Research Methods

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  • Created by: Kate
  • Created on: 12-03-14 19:15

Volunteer Sampling

This is advertising for volunteers to take part in an experiment.

This may be through an advert online, in the newspaper etc..


Unbiased and representative

 Volunteer bias - only a certain type of person would volunteer-they would be highly motivated and therefore it can be argued that is it an unrepresentative sample

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Demand Characteristics

Participants will behave the way they think you want them to behave.

Participants may guess what the experiment is about and this will influence their behaviour.

Reducing Demand Characteristics

Single Blind Technique- participants are not told about the details of the study, or are lead to believe its about something different.

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Involves asking a participant about their thoughs/attitudes/behaviour/intentions

Aims to obtain information from a specific sample poplulations

Closed Questions- questions where possible answers are provided (eg. yes, no)

Open Questions- questions where a range of answers may be obtained


  • Cheap and quick
  • Simple/easy to create and carry out
  • Able to collect a large sample
  • Qualitative/quantitative can be given
  • Closed questions are easy to analyse
  • Leading questions are an issue
  • Self report bias
  • Unrepresentative sample
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Correlation Research

Looking at the relationship between two variables.

They do not establish cause and effect.

Correlations Coefficent-shows how closely two variables are related
+1.0 = greater the +ve correlation
-1.0 = greater the -ve correlation
0 = no correlations 


  • Can obtain a large amount of data
  • indicates trends which may lead to further studies
  • casual relationships can be ruled out if no correlation exits
  • cannot draw cause and effect conclusions
  • interpretations of results can be difficult
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A prediction made that explains what a study is designed to test and so that it can be tested.

Directional Hypothesis- predicts a particular destination

Non-Directional Hypothesis- states there will be a difference, but not which direction

Null Hypothesis- states there will be no change

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The aim is a general statement explaining why the study is being conducted

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Semi-Structured Interviews

This method has pre-prepared questions but the interviewee can expand on their answers.

Deviaiton from prepared list of questions may occur depending on the response.

This may be the most successful approach


  • Flexible and reliable
  • sometimes easy to analyse/compare
  •  phrasing of questions (leading questions) may lead to unreliable answers
  • open questions are difficult to analyse
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