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Research Methods…read more

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The major features of science
· Hypothesis testing; a statement that can be tested in research. Try everything to disprove it.
· Replicability; if we can carry out research again at another time and find the same or similar
results, then we can say we have managed to replicate our findings. High level of consistency
means that people using our research can be confident that the findings are really what they
say they are so do not need to repeat the experiment. This process further develops our
knowledge of psychology, our knowledge is pushed on and on developing every time a piece
of work is carried out and published.
· Objectivity; findings of research do not depend on the person that did the research, should
not be influenced by the person. Gives us confidence in the research if it is objective.…read more

Slide 3

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The scientific process
· Empirical method; one that allows us to collect data and draw a conclusion. Permits us to
observe or measure some aspect and develop existing theories or new ones.
· Deductive reasoning; by employing an empirical method allowing us to develop hypotheses,
testing the hypothesis is known as deductive reasoning. We have a hypothesis or theory hich
we assume to be correct and we test it in various ways to see if it stands up.
· Hypothetico- deductive method; 1. the hypothesis, 2. test hypothesis 3a. do not support the
hypothesis 3b. support the hypothesis, 4. the theory.
· Psychology as a science is often debated because of the empirical method as many theories
cannot be tested, they are unfalsifiable.
· Theory construction; theories are constructed by using the route of hypothesis testing,
development and re-testing. Usually from a number of different sources and researchers.
Must be testable and ultimately falsifiable (rejection or development of theory).
· Generation of laws/principles; statement that describes the behaviour of things in the real
world. Theory is tested and re tested once there is enough evidence in its favour principle
can be developed into laws and principles.
· Inductive reasoning; if something usually works and if every observed case provides the same
result, we can induce from this that's the same thing will happen for all cases.…read more

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Validating new knowledge
· Traditionally research is published in scientific journals if it is accepted by the rest
of the scientific community.
· Peer review; written in an agreed format and sent to a psychological journal for
consideration.…read more

Slide 5

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Designing psychological investigations
· Step 1; aims
· Step 2; hypothesis- directional/non directional
· Step 3; identifying variables- things that change in the research. Independent (you control)
/dependent (one you measure) /extraneous (anything that might change the dependent
other than the independent variable).
· Step 4; operationalizing variables- make the variables measureable.
· Step 5; decide on a method
· Step 6; consider ethics
· Step 7; locate population and sample- random/opportunity/volunteer
· Step 8; pilot it and collect data- pilot= smaller scale version of main study.
· Step 9; analysis
· Step 10; present your data
· Step 11; findings and conclusions…read more

Slide 6

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Experimental design
· Repeated measures design; use the same ppt in each level of the independent variable.
· + no problem of individual differences, do not need huge number of ppt's so can be completed sooner and cheaper.
· - possible order effects; fatigue effect or practice effect.
· Independent groups; uses two groups of ppt's.
· + completely eliminated order effects
· - individual differences, avoided by using two huge groups as the range of ID in one group similar to the range in
· Matched Pairs; each person in one group matched with one in the other group
· + controls individual differences, and no order effects.
· - matching is extremely difficult.
· Lab experiment; carefully controlled conditions, uses standardized procedure, variables are manipulated and
· + replicability, easy to control variables, generalizability
· - cannot always use, lack of ecological validity, demand characteristics.
· Field experiment; like a lab experiment, but variables manipulated by the researcher in more real-world setting.
· + more ecological validity, ppt's often need not know they are part of an experiment, eliminating demand
· - often extremely expensive and time consuming.
· Natural experiment; researcher makes use of naturally occurring independent variable
· + high ecological validity, no demand characteristics
· - no control over independent variable so chance of confounding variables influencing experiment.…read more

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