Explain the advantages of using the scientific method in psy

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  • Created on: 18-09-14 11:40

Paragraph 1. Objective

Point An important aspect of scientific data is that it is objective, this means that data is affected less by the expectations of the experiementer. The main type of data collected is quantitative which due to its collection and analysis is less affected by researcher's thoughts, feelings and judgments.

Explain Without objecitivity we have no way of being certain that the data collected is valid. So by being objective the results collected will be accurate as they have avoided researcher bias.

Example Loftus and Pamer recorded estimates made by participants of speeds in MPH . They could not have been involved in influencing the results in any way- therefore the experiment was objective.

Elaborating (A*) Objective or quantitative results are much more efficient than collecting qualitative data- which is much more likely to have experiment bias.

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Paragraph 2. Replicable

Point Psychologists (using experimental methods or controlled oberservations) standarise their procedures in a study thus making it easier for others in this field of psychology to when published replicate the study and support their own work.

Explain Repeating a study is the most important way to demonstrate the reliability of any scientific method. If the outcome is the same, this confirms the origional results are reliable. It also enables researches to carry out these procedures with other samples of participants to check for population validity and ultimately generalise their results.

Example Asce conducted an experiment to test whether men conform under social pressure. He did many variations of the study using the same procedure, in which one of more aspects changed. For example one person deviated with the participant as a 'friend'. This was to see whether or not the results would change with different factors. It also meant that other people could replicate the study if they wanted- and would always get similar results.

Extra (A*) If Asche's study had been an interview as opposed to a lab study it would have been very difficult to replicate as the participants control the answers to a questionnair, not the researcher.

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Parahgraph 3. Controlled

Point The ideal form of the scientific method is lab experiements, because they enable researchers to control all variables. We manipulate the independant variable and observe if it effects the dependant variable. Data can also be collected in controlled observations

Explain If we control variables and try to reduces the amount of extraneous variables this allows researchers to establish cause and effect relationships. As a scientific method it is funadmental that we can test measurable hypothesis, if not then it is questionable whether it is regarded as scientific. This then allows researchers to support or refute their theories, setting a solid scientific foundadtion to their views.

Example For example systematic desensitisation, Lang and Lavovik did an experiement whos aim was to cure a phobia. There were a set number of controlled stages, which ensured that the results were reliable. It meant that There were no extraneous variables and that the results were easily reproducable by other people.

Extra (A*) If the study had been in a different enviroment- for example a field experiment would have been much less reliable as the results may have been affected.

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