Observational techniques
Self-report techniques including questionnaire…

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Exam: PSYA1 Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research
Methods




Analysis and interpretation of quantitative data: measures of central
tendencyincluding median, mean, mode and measures of dispersion including
ranges andstandard deviation
Analysis and interpretation of correlational data. Positive and
negativecorrelations and the interpretation of correlation coefficients
Presentation of qualitative data
Processes…

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Exam: PSYA1 Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research
Methods




Research in psychology

All research will begin with an aim. This is written as a formal statement of what
you intend to investigate. Sometimes researchers will have one specific aim other
times there may be several aims linked to the overall…

Page 6

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Exam: PSYA1 Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research
Methods




Random sampling
The researcher has access to all members of the identified target population- e.g.
via a sampling frame such as the electoral register, college list etc. Selection of
participants is then based on:
manual selection (names from a hat)
the…

Page 7

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Exam: PSYA1 Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research
Methods




Ethical issues
These are the guidelines set out by the BPS British Psychological Society which tell
psychologists how they can and can't treat participants in research.
When designing practicals, you need to be able to:
Identify possible ethical issues/problems with the…

Page 8

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Exam: PSYA1 Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research
Methods




between the results of the two tests. For example, correlating the results from the
same people tested by a new intelligence test and an older established one.

Internal validity: the extent to which a study is free of bias
Controls: reduce…

Page 9

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Exam: PSYA1 Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research
Methods




When you assess the reliability of a measure, you should consider the
following:
Were standardised procedures used?
Were standardised instructions used?
Were the tasks standardised?
Was the scoring/measurement standardised?
Were there any problems or biases in the way that the tests…

Page 10

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Exam: PSYA1 Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology and Research
Methods




Methods in Psychology

Experiments
Aim to see if a change in the dependent variable (measured behaviour) was caused
by an independent variable
IV is the thing we think is the cause of a behaviour/change in
behaviour
DV is the behaviour we…

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