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Research Methods

A sample ­ A slice of the target population

Target Population ­ Known population that the test is specified too (eg. Children)


Validity ­ An experiment is valid if it measures what it is has been designed to measure (eg. Age and
effect on memory)

Internal Validity…

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Volunteer Sampling ­ Placing an AD or notice to promote the experiment so participants come
forward willingly, again is a biased way of getting participants because they either have time on their
hands or a lot of free time, but they are more motivated and has less order effects on…

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Hypothesis of an experiment/test

Experiment Hypothesis ­ A testable statement, a prediction

Aim ­ What the researcher intends to investigate (purpose)

Directional Hypothesis ­ A specific difference; stating the outcome of the study, one way or the
other "Participants will..."

Non-Directional Hypothesis ­ Predicts a different but isn't specific "There…

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+ Fewer Participants needs

+ The participants are the same so less time consuming

+ Not as big of a sample size

- Order effects

- Demand Characteristics

Independent Group Design ­ Split into two separate groups, both in different conditions this is used
to compare two sets of results.…

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Unstructured Observation ­ No decision beforehand so records nothing, relies on memory recall.

Naturalistic Observation ­ Researcher doesn't manipulate the setting as they won't to observe the
natural behaviour.

Open Questions ­ Participant is free to write the answers they wont to give, this is a detailed

Closed Questions…

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Cannot be used with nominal data (Categories)

Good and Bad points about MEDIAN:

+ The median is not affected by extreme values

Not all the data is used, so the median may misrepresent the data

Good and Bad points about MODE:

+ It is the only measure of central tendency…

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Strengths & Weaknesses of Content Analysis

+High ecological validity because based on what people do.
+Can be replicated easily because sources are publicly available.
-Observer bias reduces objectivity.
-Likely to be biased because sample will have particular characteristics eg. Drawn from one historical
period or from one culture.


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