Research Mehod notes for AS Psychology

Excellent set of notes to revise from. I received a B with the use of this.

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  • Created on: 26-09-08 18:05
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Research methods!
Quantitative data: information collected in a
course of a research study that is in a quantified
/numerical form
Qualitative data: information collected in the
course of research study that is non-numerical,
someone's opinion
Experimental methods
In order to find cause-and-effect relationships we
must use experimental methods
Experiment research method involving changes
to 1 variable (IV) in order to see its effects on
other variables (DV) and to establish the cause and
effect variable
IV = variable manipulated by the experimenter
DV = variable measured by the experimenter
There are 2 types of experiments:
1. Lab experiments ­ experiment carried out in
lab allowing researcher to have a high level of

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IV and to eliminate/control
confounding variables
The procedures can be easily repeated
It is easier to control EV and other
variables
Consent ­ the researcher can gain full
consent at beginning of experiment
High levels of control make it less like a
real-life situation
Demand characteristics ­ the Ps seek
cues from environment about how to
behave
Consent ­ once in a lab setting it might
become difficult to withdraw from the
procedure
2.…read more

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Ps
may be unaware that they are taking part
in a study
low control over IV and DV but also
surrounding people who might but in
convos or their presence alone could
effect results less control over EV
the results can't be generalised to other
real-life situations
no consent gained
3.…read more

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Reduction of demand characteristics as P
is unaware that they are taking part in an
experiment
The experimenter doesn't intervene
directly in the research situation
Loss of control as IV is not directly
controlled by investigator
Non-experimental investigations in psychology:-
Investigations using correlational analysis ­ the
extent to which 2 or more variables are associated
with one another. It is a descriptive technique that
measures relationships between variables.…read more

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This allows for the measurement of many
variables (environmental factors)and the
relationships between them
Not a proper research method ­ who's to say
it is correct or that variables are connected in
some way??
It is impossible to establish cause and effect
by using this correlational analysis; it can only
measure the degree of interrelationship
between the 2 variables
Naturalistic Observation ­ behaviour is observed
and recorded in its natural setting and there is no
deliberate manipulation of variables, emphasis is
on how people /animals…read more

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Observers can choose whether they remain
disclosed Ps are aware or undisclosed Ps are
unaware
Participant observation = observer actually
joins group of people being studied
Non-participant observation = observer
remains external form those being observed
Prevents time form being wasted by conducting
unrealistic experiments
Has high levels of ecological validity and realism
as long as observer remains undetected
Demand characteristics reduced
Level of control over EV is poor
Presence of an observer may change P
behaviour esp.…read more

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Now consent gained at start
Questionnaire Surveys ­ it is an organised form
of gathering data from large numbers of people. It
can be used in a wide range of research situations.
These surveys can be filled in face to face, by post,
printed in newspapers, telephone, internet etc.…read more

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V quick and large amounts of info can be
collected cheaply from lots of people in a short
time
Easy to circulate
Can be v good when combined with interview as
u get qualitative info and quantitative info!
Response rates are low
Problems with the wording of the Qs as for
some it might be difficult to understand = this
overcome by carrying out a pilot study where
such problems can be founded
Open-ended Qs doesn't allow person to
express/explore their full opinion
Leading Qs…read more

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Only a certain type of person replies, pensioners
who have spare time
If in a newspaper then only certain types of
people are prone to buy such a newspaper so
not representational
Respondent could lie
Interviews ­ common way of carrying out
research
The different types of interview
(1) Non Directive Interview =least structured,
discuss anything, interviewer guides
(2) Informal Interview = interviewer focuses on
encouraging certain issues in more depth
(3) Informal guided Interview = More structure,
know issues to be addressed but order…read more

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Clinical Interview = same Qs but chance of
follow up Qs depending on answers
(6) Fully Structured Interview = standards Qs fixed
order answers from choice, specific answers
and Qs
Issues can be explored in more depth
Complex issues can be investigated
Interviews can identify aspects of behaviour
that is private/personal
Face to face
Demand characteristic may occur
Interviewees response is limited as they are
unable to articulate thoughts clearly
Interviewer bias
Some might lie…read more

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