WJEC- A2- PY3, ADVANTAGES OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD

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  • Created on: 07-01-13 12:44

Advantages of the Scientific Method.

OBJECTIVITY- NOT BASED ON SUBJECTIVE OPINION BUT FACTS AND EVIDENCE- allows unbiased studies to be conducted and more valid results to be obtained. Operationalising the variables that are being controlled and measure- the researcher is not relying on opinion or interpretation. Increases reliability, research can be repeated and the variables can be measured n the same way.

EXAMPLES- Gardner and Gardner- language was operationalised as signs that were used...spontaneously..in the correct context...on three separate occasions...seen by 3 observers and used for 15 days in a row. This meant that it was not the different researcher's opinions as to whether Washoe had correctly used language.

Langer and Rodin-(study of control in elderly people's lives)used a double blind researcher, means that subjective interpretations of results and researcher bias eliminated as the researcher collects data systematically unaware of the aims of the experiment. This makes it MORE OBJECTIVE and means the researcher CAN'T influence the results which also increases the internal validity.

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Advantages of the Scientific Method.

CONTROL- less likely for confounding variables to effect the research. Can see the effect of the IV on the DV so casual relationships can be seen and it is possible to establish cause and effect. The researcher can be more confident that the manipulates IV is the cause of the effect on the measures DV rather than confounding variables.

EXAMPLES-  Skinner- it was possible to be sure that it was the reinforcement of negative/positive behaviours that caused the rat to press the lever in Skinners operant conditioning experiments.

Milgram's study- was replicated by HOFFLING and found similar results. BOTH STUDIES CONDUCTED IN HIGHLY CONTROLLED CONDITIONS. Therefore, both Milgram and Hofling could be confident that the IV (the situation of being the teacher and being prompted to continue) caused the DV (the shock voltage the participant went up to) and that it wasn't due to chance factors or confounding variables.

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Advantages of the Scientific Method.

REPLICABILITY- makes it very reliable. Can establish whether results were likely to have occured by chance or if they were due to the effects of the IV on the DV. Other researchers can repeat the procedure and check for consistency in findings and thereofre validate previous findings. 

EXAMPLES-

Loftus and Palmer- (leading questions study)- has been replicated numerous times with similar results making the findings VERY RELIABLE.

Perrin and Spencer replicated Asch's study- found lower levels of conformity causing Asch's research to be less reliable. If a procedure is not replicable, it is inappropraite to determine how reliable findings are which is vital in psychology.

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Advantages of the Scientific Method.

PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES CAN BE DEVELOPED, ADAPTED OR DISCARDED IN THE LIGHT OF NEW EVIDENCE- 

EXAMPLES- Rosenham- found experienced professionals could not distinguish between real and false patients. Brought the issue of validity of psychiatric patients diagnosis to public attention- lead to improvements within the system of diagnosis.

Campos et al- used the visual cliff apparatus that Gibson and Walk used.. Developed g&w findings- able to measure emotion.. Found 5month olds had slower heart rate than 9month old when placed on the cliff side..refutes Gibson and Walk because it suggests nurture plays a part in depth perception.

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