Evaluation of Research Method Techniques


Non-experimental Methods:

  • Interview

- Social desirability bias

+ Can explain questions fully, open questions

- Personality can affect the results

- Experimenter bias - interpretations

  • Questionnaire

- Questionnaires are standardised so it isn't possible to explain any points in questions - misinterpretation. Solved by piloting the questions.

- Open questions can generate large amounts of data that take a long time to process and analyse. Could limit the space available so responses become concise.

- May answer superficially if it is too long to complete.

+ More objective than interviews. Relatively quicker to collect information using a questionnaire.

+ Information can be collected from a large portion of a group. Return rates are usually low but it can be improved if it's in a place where they have to give it back immediately (e.g. library)

  • Correlational Analysis

+ Good for showing possible relationships between variables and are the only practical or ethical way of carrying out an investigation

- Can't establish cause and effect. E.g. if we found a positive correlation between GCSE scores and attendance we cant say one causes the other. Could be leading to it but other variables could be present.

Experimental Methods:

  • Lab

+ It is easier to replicate because a standardised procedure is used

+ Allow for control over extraneous/independent variables - allows cause and effect to be established.

- Its artificial - unnatural behviour doens't reflect real life (ecological validity) Not possible to generalise the findings to a


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