Practical Investigations

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Questionnaire Methods

2 Strengths of the questionnaire method???

1. Easy to score, produces quantitative data.

2. less time consuming - collects large amounts of data quickly.

3. Easy to fill out questionnaire - straight forward questionnaire

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Questionnaire Methods

2 Weaknesses of the questionnaire method???

1. Couldn't control the atmosphere of the participants, while they were filling it out.

2. High demand characteristics - please the experimenter to guess the answers.

3. Difficult to replicate (not reliable) as mood, time of day, situation affects answers.

4. Atmosphere may affect the results.

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Ethical Issues

Outline one ethical issue that should be considered when using the questionnaire method in psychological research???

I made sure i asked for consent when i gave out my questionnaire on the 28th September - 5th October 2007.

All participants had the right to withdraw and they gave consent at the beginning.

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Reliability

What is meant by reliability???

The extent to which the questionnaire can be repeated and the same results obtained (consistency of measure).

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Validity

What is meant by validity???

The extent to which you are measuring, when you are intending to measure (minimise the effect of confounding variables, things that affect the results - is it a fair test?)

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My questionnaire is reliable?

How can i ensure that my questionnaire was reliable???

Improve the number of controls - time of day/place/instructions given/atmosphere.

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Ensure my Questionnaire is valid?

How can i ensure my questionniarewas valid???

Tell the participants what the questionnaire is on and ask them not to participate if they have been affected by this behavior in an extreme way (To prevent extreme individual differences).

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2 improvements to questionnaire

Outline 2 improvements that can be made to your questionnaire??

1. Yes/no answers instead of likert scale.

2. A space for the participants to explain their answers, after each question.

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Affect the results?

Suggest how each improvement would affect the results of your questionnaire??

1. Yes/no gives a more defiant answer - more objective.

2. Qualitativedata could be collected as well as quantitative data.

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Any other improvements??

Any other improvements???

1. Random sampling of students in Portsmouth college (more generalisable)

2. More controls, E.g. time/place (more reliable)

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Sampling method

What sampling methods did you use???

Opportunity sample -people there at the time of the experiment.

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Strength and weakness of sampling method

State a strength and a weakness of the sampling method???

Strength: Less time consuming.

Weakness: Not representative

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Observation method

2 strengths of a observation method???

1. Low demand characteristics

2. High EV

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Observation method

2 weaknesses of a observation method???

1. Low control (reliability)

2. Ethics (consent and withdraw an issue)

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Ethical issues on observation method

Outline one ethical issue that should be considered when using the observation method in psychological research???

we could not ask for consent when doing observation, because of demand characteristics could have affected the results.

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Reliability

What is meant by reliability???

If you repeat the study will the results be the same? I.e. The consistency of your measurements.

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Observation was reliable?

How could you ensure that your observation was reliable???

Reliability could be improved by making sure 4 or 5 observers watched the same behaviour then we could compare the results, called inter-rater reliability.

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Validity?

What is meant be validity???

Are you measuring what you thinkyour measuring? Have you preventedddemand characteristics and confoundingvariables affectingyour study?

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Observation was valid?

How can we ensure that the observation was valid???

Could be improved by designing a table of categories that the observers will agree on, then conducting a pilot to make sure nothing is missing.

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2 improvements to the observation

Out line 2 improvements that could be made to yours observations???

1. observation could take place over a longer period of time enabling more data to be collected from participants. For example, instead of observing chattiness in the library in one lesson, we could have observed for 10 lessons.

2. Observations on chattiness in the library could have been conducted in different areas in the UK as people behave differently in relation to chattiness depending on where they live.

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Affect the results?

Suggest how each improvement could affect the results of your observation???

1. Make more results, more valid as the effect of anomalies could be reduced, e.g. one student who doesn't usually make contribution in class may make lots of the day you observe.

2. What would make the results more representative as people in Portsmouth may talk in the library.

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Any other improvements?

Any other improvements???

1. Aim to observe a range of social class categories.

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Sampling method

Which sampling method was used???

Opportunity sample of people available at the time in Portsmouth college library.

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Strength and weakness of sampling method

State a strength and a weakness of thissampling method???

Strength: Opportunity sampling is quick, easy and convenient.

Weakness: Not representative of the rest of the population.

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Experimental method

2 strengths of the experimental method???

1. Often have a high level of control, this is because it makes the study a reliable one.

2. Provide practical and useful applications to real life - because we need to know what to think about, before we obey.

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Experimental method

2 weaknesses of the experimental method???

1.A lab experiment often hashigh demand characteristics, this is a weakness because it makes the results less reliable.

2. Low Ecological validity - because it doesn't show how people would act in the situation, if it happened randomly.

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Ethical issues?

Outline one ethical issue that should be considered when using the experimental method in psychological research???

You have times when the experimenter has to tell lies to the participants, otherwise they may skew the results and show demand characteristics. Participants were told the study was on reaction time, not reaction time and gender. This DECEPTION and PROTECTION is needed to prevent demand characteristics.

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Independent measure design?

What is an independent measures design? Give a strength and weakness of this design?

Independent measures design - You tested different people in each condition

Strength: More data can be collected and no practise effects

Weakness: Individual differences can affect results

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Repeated measures design?

What is a repeated measures design? Give a strength and a weakness of this design???

Repeated measures design - You test the same participants in each condition

Strength:

Weakness:

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Alternative method

Suggest one alternative way of measuring your Dependent Variable???

Instead of doing the online reaction times test, we could have used a ruler and timed how long it took to catch if someone else dropped it.

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Effect on the results?

What effect would this have on your results???

Less valid, not as accurate and not as precise as the reaction times test.

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Improvements on the activity?

Outline 2 improvements that could be made to your experiment???

1. The range in different ages needs to change, it needs to have older people, both male and female in the experiment. Needs to be an equal amount of males and females, so it would make it fair. The test would be ethical and not biased towards one gender this way. By using 25 males and 25 females, might improve the sample size.

2. Each student used the same time of day, and the same day. But, the background noises were different, due to people chatting could have done the experiment in silence. The students sat in a computer room, so they didn't all sit in the same space, could have done one student at a time, in the same place. this would of had low demand characteristics (sound proof booth).

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Affect the results?

Suggest how each improvement would affect the results of your experiment???

1. A new sample would represent a wider range of people, including old/new, young/old, affecting the results for the better. High EV and low demand characteristics, would make the study better and more reliable. Helping to generalise across the whole college.

2. Reliability would be better with more controls, because you would have more controlled conditions, easier to control. The results would be wider and easier to compare and realise other results with. If repeated, the results would be obtained the same.

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Sampling method?

What sampling method did you use???

opportunity sampling - People available at the time of the experiment.

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Strength? weakness?

State a strength and a weakness of this sampling method???

Strength: Less time consuming, quick, easy and convenient.

weakness: Not representative of the whole population.

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Correlation method

Give one strength of a correlation method???

Strength:Shows a relationship between two co-variables, useful, as we may be able to control variables.

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Correlation method

Give one weakness of the correlation method???

Weakness: Doesn't show cause and effect, or individual differences.

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Variables?

What were the variables of the correlation???

Variable 1: How could you measure P/t hours worked differently?

Could add up monthly hours, then divide by 4 (no. of weeks).

Variable 2: Use a likert scale from 1-5. How much homework do you do a week.

1= None, 5= A lot.

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Alternative method?

State an alternative for each variable???

Variable 1: More representative and accurate of the sample, so more valid.

Variables 2: Less valid - as it's a guess so not precise.

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Further improvements?

Outline 2 further improvements that could be made to your correlation???

1. Expand sample size to 50 participants; 25 girls and 25 boys. This would make the results more representative.

2. Could have used filler questions, E.g. How much exercise do you do a week? And through the main questions in disguise. This would prevent demand characteristics.

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Affect the results?

Suggest how each improvement would affect the results of your correlation???

1. The results would be more representative.

2. Prevent demand characteristics, more VALID results.

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Sampling method

What sampling method did you use???

Opportunity sampling - people there at the time of the experiment.

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Strength? Weakness?

State a strength and a weakness of this sampling method???

Strength: Less time consuming, easy and convenient.

Weakness: Not representative of the whole population.

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