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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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…

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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

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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.

Writing a research methodology…

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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 ­…

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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

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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…


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