Psychology Research Methods. Unit 4. PSYA

Last topic of AQA A2 Psychology A. Scientific method, Paradigms, Peer Review, Reliability, Validity, Sampling, Ethics, Probability, Summarising data, Statistical methods etc.

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Scientific Method...

KARL POPPER:

  • Identify problem
  • Develop Hypothesis
  • Devise a study
  • Analyse & Evaluate results
  • Modify & Repeat
  • Develop a Theory

Scientific test must have:

  • Empirical evidence 
  • Objectivity 
  • Replicability 
  • Control 
  • Hypothesis testing 
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Arguments against Scientific approach

  • Psychologists interact with people:not with physical phenomena, so we can't really study people like a scientists can study electricity
  • Behaviours in labs are unusual: behaviours cannot be isolated from a social context or it leads to demand characteristics and unusual behaviour.
  • Need for control: 1 variable and one facet of behaviour studied apart from behaviour, how can we seeprate memory from past experiences?
  • Notion of Objectivity is a MYTH: Past experiences/beliefs/ideas make objectivity impossible.
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New Paradigm Research

KUHN:

 Science progresses through long periods of "normal science" till there is a revolution and a new PARADIGM emerges. 

PARADIGM: 

a shared set of assumptions about the subject matter and method of study.

NEW PARADIGM RESEARCH

relies on methods that ANALYSE DISCURSIVE MATERIAL e.g. interviews/diaries/blogs. It is focused on Qualitive data.

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Peer Reviews

Goal of research is to be published. New knowledge is published in JournalsBefore it can be published it is sent off to PEER REVIEWERS. They act as a system of Quality control, ensuring the work is of the highest quality.  

 There are some problems with the peer review process:

  • CONSISTENCY with previous knowledge is valued
  • VALUES of the peer reviewers effect research
  • BIAS in review
  • FILE DRAWER PHENOMENON

Peer review is important because..

  • A way of making a judgement about the validity, quality & importance of the research
  • They assess whether methods and designs used are appropriate.
  • Can asses whether Fraudulent, Flawed or fit for public.

 

 

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Reliability

RELIABILITY: MEASURING SOMETHING AGAIN AND AGAIN AND GETTING THE SAME RESULTS.


IMPROVING RELIABILITY:


  • Taking many measurements and averaging the score
  • Using pilot studies
  • Correlating data from multiple raters
  • Checking data transposed from one form to another, carefully.
  • Test-retest method.
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Validity

VALIDITY:  WHETHER A TEST / APPARATUS MEASURES WHAT IT CLAIMS TO MEASURE.

IMPROVING INTERNAL VALIDITY:

  • Operationalizing variables
  • SINGLE-BLIND Technique
  • DOUBLE-BLIND Technique
  • Face Validity
  • Concurrent Validity
  • Predictive Validity

EXTERNAL VALIDITY:

  • Population Validity
  • Ecological Validity
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Samples

Random Sample:

best sample as it represents everyone

Opportunity Sample:

available people from the target population

Systematic Sample:

people chosen in a systematic way

Volunteer Sample:

whoever volunteers

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Ethical Considerations:

Can    Do    Can't   D  With   Participants

CONSENT

DECEPTION

CONFIDENTIALITY

DEBRIEFING

WITHDRAW

PROTECTION from harm

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Probability

  Number of PARTICULAR outcomes

Probability =     ___________________________________________________

  Number of POSSIBLE outcomes

O = Definitely not                   1 = Definitely will. 


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Hypothesis

Null Hypothesis: There Will NOT be a relationship between variables.

Experimental hypothesis: There WILL BE a relationship between variables.

LEVEL OF SIGNIFICANCE: the level at which a null hypothesis is accepted or rejected.

0.05 or 5%

One-tailed hypothesis: Directional. States direction of difference or result 

Two-tailed hypothesis: Non-Directional.States simply will be difference or result

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Errors

Type 1 ERROR:

Rejecting NULL and accepting experimental when THERE IS NO RELATIONSHIP.

Type 2 ERROR:

Accepting Null and rejecting Experimental WHEN THERE IS A RELATIONSHIP.

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Summarizing Data

Range:

Difference between highest and lowest set of scores

Standard Deviation:

Measure of dispersion. The SPREAD of data around Central Value.

Histograms:

Distribution of a set of data - bars joint

Bar Charts:

Summary of a set of data - bars separate

Scattergrams: 

Relationship between two variables.

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Data

Ordinal:

When info is ordered.

Nominal:

When info is categorised/ named 

Interval:

When there are equal intervals on the measurement scale

Ratio:

When there are equal intervals and a True point zero.

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Statistical methods

  SOC                    CIN                   WOR              MOI


SPEARMAN's RHO           CHI-SQUARED                  WILCOXON              MANN-WHITNEY

Ordinal data               Independant design            Ordinal Data               Ordinal data

Correlation                     Nominal Data            Repeated Measures    Independent groups

observed value gReateR than critical              observed value loWer than critical

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Qualitative data

Content analysis:

Refers to a coding system where categories are used to analyse data before the experiment.

Thematic analysis: 

Refers to an identification of key terms through examining data, to be reported in their results. 

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Experimental designs

Independent measures design 

refers to where participants are assigned to two different conditions/groups. 

Repeated measures design 

refers to where participants within the study repeat the study with two different conditions.

Matched pairs 

refers to a sample when participants are matched for the two conditions.

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