OCR Psychology Investigations Strengths Weaknesses

Strengths and weaknesses of self report, observation and correlation

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  • Created on: 30-04-11 07:06
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Strengths of Self ­ Report Weaknesses of Self-Report
Information is obtained directly from Closed questions may force people to
participant rather than a researcher give inaccurate responses (as their true
interpreting data response is not given as an option)
Closed questions are easy to score and Open questions are difficult to analyse
analyse using correlation or
Easy to replicate e.g. questionnaires Questions may be interpreted differently
by different participants
Large amounts of data can be collected Answers may be inaccurate due to :
easily and quickly
Social Desirability bias -respond in a
manner that is viewed favourably by
Acquiescence bias ­ respond positively
to increase the number of yes
responses, or to be in agreement with
the imagined point of view of the
researcher or interviewer.
Response set - answer questions in the
way they think the questioner wants
them to answer
Strengths of Observation Weaknesses of Observation
Observations in a natural environment Can be subject to observer bias ( e.g.
where people are unaware they are being observer only recording behaviour he
observed have high ecological validity wanted to see in a participant) observers in
eve black tried to find as many differences
between personalities rather than similarities
Observations in a natural environment
Where people are unaware they are being Can be difficult to ensure inter-rate
observed have low demand reliability (the extent to which observers
characteristics agree behaviours should be categorised)
Useful where it is difficult/unethical to
manipulate variables (Sperry) Lack of control over confounding
variables (field/natural experiment)
Can produce "rich" data (case study,
field/natural experiment) Difficult to draw "cause and effect"
conclusions (field/natural experiment)
Can be used as a starting point for
research as an experimental hypothesis Could suffer from demand characteristics
may be generated if participants know they are being
Difficult to replicate as it is almost
impossible to find the same situation

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Strengths of Correlation Weaknesses of Correlation
Can give information about the strength No conclusions about "cause and effect"
and the direction of a relationship can be drawn as researcher is not
between two variables manipulating variables
Useful where it is difficult/unethical to Other methods may have been used to
manipulate variables measure variables (e.g.…read more


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