Psychology - Research Methods

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What is the aim?
The reason for why the study is being carried out.
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What is a hypothesis?
A clear statement predicting the outcome of the research which is measurable (says how IV and DV are related)
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What is operationalising?
How we can measure a hypothesis or an idea
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Operationalise the following DVs: How clever you are
An IQ test
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What are the three types of hypothesis?
Directional (How the IV affects DV) Non-Directional (IV will affect DV) and Null (IV will NOT affect DV)
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What are the three types of experiment?
Labatory, Field and Natural
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Describe a labatory experiment.
Takes place in a lab. The researcher controls the IV.
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Describe a field experiment.
Takes place in a natural environment. Researcher controls the IV.
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Describe a natural experiment.
Takes place in lab or field. IV is not controlled.
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Give a advantage and disadvantage of field experiments
Advantage: A natural environment means natural behaviour. Disadvantage: Lower control over environment which can cause extraneous variables e.g. weather)
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Give a advantage and disadvantage of labatory experiments.
Advantage: High control over situation and variables. Disadvantage: Unnatural setting which may cause demand charactoristics.
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Give a advantage and disadvantage of natural experiments.
Advantage: Investigate things you can't control (more ethical). Disadvantage: Not able to randomly select ppt so sample may be biased.
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What does 'standardise' mean?
To keep the same
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How can we ensure participants are tested the same way.
Same location, same condition and same time of day
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What are the 4 sampling techniques?
Opportunity, stratified, random and systematic (Oliver should run swiftly)
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Describe systematic sampling.
Target population is identified. Names are put into a list and every nth person is chosen.
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Describe opportunity sampling.
Ask anyone who happens to be available at the time.
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Describe random sampling.
Identify target population and pick names out of a hat.
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Describe stratified sampling.
The percentage of people in the TP which fit into certain categories are worked out and the sample has the same percentages.
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Evaluate random sampling.
Advantage: Everyone has an equal chance in taking part. Disadvantage: Sample may be biased meaning we can't generalise findings.
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Evaluate opportunity sampling.
Advantage: quick and time effective. Disadvantage: may be a biased sample.
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Evaluate systematic sampling.
Advantage: Unbiased. Disadvantage: May not be representitive of target population and we may not be able to generalise findings.
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Evaluate stratified sampling.
Advantage: Highly representative. Disadvantage: Time consuming
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What are the three types of research design?
Independant groups, repeated measures and matched pairs.
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What is random allocation?
(Independant group) randomly choosing which ppts go under which condition.
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What is counterbalancing?
Reduces order effects in repeated measures. Half of the partcipants will go under condition b first and a whereas the other half will go under condition a first then b.
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What are the 4 main types of Extraneous variable
Situational, Demand charactoristics, participant and experimentor
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Describe situational variables
The environment (the weather, noises, time of day)
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Describe demand charactoristics
Participants change their behaviour because they are being observed.
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Describe participant variables
Individual differences unique to participants (mood, intelligence, concentration)
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Describe experimentor variables
Experimentor unintentionally gives hints on how ppts should behave.
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What is internal validity?
How reliable the measurement tool/ method is within itself
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What is external validity?
Whether the study can be generalised to other situations or people.
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What is primary data?
Original data collected by the researcher for a specific purpose
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What is secondary data?
Previous data that's been analysed from a different perspective or compared to other research findings
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Evaluate primary data
Advantage: High internal validity. Disadvantage: Long time to collect data and expensive to set up.
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Evaluate secondary data
Advantage: Easy to access. Disadvantage: Data may be out of date.
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Name four qualitative research methods.
Observations, questionairres, case studies and interviews
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Name the 6 observation types
Naturalistic, controlled, covert, overt, participant and non-participant.
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Describe naturalistic
Participants are observed in their natural environment. Researcher changes nothing.
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Describe controlled
Environments are simulated as accuratey as possible and are highly controlled
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Describe overt
Participants are told in advanced they are being observed and recorded
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Describe covert
Participants are unaware they are being observed.
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Describe participant
The researcher becomes part of the group they are observing
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Describe non-participant
The researcher keeps their distance and doesn't interact with the ppts.
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Why should there be more than one observer?
To increase internal validity and internal reliability.
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What are the two types of questions in a questionairre?
Closed (straight answer (yes/no/number etc.) or Open (explanation)
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Evaluate open responses.
Advantage: allow detailed responses and explanation as to why the ppt has chosen their answer. Disadvantage: Experimenter may have a biased interpretation.
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Evaluate closed responses.
Advantage: quick and easy to obtain. Disadvantage: not enough detail
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What are the three types of interview?
Structures, semi-structured and unstructured.
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Describe structured interviews.
Researcher has set questions they do not move away from unless planned
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Described semi-structured interviews.
Researcher has a set set of questions they may ask the participant to elaborate on. They will always return back to the list.
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Describe unstructured interviews.
Sticks to a general topic but there are no set questions
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What is a case-study?
A detailed, in-depth investigation of an individual, a small group or organisation
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Evaluate naturalistic observations.
Advantage: Natural environment means natural behaviour. Disadvantage: Lack of control
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Evaluate questionairres.
Advantage: cost and time-effective. Disadvantage: People say what they think is acceptable (social desirability bias)
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Evaluate interviews.
Advantage: Give lots of detail when ppts elaborate. Disadvantage: Social desirability
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Evaluate Case Studies.
Advantage: Highly detailed data which can explain behaviour. Disadvantage: Unrepresentative and time consuming
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What are the ethical issues?
Deception, debrief, right to withdraw, confidentiality, privacy, informed consent and protection from harm.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is a hypothesis?


A clear statement predicting the outcome of the research which is measurable (says how IV and DV are related)

Card 3


What is operationalising?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Operationalise the following DVs: How clever you are


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What are the three types of hypothesis?


Preview of the front of card 5
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