Research Methods

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  • Created by: Abby18
  • Created on: 10-05-15 01:35

Dealing with ethical issues

  • Debriefing
    • Post-research interview, designed to inform Ps about true nature of study
      • May not remove any anxiety/distress
      • Participants may still experience psychological new harm
  • Providing informed consent
    • Gives people unable to provide consent the ability to participate
    • E.g. parent can give consent for child
  • Presumptive consent
    • Ask a group of people if they would participate
      • Similar to participants
  • Anoymity
    • Means of protecting privacy and confidentiality
    • By withholding identitiy of participants
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Laboratory experiment

  • Advantages
    • Well controlled
      • Extraneous variables are minimised
        • Higher internal validity
    • Can be easily replicated
      • Supports the external validity of the results
  • Disadvantages
    • Artifical
      • Contrived situation
        • Ps don't behave as they do in everyday life
        • Lack of mundane realism
    • Demand characteristics
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Field experiment

  • Advantages
    • Less artifical
      • Higher mundane realism
      • Higher internal validity
    • Avoids participant effects
  • Disadvantages
    • Hard to control extraneous variables
      • Reduces internal validity
    • Still demand characteristics
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Natural experiment

  • Advantages
    • IV can't be manipulated
      • No ethical issues
    • Enables psychologists to study 'real' problems
  • Weaknesses
    • Cannot demonstrate casual relationship
      • IV not directly manipulated
    • Extraneous variables
    • Participant/investigator effects
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Repeated Measures design

  • Same participants in every experimental condition
  • Limitations
    • Order effect
      • Practise
    • May guess aim of the experiment
      • Alter behaviour
        • Affects validity
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Independent Groups Design

  • Participants are allocated into 2 (or more) groups each with one condition
  • Limitations
    • Lack of control of participant variables
      • Participants in the 2 groups may differ
        • Random allocation stops that
          • Not always possible
    • More participants are needed
      • Repeated measures is easier
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Matched Pairs design

  • Pairs of participants are matched on key participant variables
  • Limitations
    • Time consuming to match participants
    • Can't control all participant variables
      • Extraneous variables
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Order Effects

  • Happens in repeated measures
  • Paricipants do better on the second condition
    • Practise
  • Boredom effect
    • Participants may do less well due to boredom
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Counterbalancing

  • Used to deal with order effect
    • Ensures each condition is tested 1st or 2nd in equal amounts
      • 1) A B
      • 2) B A
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Single/double study

  • Single blind
    • Participants are 'blind' to the aims of the study
    • May be given a 'cover' story
      • Stops them guessing the true aims of the study
  • Double blind
    • Both participant/experimenter are 'blind'
    • Reduces possibilty of experimenter effects
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Opportunity sample

  • Selected people who are most easily available at time of the study
    • E.g. ask people on steet
  • Strength
    • Easiest method
      • Less time to locate sample
  • Limitation
    • Inevitably biased/lacks representativeness
      • Sample is drawn from a small part of the target population
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Volunteer Sample

  • Sample of participants produced by asking for volunteers
  • Strength
    • Gives access to a variety of participants
      • Instead of those in the right place at right time
  • Limitation
    • More likely to be highly movtivated
      • Or have extra time on their hands
        • Volunteer bias
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Random Sample

  • Sample produced using a random technique
    • All members of target pop. has equal chance of being selected
  • Strength
    • Unbiased
    • All member of target population have an equal chance
  • Limitation
    • Takes more time/effort
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Quantitative data

  • Represent how much/long/many ect.
  • Data that can be counted
  • Presentation
    • Tables/graphs
  • Strength
    • Easier to analyse than qualatative data
      • Numerical data summarised using graphs
  • Limitation
    • Tends to oversimplify reality & human experience
      • Suggests experiences can be expressed in numbers
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Qualitative data

  • Express the 'quality' of things
    • Includes descriptions/words/meanings
  • Data can be turned into quantative
    • Placing items into categories
  • Strength
    • Represent the true complexities of human behaviour
      • Illustrates people's thoughts/feelings
        • Can't be used with quantative data
  • Weakness
    • Summarising can be affected by personal expectations/beliefs
      • & bias
        • May simply appear to be more objective
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Correctional analysis

  • Way of measuring the relationship between 2 co-variables
    • Variables must be continous
  • Zero correlation = co-variables not linked
  • Positive correlation = co-variables increase together
  • Negative correlation = 1 co-variable increaes, other decreases
  • Strengths
    • Suggests whether or not there's a casual relationship
      • Only shows a correlation
  • Limitation
    • Cannot truly demonstrate a casual relationship
      •  Misinterpret correlations
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Naturalistic observation

  • Environmental is unstructed
    • Nothing is changed
  • Strength
    • High interanl validity
      • Provides a realistic picture
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Controlled observations

  • Everything is structured
  • Researcher determines elements of environment
  • Strength
    • Allows focus on particular aspects of behaviour
  • Limitation
    • Behaviour is unnatural & lack validity
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Overt and covert observations

  • Overt
    • Participants are aware of being observed
      • May alter behaviour
      • Validity is reduced
  • Covert
    • Participants do not know 
    • Strength
      • Participants act more naturally
    • Limitations
      • Informed consent cannot be given
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Questionaire

  • Respondents record their own answers
    • Questions are pre-determined (structured)
  • Strength
    • Easily replicated
      • Means data can be collected in large numbers
    • Feel more willing to reveal confidential/truthful info
      • Increases validity
  • Weakness
    • May misundertand/not take task seriously
      • Lack validty
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Interview

  • Structured
    • Predetermined questions are used
  • Unstructured/semi-structured
    • Some/all questions are developed in interview
    • Interviewer creates additional questions in response to answers
  • Strength
    • More detailed information from unstructured
      • Questions are specially shaped to the participant
    • Can explain questions
      • Avoid misunderstandings
  • Limitation
    • Affected by interview bias
      • Leading questions affecting validity
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