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Research Methods
Planning Research

Qualitative research and research methods:
Is usually worded
Can take other forms, e.g. videos, audios etc.
Involves case studies, unstructured interviews, open questionnaires etc
Preferred by ideographic psychology

Quantitative research and research methods:
Involves experiments, contents analysis, quantitative (structured) observation
Preferred by nomological psychologists…

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Directional: In _ this __ will happen
Non- directional: Something will happen in _
Directional: There will be a __ relationship between _and_
Non-Directional: There will be a relationship between _and_
Directional: (IV) will cause (DV) to_
Non-directional: the (IV) will affect the (DV)

Sampling techniques:

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Experimental Methods:

IV and DV:
The independent variable (IV) is the variable that you change or
The dependant variable (DV) is the variable that you measure
For example in the aim, you would say: To investigate the effect of (IV)
on the (DV)

Experimental Designs:

Independent Groups: where different…

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Independent No order effects Introduces
Groups Naïve participants participant variables
(no demand More pps are
characteristics) needed to get the
No need to find two same amount of data
sets of materials

Repeated Removes participant Order effect may
Measures variable occur (where pps
Each participant is performance in the

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Confounding variable: A variable that has not been controlled in an
experiment and hence has influenced the independent variable

Extraneous variable: (see confounding variable) but may not always
affect the results of the experiment if all Pps are exposed to it.

Participant variable: When individual characteristics of participants
affect their…

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know they are
taking part
Field High ecological Less control
validity over variables
Natural Less ethical-
behaviour and participants
environment may not know
they're taking
Quasi Allow for No random
investigation allocation/
using direct
pre-existing manipulation
variables Less confidence
inferring cause
and effect

Non-experimental methods:
Correlational studies including correlation…

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experiment can establish
cause and effect
Involves the measurement
of two variables without the
control of extraneous

Observational studies:
They are especially useful for studying certain types of behaviour and
certain groups of participants, e.g. social behaviours such as crowd
interaction etc.

Natural observation: pps are observed in…

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Natural observations Well organised observation are
produce data that have high difficult and time consuming and it
ecological validity is not usually possible to observe
Observational studies tend large numbers of people
to provide a more holistic Observer bias may occur,
view of a persons behaviour especially in observations where…

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No ethical problems because Although the researchers
the people aren't being are trained, their
dealt with directly interpretations of material
may still be subjective
Behaviour may be taken out
of context. It is important to
recognise that any media
communication is most
meaningful in the context in
which it is…

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Often used in conjunction with a questionnaire
Most involve one researcher and one participant
A structured interview is one where the interviewer has a pre-prepared
set of questions that are asked in a fixed order. There is no chance to ask
extra questions and there are fixed option answers for…


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