Research methods

HideShow resource information

Research methods


  • Directional hypotheses - Direction of change
  • Non-directional hypotheses - Change with no direction
  • Null hypotheses - State no change

Control of variables

  • Extraneous variables - Variables other than the IV that may affect the DV
  • Confounding variables - An extraneous variable that affected the DV.
  • Demand charateristics - When participants change their behaviour after working out the aim
  • Investigator effects - Unwanted influence of the investigator that may influence the results
  • Randomisation - The use of chance to control the effects of bias 
  • Standardisation - Using the same formalised procedures.

Experimental design

  • Independent groups - Two seperate groups experience two different conditions
  • Repeated measures - All participants take part in all conditions
  • Matched pairs - Pairs of participants are matched on some variables that may affect the DV.
  • Random allocation - Attempting to control for participant variables in an independent groups design
  • Counterbalancing - Attempting to control for the order effects in a repeated measures design

Types of experiment

  • Lab - Takes place in a controlled environment/ Control over IV and extraneous variables
  • Field - Takes place in a natural setting. Iv is manipulated and DV recorded
  • Natural - IV is naturally occuring and records effect on DV
  • Quasi - IV is not determined. Strictly not an experiment


  • Random - All members of target population ahve an equal chance of being selected
  • Systematic - Every nth member of the target population is selected
  • Stratified - The composition of sample reflects the proportions of people in certain sub-groups within the target population
  • Opportunity - Anyone willing and available is selected
  • Volunteer - Participants select themselves to participate

Ethical issues

  • Informed consent - Participants are made aware of the aims, their rights and what their data will be used for before they take part.
  • Protection from harm - Participants should not be placed at any more risk than they would in their daily lives
  • Privacy and confidentiality - The right to control information about themselves.

Ways of dealing with ethical issues

  • British psychological society has


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Research methods and techniques resources »