Research Method

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Research Methods

Experiment - Conducting research of a hypothesis in a controlled way

Lab Experiments

  • Control - of IV and DV
  • Replication - Carry out the experiment over and over again
  • Artificial / low ecological validity - might not represent real life
  • Demand characteristics
  • Ethical issues - deception and lack of informed consent

Field Experiments


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Research Methods

Natural Experiments

looks at an IV affects an DV without any intervention / manipulation, the event occurs naturally

  • Ethical - variables are not manipulated unethically like other types of experiments
  • Demand characteristics
  • High ecological validity 
  • Casual relationships - hard to establish if variables are not manipulated
  • Ethical issues - Deception, lack of infored consent and confidentiality

Quasi Experiments

allocated the pts. to different conditions because the IV is a particular feature like gender

  • Control - carried out under controlled conditions
  • High ecological validity
  • Participant allocation
  • Casual relationship - hard to establish cause and effect
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Research Methods

Observations

observing subjects in their natural environment and do not interfere in any way

  • Naturalistics observation = observing in natural enviroment
  • Controlled observation = research carried out in controlled conditions, lower ecological validity
  • High ecological validity
  • Theory development - can be developed and tested later
  • Extraneous variables
  • Observer bias - reliability of results may be a problem
  • Ethical issues - Debriefing is difficult and getting informed consent also difficult

Correlational research

Observing the relationship between two variables without any manipulation and looking at the relationship between them and if any other variables are involved

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Research Methods

Questionnaires

  • Practical -  can collect large amounts of data quickly and cheaply
  • Leading questions
  • Demand characteristics
  • Biased samples
  • Ethical issues - confidentiality can be an issue

Interviews

Structure = follow a fixed set of interviews and vice versa for unstructured interviews

  • Rich data - detailed information
  • Pilot study - key way to get information before a study at a later date
  • Impractical - time consuming 
  • Data analysis - hard and large amounts of data
  • Ethical issues - confidentiality can be a problem
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Research Methods

Hypothesis'

Null Hypothesis - What you assume will hapen in the experiment, usually no relationship between the two variables

Alternative Hypothesis - there is a relationship between two variables

Directional Hypothesis - making a prediction between two variables

Non-directional Hypothesis - not making a prediction between two variables

Independant Variable - what you change

Dependent Variable - what you measure

Operationalisation = shows how the variables will be measured

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Research Methods

Experimental Design

1 - Independent groups design - Different pts. do different tasks in invididual groups

  • No order effect -  no one gets practice or gets bored
  • Participant variables - different between the people in the groups can affect the results
  • More participants needed

2. Repeated measures design - All pts. do the task in different conditions

  • Participant variables - should not effect the results
  • Fewer pts. needed
  • Order effect - practice through the conditions

3. Matched pairs design - Pts. matched on variables such as age, gender etc.

  • No order effect
  • Need more pts.
  • Time consuming
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Research Methods

Extraneous Variables

Counterbalancing - Mixing up the orders of the task to stop order effect

Random allocation - Everyone has an equal chance of doing the certain conditions

Standardised instructions - Ensure the pts. act in a similar way

Randomisation - Material presented in a random order to stop order effect

Observations

Participant Observation - researcher participates in the activity under study

Non-participant Observation - researcher does not get involved, just observes

Summarising lots of studies

Meta-Anlysis = analyse results from lots of studies and come up with a general conclusion

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Research Methods

Extraneous Variables

Counterbalancing - Mixing up the orders of the task to stop order effect

Random allocation - Everyone has an equal chance of doing the certain conditions

Standardised instructions - Ensure the pts. act in a similar way

Randomisation - Material presented in a random order to stop order effect

Observations

Participant Observation - researcher participates in the activity under study

Non-participant Observation - researcher does not get involved, just observes

Summarising lots of studies

Meta-Anlysis = analyse results from lots of studies and come up with a general conclusion

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Research Methods

Sampling

1. Random Sampling - equal chance of being selected, either done manually or by a computer

  • Fair - everyone has an equal chance
  • No guarantee for a representative sample

2. Opportunity Sampling - whoever is available and willing to be studied

  • Quick and practical
  • Not representative

3. Volunteer Sampling - people actively volunteer to be studied

  • Large numbers may respond
  • Not representative
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Research Methods

4. Systematic sampling - every certain nth name from register is taken

  • Evenly sampled
  • Not representative

5. Stratified sampling - Taking a sample of different groups such as ethicity, gender etc.

  • Representative
  • Takes time and money

Participants sometimes act differently during an experiment or when being studied.

Hawthorne effect = pts. get attention from researcher, they try harder

Demand characteristics

Social desirability bias = Act like people want them to act (e.g. questionnaire)

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Research Methods

Ethical Issues and BPS rules and regulations

Informed Consent - Always give consent, be told the aims and nature of the study, right to withdraw at anytime

Deception - Only acceptable if there is scientific justification and no other alternative procedure

Protection from harm - No harm should come to pts. than that of what they would face in their day to day lives

Debrief - Important if deception has been used, answers any questions, worries etc.

Confidentiality - No pts. should be identified in any reports, findings etc.

Animal issues - wrong to harm animals and they cannot be generally identified to that of humans

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Research Methods

Psychology and the Economy

People with mental health issues may need time off work - May need treatment or therapy

Research into sleep behaviour can help workers on shifts - They can be more productive and therefore better at work

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