Research methods

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Case study

* A detailed longitudal study on an individual/ event using information from many sources such as direct observation

+ complex interaction can be studied

+ Full insight into the reasons behind behvaiours can be obtained

- Can't generalise from case studies as they tend to be specific to one person

- They tend to be longitudal, which can get expensive

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Observational studies

* Watching what people do, a means of measuring the DV

+ More valid as it is a rich picture of what people actually do

+ Less risk of demand charcteristics as they may not know they are being observed

- Observer bias may be problematic 

- Potentially the participants may be biased, if you have chosen to observe people in the park at 12pm these people are unlikely to be students or have a job therefore biased towards older/ unemployed people

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content analysis

* A form of observation, looking at the content of things such as speeches

+ High ecological valiidity

+ Gives insight to "real" behaviour under "real" circumstances

- Sampling bias 

- Observer bias

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Lab experiment

* Conducting an experiment in a highly controlled enviroment, manipulating the IV and measuring - DV

+ Control increase replicability

+ High internal validity, you know that IV is causing the DV

- Low ecological validity 

- At risk of things such as demand characteristics as the participants knwo they are in some kind of experiment 

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Field experiment

* An experiment conducted in a controlled environment but the experiment still had control over the IV

+ High ecological validity

+ Less experimenter effects

- At risk of demand characteristics 

- less replicability 

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Natural experiment

* An experiment that makes us if existing IV's, the experimenter has no control over the IV

+ Only way to study certain behaviours

+ High ecological validity 

- Participants are not randomly allocated 

- Casual conclusions cannot be drawn

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* Written questions that are used to collect data, usually without the experimenter and is anonymous

+ easily repeated

+ Rich data can be obtained from open questions

- Honesty is a big problem, easy and common to lie on questionnaires

- Qualitative data is hard to analyse 

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* Involves fate to face "real time" interaction with another individual to collect data

+ structured interviews can be replicated

+ Can obtain both quantitative and qualitative data

- Honesty is a problem

- Data analysis of qualititaive data is hard

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Correlational analysis

*Concerned with the relationships between two variables, can be positive, negative or no correlation

+ useful in identifying the relationship between two variables

+ Easily repeated with large data sets

- Does not demonstrate a cause 

- interveing variables are problematic

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