Psychology A2 Research Methods

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  • Created on: 28-05-13 10:04
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Psychology Revision
Validating Knowledge:
Peer Reviews:
It is the assessment of scientific work by others who are experts in the
same field. Looks at it to check the validity and level of significance of
the results.
They are performed to ensure published research is of a high quality, to
check for mistakes, data is not biased and there are no fraudulent claims.
Peer reviewing serves 3 main purposes:
1. To determine the allocation of research funding
2. The publication of research in scientific journals and books
3. Assessing the research rating of university departments
Issues of reliability, validity and sampling:
Refers to how much we can depend on any measurement
Something is reliable if the results are consistent
Inter-rater reliability: the extent to which different observers agree
on what they are assessing
Inter-observer reliability: is the extent to which there is agreement
between observers, observing the behaviours. (Similar to inter-rater
reliability but non-specific to the research method)
External reliability: obtaining the same results each time.
Internal reliability: consistency within the test.
Internal validity: how accurately a test is measured.
o How can internal validity be tested?
Concordant validity: scores of one person match score
responses from others.
Content validity: an expert tests if the questions ask what
they need to.
Face validity: psychologist tests if questions ask what
they need to.
External validity: The extent to which findings can be generalized.
Opportunity sample: participants are selected from whoever is
available at the time
Volunteer sample: participants volunteer to participate in the
investigation. The study has to be advertised somewhere e.g. poster
Random sample: participants are selected using a random number

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Ethical Issues:
Main issues are informed consent, deception and harm
To deal with ethical issues these principles need to be deal with:
o Respect: for the dignity and worth of the participants. Need to
consider privacy, confidentiality and informed consent. Initial
deception is only acceptable when it is necessary to protect the
aim of the study, but full disclosure is compulsory after the
o Competence: psychologists need to maintain high standards in
their work.
o Responsibility: psychologists are responsible for the
participant's safety.…read more

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Types of Data:
Quantitative: measures numerical data
Qualitative: measures nonnumeral data
Data Analysis:
Mean: Cannot be used with nominal data, makes use of all values but
misrepresents when affected by extreme values.
Mode: Useful with nominal data but not useful in describing when
there's multiple modes
Median: Isn't as sensitive as mean because not all values are reflected in
the median or affected by extremes.…read more


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