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Psychology Notes Jessica Goodman

Research Methods

Psychological researchers must stick to an ethical guideline set by the
British Psychological Society (BPS)
They deal with ethical issues by:
o Ethical codes ­ legal set of rules
o Ethical Committees ­ group of people who decide whether a study is

Page 2

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Psychology Notes Jessica Goodman

1. The researcher manipulates an IV in order to investigate a change in
the DV.
2. All other variables are controlled, held constant or eliminated.
3. Ps are allocated to the experimental conditions randomly.
To ensure that the IV is the only variable affecting the DV,…

Page 3

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Psychology Notes Jessica Goodman

Advantages Disadvantages
Improved ecological validity Establishing Controls
Reduction of demand Generalising to other situations
Use of technical equipment

Natural Experiments

Where the IV occurs naturally the experimenter doesn't manipulate with
it just records the effect of the IV on the DV.
Can be used…

Page 4

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Psychology Notes Jessica Goodman

Observational techniques

Simply observing something.
Can be part of a laboratory study.
Two main types:
1. Participant observation
Observers become involved in the behaviour of those being
Overt ­ where people are told they are being observed
Covert ­ where Ps remain unaware of being…

Page 5

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Psychology Notes Jessica Goodman

Statistical analysis
Question order
Question formation
Pilot study
Measurement scales


Involve researchers asking questions in face-to-face situations.
3 types:
o Structured ­ questionnaire is read to Ps and interviewer writes
down response and all interviews are identical for each Ps.

Page 6

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Psychology Notes Jessica Goodman

Other research methods:
Longitudinal studies
Cross-cultural studies

Investigation Design
Key Terminology

Null hypothesis suggests that that difference or effect from the study occurs by
Alternative hypothesis suggests that the hypothesis that sample observations are
influenced by a non-random cause
One tailed hypothesis directional hypothesis…

Page 7

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Psychology Notes Jessica Goodman

Demand characteristics Matching is difficult
Time saved Time consuming
Group Differences

The control of extraneous variables

A variable, which is not the IV, which affects the DV, is an extraneous
1. Participant variables ­ age and intelligence should be controlled
2. Situational variables ­ setting…

Page 8

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Psychology Notes Jessica Goodman

Show data in the form of categories to compare.
Data is discrete


Used for continuous data
No spaces between the bars
Area of each column is proportional to the number of
cases it represents.

Frequency Polygon (Line Graph)

Continuous data
2 or more frequency distributions…

Page 9

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Psychology Notes Jessica Goodman

Sometimes makes more sense to Doesn't take into account exact
use (2 kids, instead of 2.4 kids) distances between scores
Could be more than one mode

Measures of Dispersion


Subtract the lowest value from the highest value.

Advantages Disadvantages
Easy and quick Can be distorted…

Page 10

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Psychology Notes Jessica Goodman

Discrete scales measure data where one item is distinctly separate from
another (children in family you can't have 2.4 children)
Continuous scales apply to measurements which can be made along a
continuum (height)
Interval and ratio scales can be either discrete or continuous
Nominal is discrete…


:) PurpleJaguar (: - Team GR



These notes are just what I needed for my exam tomorrow! Clear and simple

Thanks a lot for this 


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