Research Methods (I & D)


Laboratory Experiments

AO1 Artificial environ, IV manipulated/DV measured, high control of Vs, establishes a C & E rel.

AO2 Lacks eco val - artificial environ and task, Ps aware. High in rel - standardised procedure and usually quant and hence obj data. High in val - confounding variables well controlled so we can be sure IV effects DV. 

Example is Loftus and Palmer (exp 1):

AO1 To investigate if the wording of a question can influence the recall of information when witnessing a video crime. 45 Ps, 7 clips of traffic accident shown, Ps wrote an account and asked qu's inc "how fast do you think the car was going when it ........... into the other car?" 5 conditons 1. Smashed 2. Collided 3. Bumped 4. Hit 5. Contacted. More severe the word = higher speed. 1. 40.8 5. 31.8

AO2 lacks eco val - no emotions like real crime, more attentive to video as it is set up, real life app - advise police no leading qu's, high in rel - controlled S Vs, no other factors that could affect memory, not gen - only students who may not have as good an understanding of speed judgment compared to experienced drivers so not rep of experienced drivers.

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Field Experiments

AO1: manipulation of IV to measure its effect on DV to establish a C & E rel, task and environ = natural to P, Ps usually unaware so no briefing etc, usually independent measures and oppurtunity sampling.                                                                                                           AO2: low in rel - S Vs not controlled and no repeated measures so P Vs not either, but higher in rel - researchers usually try and make it as standardised as possible so all Ps have the same experience, high in eco val - Ps believe situ is real and the task appears part of real life so accurate rep of real behaviour.. no DC/SDB, ethical issues - Ps unaware so can't give consent etc.

Example is Yuille and Cutshall (1986):

AO1: investigated the accuracy of recall in EW to a real life shooting overtime and in response to leading questions, 13 witnesses came back 4-5 months after the shooting and were interviewed again, first gave a free account of the events and were asked two key qu's.. 1. Did you see ..... broken headlight? and 2. Did you see ..... yellow panel? For half the word was a and the other half it was the. Also rated stress levels. Little changed, found more details, 10 unaffected by qu's, more stressed = more accurate. Suggests EWT is reliable!                           AO2: high in eco val, real crime so all emotions, app - advise courts its rel so can prosecute, high in rel - standardised, free account then same qus, IV easily isolated, not gen - each crime is unique, some crimes more distressing than others which could affect it.

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Naturalistic Experiments

AO1: real life settings, IV is naturally occuring, DV still measured, attempts to establish a C & E rel but difficult as not much control over IV.

AO2: lacks rel - extraneous variables can't be controlled due to the natural environ, means other things could impact results, high in eco val - Ps natural environ so should behave how they normally would. 

Example is Charlton (2000): 

AO1: to investigate the effects of TV on childrens behaviour, video recorded the behaviour of children in playgrounds before and after the intro of TV on the island, behaviour was recorded as either pro-social or anti-social, no increase in aggressive behaviour after the intro of TV - in fact there was more prosocial behaviour.

AO2: not gen to other cultures - children on St Helena are very closely supervised in comparison to other cultures, high in rel - study used many researchers for inter rater reliability but unique situ so difficult to repeat, high in eco val - children observed completely in their natural environ through the use of CCTV - a natural thing.

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AO1: asking for personal data eg age, gender and background, includes other questions relevant to subject, can use open or closed questions, self report data where Ps give their own thoughts and feelings.                                                                                                         AO2: high in rel - standardised as same qu's asked each time, high in gen - easy to have a large sample, low in val - usually contain certain fixed qu's which can't be expanded on so no understanding, also, self report data so could lie.                                                          

Example of a study:              

AO1: to investigate whether anorexia and bulimia have a genetic component by comparing concordance rates of MZs and DZs, questionnaire was sent out 1. have you ever experienced anorexia? 2. has anyone else ever described you as anorexic? 3. have you ever experienced bulimia? If both twins responded then the content would be used, yes to q1 = narrow definition, yes to q 1 and 2 = broad definition. Anorexia (narrow) MZ: 0.18 DZ: 0.07, anorexia (broad) MZ: 0.25 DZ: 0.13, bulimia MZ: 0.26 DZ: 0.11, MZs = higher chance than DZs suggesting dev of eating disorders is partly genetic.                                                                                   AO2: high in gen - 29424 questionnaires were used so rep of MZs and DZs but carried out in Denmark where media influences may be different to other countries, low in val - MZs treated more similarly than DZs so may be environ still, self report data - twins could lie, high in rel - objective quantitative data                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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AO1: face to face situ with a series of qu's though can be over internet (eg skype), gathers qualitative data, can be structured - follows a set format = specific = no room for exploration, or unstructured - no set format = interrviewers can explore further dep on respondants answers, or semi-structured - set qu's but some can be explored

AO2: high in val - gathers in depth qual data which adds useful understanding and insight.. if qu's are open ended, interview schedules must be prep, carried out and written up = time consuming, can be useful with sensitive topics as interviewer can build a rel with the person, lower in val - self report data so people may lie and exaggerate

Example is Yuille and Cutshall (1986): 

See field experiement card...

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Case Studies

AO1: study gathering in depth qual detailed data on a single case ie an individual or family, different research methods are used with it eg observation, attempts to help the person and usually a peudonym is used 

AO2: lacks gen - every person is unique with their own personal life exp so not rep of anyone else, high in val - lots of rich qual data = great understanding, lacks rel - subjective interpretation involving all researchers opinions etc though triangulation can increase it, ethical issues - confidentiality compromised as lots of personal data published though pseudonym is used, person usually vunerable so researchers need to be careful not to cause distress

Example is Curtiss (Genie):

AO1: to inves the effects of privation and whether they are reversible, when found at 13 = very poor mental and physical development, in care receiving therapy.. being obs.. interviews with her and mother.. brain scans, mental age increased by one year every year, posture improved, learned sign language, went back to mum then lots of foster homes = abused and deteriorated

AO2: ethics - pseudonym used but lots of personal info published, lacks gen - unique case of abuse etc and possible retardation so not rep of other kids with privation, appl - can still form attachments but unable to dev language once past critical period

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Content Analyses

AO1: Content analysed from media services eg magazines or TV, aim is to identify themes depending on the purpose of the study, behaviours of examples of categories are then tallied to see how often they appear, quantitative data is gathered, conc drawn from numbers

AO2: high in rel - quant data so objective, lacks val - excludes a lot of qual data and focuses on one section = decreases accurate understanding, ethics - no Ps used so no one to protect, info already published in the public domain, lacks gen - subject area and source used is completely unique so not rep of others


AO1: to invest whether smoking, alcohol and drug abuse ft in TV programmes watched by 10-15yr olds, researchers used 10 most watched programmes broadcast before 9pm, tally was made any time alcohol, drugs and smoking (illegal or legal) were used, alcohol related scenes = 12 per hour, smoking related scenes = 3.4 per hour, drugs related scenes = 19 per hour, 4% of time = none

AO2: high in val - programmes were real and broadcast, results were about what the children really watched, lacks gen - programmes taken before watershed so less likely to see content, ethics - no Ps used so no issues

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Correlational Designs

AO1: to find out if there is a rel between two or more Vs, +ve correlation means high values in one V are related to high values in another V (same if low), -ve correlation means low values in one V is associated with high values in another V, no rel between V's then Vs = uncorrelated

AO2: gen - quant data used tends to be from large sample sizes so rep of all correlations, high in rel - P Vs controlled as both sets of data come from the same person, high in rel - quant data = objective, lacks val - quant data lacks detailed meaning 

Example is Gottesman (1991): 

AO1: invest if conc rate for schiz is higher when amount of shared gen material is higher ie to see if there is a correlation between the two, family study and meta-analysis = oppurtunity sampling, gathered data from 40 European studies compatible with the DSM3, MZs = 48%, DZs = 17%, first cousins = 2% risk of dev schiz, hence correlation found.

AO2: high in gen - over 40 studies used = large sample size, low in val - MZs treated more similarly than DZs so could be due to the environ not genes so not an accurate test of genetics, ethical - no Ps meta-analysis already published in the public domain, high in rel - standardised procedure, follows a set criteria.. also quant data hence objective

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AO1: watching Ps behaviour in a situ and possibly tallying the number of times certain behaviours are displayed, natural/structured environ, overt/covert, participant/non-participant

AO2: high in eco val - Ps unaware if covert so no DCs and Ps act completely natural, high in rel - if structured.. situ is controlled and standardised eg the strange situ has a set procedure of 8 stages, covert obs have ethical issues - unaware so can't give consent etc, lacks val - subjective, researchers only record what they see so it's an element of their interpretation 

Example is Watson and Rayner (Little Albert):

AO1: to inves whether they could condition the fear of a rat by *** it with a stimulus that produces fear ie a loud noise, single case.. oppurtunity sampling, initially scared of loud noise not rat or rabbit etc, two months later shown loud noise and rat at the same time, repeated 5x one week later, after 31 days tested again, became scared of rat and other similar stimuli eg rabbit cotton wool

AO2: lacks eco val - lab = artificial.. situ could of made him agitated beforehand, lacks gen - small sample size, only baby tested.. older may be more used to new noises etc, appl - can reverse it in therapy to condition people to no longer be afraid of something, ethical issues - distress as they didn't try to get rid of the fears after though they may of faded, made sure he wasn't easily scared though

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