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Psychology Revision
Research method

Research Methods

Observation Method ­ Watch people's natural behaviour. Coding Schemes are usually used.
(Behaviour Categories)

Experiment method ­ Change/Manipulate Variables. Independent & Dependent Variable. Control
Cause and effect.

Case Study ­ Follow one person/Group of people Closely / in detail. Longitudinal. Takes advantage
of all…

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Ppt's often unaware they are involved.
Laboratory experiment ­ Strengths Laboratory experiment Weakness
·· Control the IV + EV X Lacks realism
·· Allocate Ppt's to groups X Aware of aims
·· Replicable X Low eco. Val.
·· Equipment X Expensive and time consuming
X Demanded characteristics

Natural experiment Strength…

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Allocation to groups.
Independent groups : Each Ppt. Is tested in only ONE condition.
E.g. In an investigation into the effect of noise on ability to learn:
One group with loud music in one room, Another group with no music in another room.

Repeated measures: Each ppt. Is tested in…

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Participant variables ­ Any characteristic of individual participant

Order effects ­ Participants doing a test in the morning and then again in afternoon. Doing the
second test, they may have practise or become bored and their results will be worse.

Practice effects ­ Having practice

Fatigue effects ­ Being…

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Aims and Hypothesises

Aim ­ A general statement about the purpose of an investigation

Hypothesis ­ A precise, testable statement about the expected outcome of the experiment.

e.g. To investigate the relationship between food additives and hyperactive behaviour = Aim

Boys who spend at least 2 hours a week playing…

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Case Studies

Using case studies.

Injury/Illness suffered ­ Operation to get rid of his epilepsy.

Effect on STM/LTM ­ Could remember LTM before operation, STM was bad and he couldn't form
any new LTM.

Strengths of using case studies to research this subject ­ Shows how an operation removing…

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Closed Questions e.g. Which of the following factors make you stressed at work? (tick all that apply)
Noise at work? Too much to do? Lack of control? Workmates?

Open question e.g. What do you enjoy most about your job?

Likert scale question e.g. Work is stressful. 1.strongly agree 2.agree 3.not…

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Observation methods

Observation types

Naturalistic observation ­ Setting isn't interfered by the observer

Controlled Observation ­ Controlled/manipulating something reduces the naturalness of behaviour. ppt like
to know they being studied. Establish cause and effect.

Structured/Unstructured ­ Structured is using a coding scheme + only record what they need to. Sampling…

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Correlation (non experimental)

Correlation studies are used to asses the strength of the relationship between variables i.e. how strong is
the link between two variables such as smoking and lung cancer? In this kind of psychological study, there
is no direct manipulation of the IV by the experimenter.

A correlation…

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Sampling methods

Random sample ­ Sample of ppts by using random technique so that every member of the target
population being tested has an equal chance of participating. E.g. drawing a name out of a hat.

Systematic sample ­ Selecting every fifth or tenth person. (Start with the random sampling…


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