Research Design

Psychology AQA A

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Independent Groups Design

Different participants in each group. One group does a task with an audience whilst another group does the task alone.


  • No order effects, no one gets better through practice or gets worse through being bored or tired. 


  • Participant variables, differences between the people in the group could effect the results as some may be better at the task than others
  • Twice as many participants are needed
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Repeated Measures Design

All the particiapants do both tasks, you can then compare the performances/scores from each condition


  • There is no participant variability as the participants are used twice, once in each condition so any differences shouldn't affect the results
  • Fewer participants are needed to get the same results.


  • Order effects, as the participants do one condition first, they might do better in the second condition as they have already had practice in the first condition.
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Matched Pairs Design

Different participants in each condition but they are matched on skill level, intelligence, gender etc etc.The results are then compared between the pairs.


  • No order effects, there are different people in each condition so no one would have the opportunity to practice.
  • Participant variability, important differences are minimised through matching the participants.


  • Twice as many people are needed for the same amount of results.
  • Time consuming.
  • Difficult to find participants who match up appropriately. 
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