Research Methods Unit 2

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  • Created by: court.ney
  • Created on: 08-06-16 16:36


A set of standard questions about a topic that its given to participants.

Open questions- Can answer anything. Participants have less frustration as more detailed arguments can be given. Hard to collate however as each response is different. Detail can be lost in summarising
Closed questions- Yes or no questions. Provides information quickly and easily. Cannot elaborate on answers so can get frustrated or pick the safe answer.

Adv- Lots of data can be collected quickly, open questions allow people to elaborate and they are highly ethical.
Dis- Can lie or give socially desirable answers.

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Can be structured or unstructured. A method in which a researcher collects data by asking questions directly.

Structured- questions are preset, given in a fixed order and each person is asked the same.

Adv- Easy to collate lots of data and can get lots quickly.
Dis- Can lack detail, can be frustrating for interviewer and interviewee and can lie.

Unstructured- the first question is set and others are determined by answers on the interviewee.

Adv- lots of information quickly, high in EV as the person can elaborate.
Dis- Can lie, difficult to collate information and can take longer.

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Observational Studies

A method of collecting information about behaviour by recording people's actions.

Natural observation- watching behaviour in their usual environment.
Adv- real behaviour so high in EV, may be unethical.
Dis- the behaviour you want may not occur, no cause and effect, may miss behaviour.

Lab observation- carried out in an artificial setting.
Adv- variables can be isolated.
Dis- long to carry out and low in EV.

Categories of behaviour- simple and short so it's clear how to record the actions.

Inter-observer reliability- when this is high the records made my multiple observers are more accurate as they are similar. They should watch the same categories for the same amount of time at the same time. 

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Case studies

An in-depth investigation of an individual or unique group.

Information from one person is used to support a theory.

Adv- Provide detailed information, changes in behavior can be seen over a period of time, can help prove or disprove a theory.

Dis- Data collected can be subjective as memories may not be accurate or interpretations may be biased, can't generalize information gained, ethical issues as a person might be vulnerable.

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A technique used to establish the strength of the relationship between 2 variables. Shows how they are related.

Adv- can see a relationship between two variables and an experiment can be used to find the cause, used in situations where it is impossible or unethical to carry out a study.

Dis- does not sure causes or which one cause the other, need a large amount of data so a pattern can be seen.

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Respect- data collected should be confidential, people should be given informed consent so they know what they are agreeing to. Deception should be avoided unless it is necessary for the research and participants she be told asap. The participants also have the right to withdraw.

Competence- psychologists should only give advice and conduct studies if they are qualified.

Responsibility- participants must be protected from harm and the risk should not be more than it is in real life. Participants should be debriefed so they understand the aim.

Integrity- Psychologists should be fair and honest, and consider if benefits outweigh costs to participants. 

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