RESEARCH METHODS UNIT 1 PSYCHOLOGY REVISION

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Validity!

Validity - the extent to which research measures what it claims to measure.

THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF VALIDITY, INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL VALIDITY!

Internal Validity - the extent to which research generates information in the reseach area, i.e. if it is controlled well with no extraneous variables.

External Validity - the extent to which the findings of research can be generalised and applied to the public.

THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF EXTERNAL VALIDITY!

Ecological Validity - if it can be generalised to every day life

Population Validity - if it can be generalised to all groups of people

Historical Validity - if it can be generalised to different historical times

GENERALLY IF A STUDY HAS HIGH INTERNAL VALIDITY IT HAS LOW EXTERNAL VALIDITY AND VISA VERSA

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Reliability!

Reliability

Reliability - refers to the consistency of a measure. A measure is considered reliable if we get the same results repeatedly.

IN TERMS OF OBSERVATIONS THERE IS TWO TYPES OF RELIABILITY!

Intra-Observer Reliability - If the single observer is consistant in applying the criteria.

Inter-Observer Reliability - If a team of observers are applying the criteria to the same standard. Are they STANDARDISING their criteria

 

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Variables!

Variables

These are the types of variables:

Independent - the characteristic of a psychological experiment that is manipulated or changed.

Dependent - the variable that is being measured.

Confounding - variables that the researcher fails to control or eliminate.

Extraneous - any variable other than the independent variable that could cause a change in the dependent variable.

Situational - things in the environment that may impact an experiment.

Participant - indavidual characteristics that may impact how they respond in an experiment (this includes SOCIAL DESIRABILITY).

Control - something that is held constant to eliminate extraneous.

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Experimental Designs!

Experimental Designs

THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:

Independent Measures Design - where different participants are used in each condition of an experiment.

Repeated Measures Design - where the same participants participate in all conditions of an experiment.

Matched-Pairs Design - where different but similar participants are used in each condition of an experiment. These participants can be matched on things like age and ability.

 

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Evaluation of Experimental Designs!

INDEPENDANT MEASURES DESIGN

+ Less chance of order effects

- Time consuming

- No control over participant variables

REPEATED MEASURES DESIGN

+ Fewer participants needed

+ Participants variables eliminated

- Order effects (Practice and boredom)

MATCHED PAIRS DESIGN

+ Less chance of order effects

- Time consuming to match participants

- Can't control all participant characteristics

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Hypothesis!

Hypothesis

Hypothesis - a testable statement predicting the precise relationship between variables. In experimental designs a hypothesis will suggest that there will be a difference between two or more groups as a results of manipulation of one of them (i.e. changing the dependent variable).

Null Hypothesis - a testable statement predicting that there will be no significant difference between the variables identified in the experimental hypothesis.

A HYPOTHESIS CAN BE DIRECTIONAL OR NON-DIRECTIONAL!

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Sampling!

Sampling

THERE ARE SIX TYPES OF SAMPLING:

Random Sampling - All have an equal chance of selection normally methodised using a name generator.

Quota Random Sampling - Estimating the ratio and randomly choosing accordingly.

Stratified Random Sampling - Finding the ratio and randomly choosing accordingly (e.g. 2:3 male to female).

Systematic Random Sampling - Selecting on a regular structured basis (e.g. every fifth person).

Oppurtunity Random Sampling - Randomly selecting those closest or most convenient for you to use.

Volunteer Sampling - Placing an advertisement and selecting the first participants you get needed to make up sample (less order effects but more participant effects).

 

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Ethics!

Ethics

THESE ARE THE ETHICAL ISSUES WE ARE CONCERNED WITH IN PSYCHOLOGY:

Consent - whether a participant has given permission to take part in the research.

Deception - whether a participant has been lied to at any point prior or during the research.

Confidentiality - whether the information and identity of participants are being protected.

Debriefing - whether participants are aware of the involvment and tasks within the research prior to giving their consent.

Right to Withdraw - a participant's right to no longer take part in the study at any point in the research.

Protection of Participants - whether the participant's mental and physical health is protected and maintained throughout the research process.

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Measures of Central Tendency!

Measures of Central Tendency

THESE ARE THE MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY:

Mean –  determined by adding all scores together and dividing by the number of scores.

Modeuses the most frequently occurring score. A distribution with two or more scores that are equal and occur most frequently is called multi-modal.

Median – uses the middle score in a distribution (the score that occurs at exactly the 50th percentile).

Range – uses the difference between the lowest and the highest score in a distribution.

Standard deviation – a measure of spread within distribution surrounding the mean. 

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Evaluation of Central Tendency Measures!

MEAN

+ uses all data so provides a strong valid estimate

- skewed by extreme values

MEDIAN

+ not affected by extreme values

- not all data is used so can be a misrepresentative value

MODE

+ can be used for categorical data unlike other measures

- there can be multiple modes or no mode (vague)

RANGE

+ easy to analyse

- affected by extreme values

STANDARD DEVIATION

+ precise way to include all data without taking into account extreme values

 

 

 

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Different Methods of Research!

Methods of Research

THESE ARE THE METHODS OF RESEARCH:

EXPERIMENTS

CASE STUDIES

SURVEYS/QUESTIONNAIRES

INTERVIEWS

OBSERVATIONS

CORRELATIONAL STUDIES

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Evaluation of Experiments!

LAB EXPERIMENTS

+ easy to repeat so you can check results

+ able to control confounding variables

- lacks external validity because so much is controlled

- demand characteristics knowing they're being studied

NATURALISTIC EXPERIMENTS

+ can investigate an IV that may be unethical to manipulate

+ demand characteristics lessen because they are unaware that they are being watched

- can't control extraneous variables

- time consuming

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Evaluation of Case Studies!

CASE STUDIES

+ able to get detailed information

+ lots of internal validity and account for indaviduality

- massively lacks population validity

- time consuming

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Evaluation of Surveys/Questionnaires!

SURVEYS/QUESTIONNAIRES

+ cheap/convenient

+ people can take their time answering

+ people can answer in their own home

- can misunderstand questions

- people can miss out/incorrectly answer questions

- not everyone will return the form 

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Interviews!

Interviews

There are three types of interviews:

Structured - set format of standardised questions

Semi-structured - set questions but these can be varied and expanded upon (normally used by psychologists)

Unstructured - no set format for the questions, allows interviewer to follow the natural progression of the conversation

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Evaluation of Interviews!

INTERVIEWS

+ allows interviewer to clarify questions so that the answers are valid

+ allows participants to freeky express

+ can collect qualitative and quantitative data

- interpersonal variables

- time consuming

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Observations!

Observations

There are several different types of interviews:

Covert observation - The participants don't know they are being observed.

Overt observation - The participant knows they are being oberserved. (DEMAND CHARACTERISTICS)

Participant observer - The researcher joins the participant either overtly or covertly.

Non-participant observer - The researcher remains seperate from the participant.

Naturalistic observation - The behaviour being studied  isn't interfered with in any way.

Controlled observation - The behaviour being studied is observed in a specific situation.

Unstructured observation - Everything the participant does is noted down.

Structured observation - There is a standardised behavioural criteria that the observation is based on.

Time sampling - The participant's behaviour is noted at pre-decided times (every minute).

Event sampling - Every time the behaviour being studied occurs it is noted down.

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Evaluation of Observations!

OBSERVATIONS

+ can get lots of detail from observations

+ high internal and external validity often because its in a natural but manipulated environment

- time consuming

- demand characteristics if they know they are being observed

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Evaluation of Correlational Studies!

CORRELATIONAL STUDIES

+ allows us to easily establish the relationship between two variables

+ high ecological validity because nothing is manipulated

- can't find the cause of this relationship

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