G544 OCR A2 Psychology: Approaches and Research Methods

A brief overview of the content of the exam, section A and B. Including hypothesis, procedure, statistics, methods, designs, ethics, strengths and weaknesses of approaches and perspectives and debates. 

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Preview of G544 OCR A2 Psychology: Approaches and Research Methods

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Research Methods and ApproachesUnit: G544
Research Methodology
Framing an operationalized hypothesis
Research hypothesis: This develops from the research question.
Experimental hypothesis: This is so called because it should clearly state what is
going to be measured.
Null hypothesis: This is used when statistical tests are included in the research
design. It is a statement of `no difference' that the statistical test will prove or
One-tailed hypothesis: This has a direction.
Two-tailed hypothesis: This has no direction.
Research designs
Quantitative methods: Involve counting or giving numerical values to what is being
measured; these can be argued as being objective measures that may be available for
statistical analysis.
Qualitative methods: Focus on the subjective views of the participants and involve
recording thoughts and feelings.
Independent measures: When different participants are used in different conditions.
Repeated measures: When the same participants are used in two or more conditions.
Matched pairs: As independent measures but the participants have been matched
according to the variable that is being investigated.
Laboratory experiment: Precise controlled manipulation of the independent variable
in a lab setting.
Field experiment: As above but in a natural setting.
Self-report: Participants record their own thoughts and feelings.
Questionnaire: Written open or closed responses to researcher's questions.
Observation: Observations can be in natural settings or in controlled environments.
The participants may also be involved.
Case study: Detailed study that involves the collection of a wide variety of data on an
individual or small group.

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Research Methods and ApproachesUnit: G544
Samples and sampling
Random: Identifying the entire target population and then selecting from this total
group. It is important that each member of the group has an equal opportunity to be
Opportunity: Involving those participants who are in the target group that the
researchers first meet.
Self-selected: Using volunteers recruited through adverts.
Snowball: Allowing one participant to lead the research to the next participant.
1.…read more

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Research Methods and ApproachesUnit: G544
have the same experiences. The procedure should be sufficiently detailed to enable
similar conditions to be set up by other researchers.
This involves splitting the sample so that there is an equal chance of any condition
being first or last.…read more

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Research Methods and ApproachesUnit: G544
Independent Measures Chi-square Man-Whitney U
Repeated Measures/ Sign Test Wilcoxon
Matched Pairs
Cognitive: considers mental processes.
This is a useful area of study and cognitive psychologists work in a wide range of
fields: developmental, social and clinical ­ so it is quite holistic. The experimental bias
provides rigorous findings.
Research is often not ecologically valid. Can be reductionist in the sense it tries to turn
complex processes into simple models.…read more

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Research Methods and ApproachesUnit: G544
The research produced is often clearly related to real-life situations. The context of
social psychology research makes the findings interesting to many people. A wide
range of evidence was been obtained.
It is dangerous to make wide-ranging generalisations across all social groups. It can
reduce the importance of the individual. Has been dominated by old `classic' studies.
Individual differences: highlights the diversity of human behaviour.…read more

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Research Methods and ApproachesUnit: G544
Reductionism vs holism: Should psychologists study and understand the whole
person or concentrate on the smallest unit that is responsible for behaviour?
Nature vs nurture: Which has more impact on our development, our genes or our
Ethnocentrism: Is psychological research based too heavily on certain ethnic groups?
Psychology a science?: Is psychology a science and should it follow the `rules' of
Individual vs situational explanations: What makes people do what they do:
themselves, or the situation they are…read more


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