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Research Methods
Experiments
Experiment; a research method which enables a researcher to manipulate the situation a person is in and see
what effect it has on a person in order to test a theory to see if it's correct.

Aim; an idea about what the research would like to investigate…

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Experimental Design
How participants are used in the experiment
Independent groups; splitting the sample into two separate groups using random allocation.
Group 1 complete condition 1, group 2 complete condition 2
Results of the two groups are compared
Quick and easy to assign different conditions
Quick for participants as they…

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Used as the researcher may unconsciously affect the behaviour of the participants by using a more animated tone
of voice of facial expression in some conditions
The researcher may record the wrong results as they are not fully aware of what is being researched

Reliability and Validity
Reliability; a measure…

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Integrity ­ they could communicate accurately and not misrepresent findings or aims.
Informed consent; participants have the right to be informed about the nature and purpose of the research so
they can decide whether to take part.
Sometimes it means the researcher has to give away the true aims of…

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+1 = perfect positive




Strengths Limitations
Can be used in natural and lab settings Relationships may be due to other extraneous
Method is often very efficient and quick to get a variables
large amount of data Difficult to establish cause and effect
Can include a number of variables at once…

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Mean of d2 = 8
Square root of variance = SD = 2.8




Presentation of Quantitative Data
1. Tables; can show raw data which hasn't been treated in any way.
What experimental design has been used?
Ppt Condition A Condition
B

Independent Groups Repeated Measures
Condition Condition
A B




2.…

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The observer can be more objective as they are not involved
Participants may change their behaviour if they know they are being observed
Some behaviours may be overlooked as they are seen as not being important
Some behaviours can't be readily observed e.g. criminal

Overt observation (disclosed); when the participants…

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Observer reliability there's likely to be differences in opinions between observers
Ethical issues

Observer effects; being observed, even without knowledge of why or what's being looked at can change
behaviour (Hawthorne effect)

Self-Report Techniques
Self-report techniques; when the participant explains their views/ideas themselves, without the manipulation
of variables

Questionnaires
Questionnaire;…

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Behaviour of interviewer could influence responses given
No scope to explore interesting answers raised
Unstructured interview; when a topic or starter question is identified but any further questions are developed
throughout the interview
More detailed information can be obtained than a structured interview
There are no limits on discussion due…

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Phineas Gage; worked on a railway construction site when a tampering iron went straight through his head. He
survived as well as being able to speak and went back to work and lived for another 12 years. Although the accident
had no impact on his ability to function, it changed…

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