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The aim is to control all relevant
variable except for one key
variable which is altered to see
the affect. Lab experiments are
Lab experiments... in an artificial setting.
Advantages Disadvantages
Control ­ the effects of Artificial ­ experiments
confounding variables are might not measure "real life"
minimised behaviour (so lack
Replication ­ strict controls ecological validity)
mean that you can run the Demand characteristics ­
study again to check the participants may figure out
findings what they think is going on
Causal relationships ­ and so act accordingly, this
ideally it's possible to will bias the results
establish cause and effect to Ethics ­ deception is often
see why something used, so it is hard to get
happened and what caused informed consent without
it messing the results up…read more

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Field experiments measure
behaviour in a natural
environment i.e. a school, on
a bus or train etc. It alters a
key variable so the effect
Field experiments... can be measured.
Advantages Disadvantages
Causal relationships ­ you can Less control ­ confounding
still establish cause and effect variables are more likely in a
by manipulating the key natural experiment
variable and measuring it's Ethics ­ participants who didn't
effect although it's very difficult agree to take part might
to do in a field experiment experience distress and often
Ecological validity ­ these are can't be debriefed.
less artificial than those done in Observations must respect
a lab so they relate to real life privacy
Demand characteristics ­ these
can be avoided if the participant
doesn't know that they are in a
study…read more

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Natural experiments measure
variables that aren't directly
manipulated by the
experimenter e.g. single sex
school to mixed.
Natural experiments...
Advantages Disadvantages
Ethical ­ these experiments Participant allocation ­ you
make it possible to study cant randomly allocate to each
variables that it would be condition so confounding
variables could affect your
unethical to manipulate e.g. results. You have no control
the effects of smoking during over the variables so it's almost
pregnancy on birth weight impossible to say what caused
Rare events ­ some groups of
interest are hard to find
Ethics ­ deception is often used
making informed consent
difficult. Also confidentiality may
be compromised if the
community is identifiable.…read more

Slide 5

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Naturalistic observations
involve observing subjects in
their natural environment.
Researchers take great care
not to interfere in any way.
Naturalistic observation...
Advantages Disadvantage
Ecological validity ­ behaviour Extraneous variables ­ can't control
is natural and there are no variables that may affect variables
demand characteristics, as the Observer bias ­ their expectations
may affect what they focus on and
participant is unaware they are record. This means that the
being observed reliability of the results may be a
Theory development ­ it can be problem ­ another observer could
a useful way of developing ides have come up with very different
about behaviour that can be results
tested in more controlled Ethics ­ you should only conduct
conditions later experiments where people might
expect to be observed by strangers.
This limits the locations where you
can do these observations.
Debriefing is difficult, observations
must respect privacy and informed
consent can be tricky.…read more

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Correlation means to variables rise
and fall together but that doesn't
mean they cause each other i.e.
intelligence increases with age but
age doesn't cause intelligence.
Correlational research...
Advantages Disadvantages
Causal relationships ­ Causal relationships ­ you
these can be ruled out if no can't just assume these if a
correlation exists correlation exists, they could
Ethics ­ can study variable be caused by a third
that would be unethical to unknown variable
study e.g. the effects of Ethics ­ misinterpretation
smoking during pregnancy can be an issue. Sometimes
on birth weight the media and researchers
assume casualty from a
correlation…read more

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