Research methods - longer points

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  • Created by: Megan657
  • Created on: 30-01-19 12:01

OBSERVATIONS:

  • Unstructured Observations involved the researcher recording all the behaviour they see.There is no system.
  • Structured observations use various systems to organise the observations. This makes the research more rigorous and objective.
  • Psychologists structure their observations by using behaviour characteristics to be able to create a system.
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CONFOUNDING VARIABLE:

  • a variable, other than the independent variable, that may have affected the DV,so we cannot be sure of the true source.
  • It may be that it changes the dependent variable, not the independent variable and therefore has confounded the results
  • This can be a consequence of the manipulation of the independent variable
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DEMAND CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Participants are aware of the aims of the experiment/study.There are two behaviours:
    • Please - you effect ( they want to help )
    • Screw - you effect ( they want to ruin it )
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INVESTIGATOR EFFECTS:

  • Anything an investigator does that has an effect on the participants performance in a study
  • Clues from an investigator encourage certain behaviors e.g leading questions
  • High levels of control → cause + effect
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TWO TYPES OF HYPOTHESIS:

  • ALTERNATE = predicting a difference between two factors
  • NULL = predicting the difference between factors

Hypothesis → Null

                    ↓

              Alternate

        ↓                      ↘

Directional        Non - directional

 

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EXPERIMENTAL METHODS:

  • The experimental method: involves the manipulation of the independent variable

  • INDEPENDENT VARIABLE: the thing you change/manipulate

  • DEPENDENT VARIABLE: the thing the researcher is measuring

  • The independent variable has two or more conditions

    • Experimental condition

    • Control condition

      • A good hypothesis will contain two or more conditions

  • OPERATIONALISATION = ensure that variables are in a form that can be easily tested. Define variables so you can measure them:

    • E.g. want to investigate the effect of media violence ( IV ) on aggression ( DV ), ’media violence’= exposure to a 15 minute video showing scenes of physical assault. ‘Aggression’ =   levels of electric shock given to a ‘ 2nd participant’ in another room.

  • EXTRANEOUS VARIABLE:  Any variable that may (Other than IV) have an effect on the DV if it is not controlled ( ev = nuisance variables)

    • Situational

    • Participant

    • Researcher

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAB EXPERIMENT AND

  • Extraneous and confounding variables are heavily controlled in a lab compared to field setting

  • In lab experiments participants are aware they are being studied compared to field where they are not

  • Lab setting is artificial and field setting is not

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A QUASI EXPERIMENT

  • A lab experiment independent variable is controlled whereas a quasi experiments independent variable is naturally occurring 
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EXAMPLES OF EXPERIMENTS:

  • A researcher observes the aggressive behaviour of children in a playground who have either regularly attended day care or who have been raised at home. Field experiment
  • A researcher asks 50 children to watch a video of an adult punching a teddy bear. He then asks 50 children to watch a video of an adult cuddling a teddy bear. The children are then shown into a room with a teddy bear and told they can play with it.  Lab experiment
  • A researcher wanted to investigate whether males or females differed in their ability to remember a list of 50 words. He gave them 2 minutes to study the list of 50 words then asked them to recall them in any order. Quasi experiment
  • A researcher wanted to investigate whether people are more likely to obey an authority figure than another member of the public. A confederate dressed as a Security Guard approached people in a high street and told them to pick up litter. Another confederate dressed as a civilian did the same. The researchers then compared the amount of litter that was picked up by the members of the public. Field experiment
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LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGE

  • Can establish cause and effect due to criteria of a true experiment being met

  • High internal validity due to good control of extraneous variables (you can be confident you are measuring what you think you are)

  • Lack mundane realism lowering ecological validity

  • Demand characteristics can lower internal validity (Ps work out what experiment about and either ‘try to please experimenter’ or ‘screw you effect’)

  • Participant reactivity due to knowing being watched can lower internal validity

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FIELD EXPERIMENTS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES:

  • Greater ecological validity than a lab experiment therefore can generalise results beyond the experiment

  • Can establish cause and effect as criteria of true experiment met (but sometimes extraneous variables difficult to control and random assignment not possible)

  • Less control over extraneous variables than a lab experiment (this can lower internal validity – may not be measuring what you think you are)

  • Can be more expensive and time consuming than a lab experiment (researchers have to travel to the location etc)

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NATURAL EXPERIMENTS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES:

  • High ecological validity therefore can generalise results beyond the experiment

  • Allows quasi-scientific research when it may be impractical or unethical to directly manipulate IV

  • IV not directly manipulated by experimenter and no random allocation therefore cannot establish cause and effect

  • Although in natural environment, ecological validity may be lowered because participants may know they are being watched (participant reactivity)

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THREE TYPES OF EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:

  • Repeated measures

  • Independent group

  • Matched pairs

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INDEPENDENT GROUP DESIGN:

  • This involves using two seperate groups of participants

  • This should be done by random allocation, which ensures that each participant has an equal chance of being assigned to one group or another

  • Cannot be assigned to a natural or quasi experiment

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REPEATED MEASURE DESIGN:

  • The same participants take part in each condition (of the IV)
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MATCHED PAIRS:

  • Each participants in group A is matched with one in group B on key variables (e.g sex, IQ) 
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PEER REVIEW:

Peer review is the assessment of scientific work by others who are experts in the same field (‘peers’). This is about judging the quality of a piece of research. Research is subjected to independent scrutiny in terms of its validity, significance and originality

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PEER REVIEW STEPS:

  • Author sunmits manscript 
  • Journal editor screens manuscript 
  • Manuscript is peer reviewed - some manuscrips are rejected before peer review 
  • Journal editor/editorial board decides whether to publish 
  • Author is informed of decision 
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PURPOSE OF PEER REVIEW:

  • Allocation of funding

    • Research paid for by government charitable bodies

    • Need reviews to see if research is worthwhile

  • Publication in journals

    • Opportunity to share results

    • Preventing faulty data entering public domain

  • Assessing the research rating of universities

    • Psychology departments expected to conduct research which is assumed in terms of quality and impact

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SCHOLARLY JOURNALS:

Research papers get published in scholarly journals. They contain in-depth reports of research.The articles are written by academics and then reviewed by experts in the field..  

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