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Methods of investigation
Experiment
Researcher manipulates the independent
variable to measure the effect on the
dependent variable.
+ Only method that can reliably establish
cause and effect
+ Objective
- Low levels of ecological validity and
construct validity
- Risk of demand characteristics…read more

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Methods of investigation cont...
Self-report
Examples include interview or questionnaire,
where participants report on own behaviour.
+ Allows access to private thoughts and
feelings
+ Can discover potential actions without
having to set a situation up to test it
- Can be unreliable due to participant
variables
- Potential researcher bias due to questioning
and language…read more

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Methods of investigation cont...
Observation
Watching a participant and recording their
behaviour.
+ Possible to directly study behaviour rather
than relying on self-report methods
+ High ecological validity as natural settings
are observed
- Can only measure overt behaviour
- Potential observer bias
- Observer effect may lead to unreal
behaviour…read more

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Methods of investigation cont...
Correlation
Measuring two naturally occurring variables
to establish a relationship.
+ Can statistically analyse naturally occurring
phenomena
+ Reliable measurements on strength and
direction of the relationship of the two
variables can be made
- Cannot establish cause and effect
- Quantifying variables can affect the
construct validity of the findings…read more

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Methods of investigation cont...
Case study
Studying one person, group or
organisation in detail.
+ Efficient method as it only takes one
case study to disprove a theory
+ High validity as research offers detailed
insight into naturally occurring but rare
phenomena
- Cannot generalise due to small samples
- Subjective e.g Freud's 'Little Hans' study…read more

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