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Aim: General purpose of an investigation. Often includes previous research
(theories/studies) and explaining why the researcher intends to conduct the study.

Hypothesis: A precise, testable statement or prediction about the expected
Experimental hypothesis: When the IV is manipulated, there will be a change
in the DV
Null hypothesis: When…

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Abstract: Summary of research and findings
Introduction: What they intend to study and why, previous research
Aim and hypothesis: Purpose and clear hypothesis
Method: Design, method, standardised procedure, variables, ethics, materials,
recording, sampling, brief and debrief. Enough information for replication
Results: What they found, statistical data or descriptive statistics…

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Sometimes psychological harm due to stressful environment
Deception often used as may withhold information

Field experiments: Conducted in a natural environment, IV is manipulated
Natural setting ­ high ecological validity ­ can be generalised beyond setting
Less demand characteristics as participants are less aware of taking part
Lack of control…

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NATURAL High ecological validity No cause and effect established
Less demand characteristics Hard to replicate

Fairly easy to replicate No cause and effect established
Control ­ high internal validity Artificial ­ low ecological validity

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Experimental design:
Independent groups design:
Each participant randomly allocated to one condition
No order effects ­ each participant only experiences one condition - less
demand characteristics
Can use same material and equipment in both conditions ­ convenient
Individual differences between conditions by chance ­ those with a particular
characteristic may…

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Time consuming and difficult to find closely matched pairs
Needs more participants than repeated measures design
Design Advantages Disadvantages
GROUPS No order effects Individual differences
Less demand More Ps needed
MEASURES No individual differences Order effects
Less Ps needed Demand characteristics
More material needed

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Behavioural categories used to record particular behaviours. Time sampling (recorded
at equal time intervals) or event sampling (recorded each time it occurs).
More holistic that narrowly defined behaviour tested in experiments
Observer bias ­ observations affected by expectations ­ poor interpretation,
difficult to remain objective
Cannot draw conclusions about…

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Ethical issues ­ informed consent and confidentiality

Participant observation: Observer joins in with participants
Allows observers to gain some understanding of causes of behaviour
Useful for studying behaviour in groups
Difficult to record
Experimenter bias ­ subjective

Non-participant observation: Observer watches from afar, no direct involvement
Easier to remain objective…

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Avoids some ethical problems ­ no direct involvement with manipulation or
Easy to replicate ­ e.g. data can come from questionnaires
May be extraneous variables affecting the results ­ cannot establish cause and
effect relationships

Only uses quantitative data ­ may be reductionist and not holistic
Can only…

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Gather information about thoughts which is difficult to investigate in other ways
Can obtain both quantitative and qualitative information
Social desirability bias ­ may not respond truthfully ­ decreases validity

A systematic collection of data on a specific topic. Can be used in a wide range of
situations ­…





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