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Research Methods




Science

Major features of science:

1. Empiricism ­ information gained by direct observation or experiment
2. Objectivity ­ expectations should not affect what they record
3. Replicability ­ methods should be recorded so experiment can be repeated (reliability)
4. Control ­ using experimental methods varying IV and observing…

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Research Methods




This is the assessment of scientific work by others who are experts in the same field; it is to ensure
any work to be published is of high quality. They are unpaid. There are many reviewers. They
report on the quality of research and their views are considered…

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Research Methods




Experiments

All involve an independent variable (IV) and a dependent variable (DV). The IV is varied to see
how this affects the DV, demonstrating causal relationships. Other variables are controlled as
much as possible, so changes in DV are not due to extraneous variables.

Laboratory experiment ­ conducted…

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Research Methods




Reliability

Refers to how much we can depend on any particular measurement, and if we repeat the
experiment we can be sure to get the same results. Observations should be consistent, so more
than one observer should produce the same record. Extent to which observers agree is
inter-observer…

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Research Methods




6. Snowball Sampling ­ start with one or two PPs and ask them to direct you to other PPs.

Ethical Issues with Human Participants

The British Psychological Organisation (BPS) and the American Psychological Association (APA)
provide guidance as to how psychologists should behave. Concern for the protection of…

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Research Methods




Proposed by Russell and Birch ­ reduction (use fewer animals), replacement (use alternative methods when
possible) and refinement (improved techniques to reduce stress).
Inferential Analysis, Probability and Significance

Probability ­ Inferential statistics allow psychologists to draw conclusions based on the probability that a
particular pattern of results could…

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Research Methods




Descriptive Statistics

Measures of central tendency inform us about central values of data. Averages can be calculated
in different ways:

1. Mean ­ add up all scores and divided by number of scores. Uses all values but can be unrepresentative I
there are extreme values. Not appropriate for…

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