PSYA4 Research Methods Cheat Sheets

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All that you need to know for A2 AQA A unit 4 psychology.

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Specification Point: Notes:
The major features of Objectivity ­ objective knowledge should be free
science. of opinion or bias and based purely on empirical
Replicability ­ the ability to check and verify the
information by repeating a study.
Falsifiability ­ the ability to demonstrate that a
theory is wrong.
Validating new New knowledge is published in scientific journals
knowledge and the which act as permanent records of research.
role of peer review. It is checked by professionals in the specific field of
research who peer review it.
Only high quality work is published.
There are a few issues with the peer review system
o The rejection of new research which does not
reflect the current paradigm.
o The file drawer phenomenon ­ research which
does not support the hypothesis ends up in a
drawer rather than published.
o Reviewer bias may stop a piece from being
published ­ if the expert doesn't agree or if the
research doesn't come from a specific
institution, it may not be published.

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Research Methods Interviews and Surveys ­ choose when you need
(selecting and to get detailed information or want to know
applying appropriate in-depth responses.
methods). Observations ­ choose when you want to gather
data without largely influencing the participant's
behaviour or when you are interested in how
behaviour may appear in a natural environment.
Case Study ­ In depth study of a single person or
small group of people.
Correlational Study ­ when looking for a
relationship between two variables e.g.…read more

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Types Improving validity
Validity and Issues of.
- Internal = the controlling of variables within the - Internal = use measures or scales which have been
study, e.g. does the DV measure what it was designed to previously validated, carefully control all variables
measure? and/or run a pilot study.
- External = how well the results of a study can be - External = replicate with different groups of
generalised beyond the study itself (e.g. beyond the people/in different settings.…read more

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Scattergram ­ show the relationship between two
variables. They show the strength and direction of
the correlation.
Probability and Probability is the likelihood of something happening
Significance and is expressed between the numbers 0 and 1 (0 = the
(interpreting and event will not happen and 1 means it definitely will).
We use statistical tests in psychological research to
work out the probability of our results being due to
chance.…read more

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Nominal data is data which is put into categories (or
named), Ordinal data is data which can be put in order
(e.g. 1st 2nd, 3rd) and Interval data is data which is
obtained when there are equal measurements on a scale
e.g. cm or seconds.
Mann-Whitney ­ if you have an independent groups
design, are looking for a difference between two sets of
data and have ordinal/interval data.…read more

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­ reflect on what the data tells
How to report a A published psychological report contains the following
psychological sections (in order) ­ Title, Abstract, Introduction,
investigation. Method, Results, Discussion, References and
Appendices.…read more

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Writing a Big One! (10/12 marker)
What to include if asked to write up a methods section:
o Not strictly necessary but a nice addition if you want an A!
o Stating a directional or non-directional hypothesis would be fine but you may also wish to include a null hypothesis to really
show off
o Lab/Field/Natural Experiment
o Independent Groups/Repeated Measures/Matched Pairs
o IV and DV
o Control of any extraneous variables
o Dealing with any ethical issues
o Sample size
o…read more

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Whether the hypothesis/es can be accepted or rejected based on the results of the statistical test.
(don't worry, you don't need to remember this list...…read more

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Areas I most need to work on: Areas I am confident
in:…read more




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