Research Methods flash cards

These flash cards include key features of science, theory construction, Popper and Kuhn and peer review 

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WHAT IS SCIENCE?

Science is a scientific process where you test a hypothesis and construct a theory. It is knowledge based on objective principles or Phenomena.

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WHAT ARE THE KEY FEATURES OF SCIENCE?

  •  EMPIRICISM - information gained through direct observation or experiment rather than by reasoned argument or confounded beliefs
  • REPLICABILITY - to be able to replicate the experiment to see if you get the same results. This also increases reliability
  • REASONING - to see if the information can be verified (proved) and it has to be logical (makes sense)
  • CONTROL - whether you can control the variables to see if there is a causal relationship. Also to establish cause and effect
  • OBJECTIVITY - information has to be unbiased and without judgement
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WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF SCIENCE?

  • DESCRIPTION - why something happens
  • UNDERSTANDING - the reason behind it
  • PREDICT - this is what you think will happen
  • CONTROL - how the study was done
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WHAT IS THE THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS?

  • INDUCTION - observe, generate a aim/hypothesis, conduct studies, draw conclusions, establish theory
  • DEDUCTION - observe, establish theory, conduct studies, draw conclusions
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WHAT IS THE PRINCIPLE OF FALSIFIABILITY?

There is no logical way in which theories can be proved true using the induction method. Scientists should aim to demonstrate they are wrong by ruling out alternative explanations of a scientific phenomenon.

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WHAT ARE THE 3 STAGES ACCORDING TO KUHN?

  • PRE SCIENCE - a range of views people have about one topic
  • NORMAL SCIENCE - a generally accepted paradigm which determines the research carried ouT.
  • REVOLUTIONARY SHIFT - occurs when there is a paradigm shift and new ones replace the previous ones
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WHAT IS KUHN’S DESCRIPTIONS OF PARADIGMS?

 It is a set of assumptions which are implicit views scientists hold that are shared by the communities of scientists that influence the way research is done.

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WHAT ARE 2 CRITICISMS OF THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH?

  • LACK OF OBJECTIVITY - people’s biases have an impact on what is deemed scientific. Just using a scientific method doesn’t make something scientific
  • LACK OF CONTROL - in some situations, the researcher may not always be able to control the variables, for example, in a field experiment, the researcher will have no control
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WHY MIGHT THE SCIENTIFIC NATURE BE REDUCED BECAUSE

  • EXPERIMENTER BIAS - the experimenter might only note down things that will benefit them
  • DEMAND CHARACTERISTICS - people may act in a certain manner to please the researcher
  • SUBJECTIVE OPINIONS - the researcher may not be unbiased and let their judgements effect their results
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WHAT IS PEER REVIEW?

It is an assessment of scientific work by others who are the same experts in the same field. It is to ensure that any research conducted and published is of a high standard.

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WHAT ARE THE SECTIONS TO BE SENT FOR PEER REVIEW?

  • Overall research design
  • Sampling
  • Ethical issues
  • Operationalisation of variables
  • Reliability and validity
  • Conclusions
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WHAT ARE THE SUBSECTIONS SENT TO PEER REVIEW?

  • EXTERNAL REVIEWER - selected by their expertise
  • DOUBLE BLIND PEER REVIEW - when the reviewers aren’t told who they are reviewing
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WHAT ARE 3 PROBLEMS WITH PEER REVIEW?

 

  • UNACHEIVEABLE IDEAL - it isn’t always possible to find an appropriate expert to review a research proposal
  • ANONYMITY - social relationships affect objectivity
  • PUBLICATION BIAS - tends to favour the publication of positive results possibly because the editors want research that has important implications
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WHAT ARE TWO PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES THAT ARE SCIEN

 

BEHAVIOURAL

  • EMPIRICISM - researchers observed the behaviour to support their theory
  • REPLICABILITY - you can replicate their studies e.g. bobo doll study
  • REASONING - their assumptions can be verified and also it is logical and rational

COGNITIVE

  • REASONING  - to do with making irrational thoughts to rational
  • REPLICABILITY - you can replicate the different studies within cognitive explanation.
  • EMPIRICISM - CBT has been proved because it has been observed through therapies.
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WHAT PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES AREN’T SCIENTIFIC?

PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH

 

  • It is subject to investigator bias
  • Freud’s theory can be viewed as irrational
  • It cannot be proved or disproven
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WHAT 2 POINTS SUPPORT AND 2 POINTS CRITICISE PSYCH

  • SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IS DESIRABLE - psychologists sought out to create a science of psychology because this would enable them to produce verifiable knowledge as distinct from common sense
  • SCIENCE IS A SET OF ASSUMPTIONS - can be based on opinions rather than facts
  • USE SCIENTIFIC METHODS - may use tools of science but the essence of science has excluded them
  • LACK OF OBJECTIVITY AND CONTROL - people will research an area that they are focused in, which may influence their interpretations of their results.
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