Research Methods: Topic 3

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The Experimental methods of research

  • Laboratory experiments: Entail researchers inviting volunteers to a prearranged setting where conditions may be easier to control, but they may not necessarily be told precisely what the hypothesis is, used to establish correlations

- Advantages of LE: Enables scientists to test their hypothesis, Pratical- You can control all the variables, Reliability- Can be repeated- Replicable

-Disadvantages of LE: Lacks ecological validity- No in depth meaning, less representative- Smaller sample- "Society cannot fit in a lab", The Hawthorne Effect

  • Field experiments: Where researchers attempt to control and measure variable in a natural enviroments. FE are conducted in normal social situations

-Advantages of FE: Pratical- See people interact in their normal social enviroment, Reliability- Repeated easily, Validity- Behaviour seen in true setting

-Disadvantages of FE: Pratical- Impossible to control all variables, Ethical- Informed consent,Low in representativeness, Hawthorne effect

  • Comparative method: Researcher collects data about different societies, compares one society with another. Durkheim study of suicide
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