Discovering Topic 1: Introduction

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What is the British Psychological Society (BPS)?
A representative body for psychologists and psychology in the UK
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What is the British Psychological Society (BPS) responsible for?
the development, promotion and application of psychology for the public good
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Who are the people in Philosophy who influenced psychology?
Descartes, Spinoza, John Locke and David Hume
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What did Descartes (1596-1650) talk about?
Dualism, said the mind/soul/consciousness does not have any biological reality so cannot be studied via scientific means.
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What is Dualism?
The belief that all realist can be divided into 2 distinct entities: mind and matter.
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What did Spinoza (1632-77) talk about?
Double Aspect theory, says the mind can be studied in the same way as physical matter.
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Who provided a philosophical basis for psychology to be a scientific discipline?
Spinoza
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What is Double Aspect Theory?
The order and connection of mental reality is the same as the order and connection of physical reality
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Who did not differentiate the mind from the material world?
John Lock (1632-1704) and David Hume (1711-76)
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What did John Lock (1632-1704) and David Hume (1711-76) talk about
Empiricism, which is a fundamental part of the scientific method used by the hard sciences.
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What is Empiricism?
The idea that truth and Knowledge can only be sought through observation and experience
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Who is the person in Physiology who influenced psychology?
Hermann von Helmholtz
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What did Hermann Von Helmholtz (1821-94) do?
Highlight the important link between physiology and psychology which is perception,.
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As pointed out by Hermann Von Helmholtz (1821-94) how is perception linked to physiology and psychology?
Perception has both physiological and psychological aspects which means that studying physiology in relation to psychology provides a means to investigate psychological phenomena using scientific methods.
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What is perception?
When you attain awareness of the environment by organising and interpreting sensory information
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Who is the person in psychophysics who influenced psychology?
Ernst Weber (1795-1878)
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How did Ernst Weber (1795-1878) influence psychology?
He was interested in the field of psychophysics. His work led to a method for measuring human perception. His contribution to psychology was that the study of perceptual phenomena could be scientific.
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What is psychophysics?
The relationship between the physical and mental realms
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Who was the founder of psychology as a scientific discipline?
Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920)
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Who did Wilhelm Wundt base his ideas of of?
Hermann von Helmholtz
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When did Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) set up the first psychology laboratory?
1879
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What did Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) claim to study and how did he study it?
He claimed to study the human mind via scientific means. He used the method of introspection and was an influential scientists who took careful measurements under controlled conditions
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What is the method of introspection?
The method of introspection is when you present highly trained observers with changing stimuli and record the observer's descriptions of their changing experience.
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How is the method of introspection criticised?
It is criticised for being subjective
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Who was the person in biology who influenced psychology?
Charles Darwin (1809-82)
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How did Charles Darwin (1809-82) influence psychology?
He studied animals and genetics to assist in the understanding of human nature.
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What specialist fields did Charles Darwin (1809-82) cause to exist?
Comparative and evolutionary psychology
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What are some other key figures in psychology?
William James, Hermann Ebbinghaus, Alfred Binet and Jean Piaget
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What did William James (1842-1910) do?
Help establish scientific psychology in North America
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What did Hermann Ebbinghause (1850-1909) do?
Conducted detailed experiments on memory using himself as a participant
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What did Alfred Binet (1857-1911) do?
Devised the first intelligence test
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What did Jean Piaget (1896-1980) do?
They were influential in establishing developmental psychology and showing how cognition and intelligence develops through childhood
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Who founded psychoanalysis?
Sigmund Freud (1836-1939)
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What was different about Freud's view on abnormal behavior?
He regarded it as a mental illness that needed treatment
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What are the 2 aspects Psychoanalysis consists of?
A theory of personality (focused on the unconscious) and a form of therapeutic treatment based on the theory
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What did Freud develop in terms of therapy?
He developed a systematic psychological approach to therapy.
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What did Freud extended psychology to include?
Subjects like developmental processes, motivation, personality and sexual behavior.
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What is the behaviorist approach in psychology concerned with?
Behaviour
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According to behaviorism how should psychology be seen?
As a science
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According to behaviorism what is the mind when it is born?
a blank slate 'tabula rasa'
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According to behaviorism is there any free will?
no
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According to behaviorism what is behavior due to?
stimulus-response associations
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According to behaviorism does the principles of learning in animals also apply to humans?
yes
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Who was involved in the history of behaviorism?
Pavlov, John B. Watson and B.F Skinner
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What experiment did Pavlov (1903) do?
He did an experiment on classical conditioning
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What was Pavlov's (1903) classical conditioning experiment?
Dog/Bell experiment. Paired the sound of a bell with food so the dog learned to salivate to the sound of a bell.
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What did Pavlov's (1903) classical conditioning dog/bell experiment demonstrate?
A fundamental stimulus-response learning principle
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How did John B.Watson (1878-1958) launch the behavioral school of psychology?
By publishing his article in 1913 "psychology as a behaviorist views it"
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What does John B.Watson (1878-1958) think psychology is/should be?
It should be the objective study of behavior and the stimuli which produces such behavior.
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What is Watson's behaviorism based on?
Stimulus-response learning
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What was the Watson and Rayner (1920) study?
Little Albert study. They conditioned Albert to fear a white rat. Which is an example of stimulus-response learning.
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Who introduced the concept of operant conditioning?
B.F.Skinner ~(1904-1990)
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What did B.F.Skinner (104-1990) say about operant conditioning?
He dismissed the mind and regarded the behaving person as an "empty organism" that could be shaped.
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What therapeutic technique did Skinner's ideas lead to?
Behaviour modification - a therapeutic technique used by clinicians.
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What is operant conditioning based on?
The idea of positive and negative reinforcement of behaviour and punishment.
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When did psychologists become dissatisfied with the narrowness of behaviourism and turned to cognitive psychology?
From 1970s onwards.
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Who are two cognitive psychologists?
Alan Baddeley and Elizabeth Loftus
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What do Cognitive psychologists claim?
That the consciousness can be studied scientifically
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What techniques did cognitive psychologists develop and why?
Experimental techniques were devised which enabled scientific investigation of mental processing.
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What experiments did Alan Baddeley do?
He formulated some experiments which explain how short term memory is structured.
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What experiments did Elizabeth Loftus do?
She created experiments demonstrating the unreliability of memory for past events (this provided implications for eye witness testimony)
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What is cognitive neuroscience?
The scientific study of the neural substrates that underlie cognition
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What methods are used to investigate brain function in relation to mental processing?
EEG (electroencephalography ) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging)
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Why are different research methods needed?
To address different psychological questions
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What are the aims of psychological research? (DEPC)
Describe (observation) , Explain (produce a theory), Predict (produce hypotheses based on theory and thus test the theory using experimentation), Control (if appropriate)
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How is research shared?
By being published in scientific journals, books and being talked about at conferences.
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What is the format of a scientific article?
Title, Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion, References
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What are the two types of research?
Experimental and Non-experimental (correlational)
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What are the four important components of an experiment?
The hypothesis, variables, independent variable and dependent variable
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What is a hypothesis?
A formal state of prediction, Hypotheses need to be amenable to empirical testing
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What are variables?
Any concept that varies and can be measured or assessed in some way.
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What is the independent variable?
The variable which is manipulated by the researcher (the one which changes)
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What is the dependent variable?
The variable that the researcher measures (the one you measure)
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During research what do scientists try to achieve?
The true experiment
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What is the purpose of the true experiment?
To test cause and effect relationships by collecting evidence to demonstrate the effect of one variable on another
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What is an important part of a true experiment? (this is the main difference between a true-experiment and a quasi-experiment)
Random Assignment
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What is the simplest form of a true experiment?
When an experiment is conducted by treating two groups of people exactly the same way except for the experimental treatment.
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With a true experiment, what can we say about any observed difference between the groups?
That the observed difference is down to the experimental treatment.
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What can only the true experiment identify?
Cause and effect relationships
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What is needed for a true experiment (relating to variables)?
The experimenter manipulation of the independent variable (the one you change)
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What is needed for a true experiment (relating to the environment)?
Control over the experimental environment and procedures
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What is needed for a true experiment (relating to conditions)?
The participants are assigned randomly to the conditions (otherwise it is a quasi-experiment)
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What does the experimenter manipulation of the independent variable mean?
That the researcher has full control over the independent variable and is able to precisely control how one condition of the experiment differs from another.
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What does it mean if there is control within the experiment?
That all other factors other than the independent variable remain constant. The environment, often a laboratory is controlled. Any procedures are standardised.
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What is an example of how the environment could be controlled?
Lighting, heating, time of day
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What is an example of some experimental procedures which could be standardised?
Experimental instructions, experimenter's behaviour, tasks given
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What does random assignment mean?
That each participant has an equal chance of being allocated to either condition. It is an experimental technique for assigning participants to different conditions.
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What is the benefit of random assignment?
By randomising participants to conditions, the group attributes for the different conditions will be roughly equivalent. Random assignment eliminates the influence of unconsidered or confounding variables. Random assignment equates group difference.
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What is one advantage of the true experiment (relating to measurement)?
The precise measurement of variables is possible
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What is one advantage of the true experiment (relating to control)?
All variables can be controlled
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What is one advantage of the true experiment (relating to cause and effect)?
You can test cause and effect relationships enabling explanations as well as descriptions of behaviour
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What is one advantage of the true experiment (Relating to replication) ?
It is easy to replicate
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What is one disadvantage of the true experiment (relating to IV and DV)?
The independent and dependent variable are often narrowly defined?
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What is one disadvantage of the true experiment (relating to validity) ?
It lacks ecological validity
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What is one disadvantage of the true experiment (relating to appropriateness)?
It is not always possible or appropriate to manipulate psychological variables
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When does the quasi-experiment occur?
When the researcher is unable to randomly assign participants to conditions.
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When is random assignment not feasible?
When the independent variable is naturally occurring.
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Without random assignment what can the researcher not rule out?
Confounding variables.
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What can Quasi-experiments not do?
Test cause and effect propositions
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What can the true experiment do?
address questions of cause and effect.
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What are some examples of confounding variables?
housing conditions, step-parents, family discord
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Name three types of experiment
Laboratory, Field, Natural,
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What is a Laboratory experiment?
A type of experimental method, here the experiment takes place in a very controlled environment. It typically makes use of sensitive equipment providing precise measurements.
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In what type of experiment are true experiments usually?
Laboratory experiments
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Are all Laboratory experiments true experiments?
No.
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What is a natural experiment?
An experimental method, it is an investigation of a naturally occurring event/naturally concurring differences in the independent variable.
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Does the researcher have any control over the independent variable in a natural experiment?
no
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Are natural experiments quasi-experiments or true-experiments?
Quasi-experiments
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What is a field experiment?
An experimental method which is conducted in the participant's natural environment.
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What type of validity does field experiments improve?
ecological validity
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If a researcher does a field experiment do they still try and make it a true experiment?
Yes, although scientific rigor and control is harder to achieve in the field compared to the laboratory.
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What is ecological validity?
When an experiment can be easily generalised to real life
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What is an advantage of a natural experiment? (validity)
It increases ecological validity
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What is an advantage of a natural experiment (characteristics)?
It reduces demand characteristics
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What is a disadvantage of a natural experiment (control)?
There is a lack of control
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What is a disadvantage of a natural experiment (replication)?
It is difficult to replicate
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What are the two major types of experimental design?
Between and Within subjects
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What is a between-subjects experimental design?
It means there is a different group for each experimental condition, if possible each participant will be randomly assigned to one of the conditions
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What are the other names for a between-subject design?
between-groups, independent samples and independent groups.
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What are the other names for within-subject design?
within-groups, repeated measures and related groups
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What is a within-subject experimental design?
When each participant takes part in all conditions. If possible the order of the conditions they take part in will be random.
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What is an alternative to the experimental method?
Correlational/cross-sectional research
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When is correlational/cross-sectional research used?
When it is difficult or inappropriate to manipulate variables.
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What happens in correlational/cross-sectional research?
The researcher measures a number of variables/characteristic in a sample of participants simultaneously, without intervention meaning there is no independent variable.
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What is the aim of correlational/cross-sectional research?
To identify a relationship between variables.
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Do correlational studies tell us about cause and effect relationships?
no. Only that there is some correlation.
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What does reliability look at (test/device)?
Is the measurement device or test dependable?
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What does reliability look at (consistency) ?
Does the measure yield consistent results when utilised repeatedly under similar conditions?
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What are the two sorts of reliability?
Internal and external
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What are the two types of external reliability?
Test re-test and inter-rater
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What is the type of internal validity?
Split-half method
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What is external reliability concerned with?
The extent to which a measure varies from one use to another
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What is internal reliability concerned with?
The extent to which a measure is consistent within itself
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What is test re-test reliability?
The measure of the stability of a test over time
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What is inter-rater reliability?
The degree to which different raters give consistent estimates of the same behaviour
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What is inter-rater reliability called when referring to observational research?
inter-observer reliability
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What is split-half reliability?
It measures the extent to which all parts of the test contribute equally to what is being measured. It compares the results of one half of a test with the results from the other half.
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What does validity look at?
If the measurement device or test measures what the psychology claims.
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What are the two sorts of validity?
External and internal
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What does internal validity refer to?
Whether the effects observed in a study are due to the manipulation of the independent variable and not some other factor.
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What does external validity refer to?
The extent to which the results of a study can be generalised
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What is population validity (external validity)?
The extent to which the results can be generalised to the population
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What is historical validity (external validity)?
The extent to which the results can be generalised over time
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What are the two main categories of internal validity?
Content validity and criterion validity.
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What does content validity (internal validity) refer to?
Whether or not the content is appropriate.
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What are the two types of content validity (internal validity)?
Face validity and construct validity.
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What is face validity (content validity/internal validity)?
It looks at if the test appears to test what it aims to test
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What is construct validity (content validity/internal validity)?
It refers to if the test relates to underlying theoretical concepts.
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What are the two types of criterion validity (internal validity) ?
Concurrent validity and predictive validity
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What is criterion validity (internal validity)?
It refers to the relationship of the test/experiment to other measures
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What is concurrent validity (criterion validity/internal validity)?
It looks at if the test/experiment relates to an existing similar measure
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What is predictive validity (criterion validity/internal validity)?
It looks at if the test/experiment can predict later performance on a related criterion.
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What are Operational definitions?
A precise description of how a psychological concept is understood in terms of how it is going to be measured
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What do operational definitions generally apply to?
The IV and DV
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What is an advantage of operational definitions?
That the meaning of the concept is made explicit
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What is a disadvantage of operational definitions?
That the definitions become narrow and are removed from abstract and theoretical thinking.
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What does Qualitative research focus on?
Meaning and human experience instead of objective, numerical measurement
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What is an underlying assumption of Qualitative research?
That it is inappropriate to apply the scientific method to the study of human nature.
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What is the methodological approach of qualitative research?
That research is conducted in a naturalistic setting rather than a laboratory.
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What are some qualitative research data collection methods?
semi-structured interviews, participant observation, focus groups)
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What are some mainstream quantitative methods?
reaction times, psychological responses, forced choice questionnaires.
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Are qualitative research data collection methods less or more structured than quantitative ones?
less
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_____ methods adopt natural science as a model where as _____ methods reject it
Quantitative methods adopt , Qualitative reject
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Which method is in a naturalistic setting? (Quan, Qual)
Qualitative
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Which method is in an artificial setting? (Quan, Qual)
Quantitative
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Which method focuses on behaviour? (Quan, Qual)
Quantitative
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Which method focuses on meaning? (Quan, Qual)
Qualitative
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Which method focuses on numerical analysis? (Quan, Qual)
Quantitative
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Which method focuses on verbal analysis? (Quan, Qual)
Qualitative
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Which method looks for scientist laws? (Quan, Qual)
Quantitative
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Which method values individual or specific group experience? (Quan, Qual)
Qualitative
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If the research question is more interested in meaning than differences what method do you use? (Quan, Qual)
Qualitative
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If the subject matter is not amenable to experimentation should you use Qualitative or Antiquate research methods?
Qualitative
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If you have a small number of participants is it okay to use Qualitative research methods?
Yes!
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If you are exploring an un-researched area is it best to use Qualitative or Qualitative research methods?
Qualitative
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What did the Nuremberg code (1947) say about ethics?
Consent must be given and participants must be told of the reasons for the experiment
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What did the declaration of Helsinki (1964) developed by the world medical association say about procedures?
That procedures must be reviewed by authorities before research begins
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What is the British psychological society (BPS) responsible for in terms of ethics?
Promoting ethical behaviour in psychologists.
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What is the British psychological society: Code of ethics and conduct (2009) based on?
4 main principles: respect, competence, responsibility and integrity.
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What did the British psychological society:code of human research ethics (2011) base its recommendations on?
informed consent, deception, debriefing, withdrawal, confidentiality and the protection of participants.
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Do all research institutions have a ethics committee?
yes
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What do ethic committees do?
decide whether any proposed research within the institution meets their ethical criteria
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What guidelines to ethic committees look at?
The British psychological society (BPS) guidelines
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What is informed consent? (in relation to how an experiment should be conducted/ethical guidelines)
That the researchers should inform participants of the nature of the experiment and ask for their written consent before the start of the experiment
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What is deception? (in relation to how an experiment should be conducted/ethical guidelines)
Occasionally the nature of the research requires a level of deceit. Any planned deceit must be made explicit to the ethics committee.
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What is withdrawal? (in relation to how an experiment should be conducted/ethical guidelines)
The participant has the right to withdraw from testing at any point in the experiment without penalty. Participants also have the right to request their data be discarded or destroyed.
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What is confidentiality? (in relation to how an experiment should be conducted/ethical guidelines)
All data should be anonymous , stored securely and confidentiality respected
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What is the protection of participants? (in relation to how an experiment should be conducted/ethical guidelines)
Researchers have a responsibility towards their participant's well-being. Participants should not experience any harm, whether physical or emotional, as a result of participanting in psychological research.
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What did Descartes (1596-1650) talk about?

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