Research Methods

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What is a Lab experiment?
Research which involves manipulation of the IV in artificial lab conditions
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What is an advantage of Lab experiments?
It is high on reliability as it studies cause and effect of a manipulated IV on the DV in a controlled lab experiment, and is repeatable and consistent
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What is a disadvantage of Lab experiments?
It is low in ecological validity as the setting and task are artificial, thus the results may not paint a true picture
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What is a field experiment?
research which involves manipulation of IV in real life/natural setting e.g school, hospital
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What is an advantage of a field experiment?
It is higher on ecological validity than a lab experiment as it studies the effect of an IV on a DV in a natural, real life environment and thus paints a true picture of behaviour
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What is a disadvantage of a field experiment?
It is lower on reliability because the natural environment leads to lower levels of control and thus confounding variables could affect the results and replication is thought to be difficult
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What is a Correlation?
Research looking at a relationship between two variables
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What is an advantage of a correlation?
enables one to produce reasonable information about causal relationships, which can then be used to test which co-variable ‘causes’ the ‘effect’ on the other.
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What is a disadvantage of a correlation?
a correlation does not account for the fact that a third/confounding variable might account for any relationship found, making results invalid.
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What is a Questionnaire?
List of written questions with closed or open answers
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What is an advantage of a questionnaire?
high on reliability as questionnaires use a standardized format that can be easily repeated and retested
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What is a disadvantage of a questionnaire?
They are low on validity as people may lie due to social desirability bias, meaning the results do not necessarily paint a true picture of behvaiour
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What is an observation?
Involves watching and recording pps behavior, usually in a real life setting. It could involve drawing up an observation schedule to categorize the behaviour that is observed
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What is the participant observation?
Involves taking on the role of a pp and observing others around you
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What is a non-participant observation?
Involves observing without any interference with behaviour of those observed
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What is an advantage is an advantage of observation?
high on validity as watching pps in their natural environment should paint a true picture of behaviour
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Disadvantage of observation?
there is likely to be researcher bias, especially if categories are not operationalised before the study takes place, suggesting a lack of objectivity
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What is an interview?
asking pps question face to face
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What is an advantage of interview?
Allow depth and detail as talking to a pp should reveal a true picture of behaviour through qualitative data
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What is a disadvantage of interview?
They are low on validity as people may lie due to social desirability bias, meaning the results do not necessarily paint a true picture of behaviour.
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What is a case study?
a detailed research study of just one pp that creates qualitative data
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What is an advantage of a case study?
is high on validity as it enables the researcher to study the pp in depth and detail, revealing a true picture of individual’s/groups behaviour (ideographic
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What is a disadvantage of a case study?
is unreliable as behaviour could be misinterpreted and it is difficult to generalise to others.
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What is the definition of Content analysis?
exploration of material (usually qualitative data) to see what categories or themes emerge, and tallying each time material fits a theme.
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What is the definition of coding systems?
recording observations of behaviour using codes e.g. numbers or letters.
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What is a definition of categorisation?
recording observations of behaviour using groupings/labels.
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What is an advantage of these?
useful because these methods simplify complex behaviour into groupings, allowing patterns and trends (quantitative data) to emerge from qualitative data
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What is a disadvantage of these?
researcher bias can be a problem in these methods because the researcher operationalises the behavioural categories and codes, and records the behaviour in the way s/he wants, which is likely to be unscientific (subjective).
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What is the definition of an oppurtunity sampling?
pps selected at the researcher’s convenience, such as picking people who were there at the time, in your specific location
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What is an advantage?
is very easy and quick to do compared to other sampling methods as you just pick people at your convenience and there is no need to know details about each person first, or divide them into groups etc.
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What is disadvantage?
the sample is likely to be affected by bias, so the results may not be representative of all people and you can’t generalise the results
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What is the definition of the quota sampling?
target group is divided into subgroups eg. by sex, & the pps are chosen from each subgroup at the convenience of the researcher in rough proportion to the target population
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What is the advantage of quota sampling?
tends to be more representative than opportunity sampling as you divide people into sub groups first so one can generalise the results.
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What is a disadvantage of quota sampling?
could still be affected by bias, as not everyone on the list had an equal chance of being in the sample, so the results may not be representative of all people.
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What is the defintion of random sampling?
pps are selected from a larger group, where everyone has an equal chance of being selected. Names put in a hat, or a computer used)
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What is the advantage of random sampling?
tends to be representative, as each pp has an equal chance of being selected, so you can then generalise results.
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What is the disadvantage of random sampling?
could still be affected by bias, as the random sample might pick similar types of people by chance (who many not want to participate anyway), so the results may not be representative.
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What is the definition of self selecting sampling?
pps select themselves eg. volunteer after reading an ad
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What is an advantage of selecting sampling?
is very easy and quick to gain a large sample of consenting pps, as you can just put an advertisement in the paper, and wait for people to respond
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What is a disadvantage of selecting sampling?
could be affected by bias, as the type of people who volunteer do not tend to be representative of the whole population
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What is a definition of stratified sampling?
target group is divided into subgroups eg. by sex, & the pps are selected randomly from each subgroup
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What is an advantage of stratified sampling?
tends to be representative of all people as you divide people into subgroups, then randomly sample from the subgroups, so you can generalise the results.
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What is a disadvantage of stratified sampling?
is relatively slow and complicated because you have to divide all the people up into groups before choosing the sample
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What is the definition of systematic sampling?
selecting every nth. person on a list of the target population eg. electoral roll
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What is an advantage of systematic sampling?
avoids researcher bias, as you just pick every nth. person on a list or register, so the researcher does not influence the pps chosen.
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What is a disadvantage of systematic sampling?
could be affected by bias, as by chance every nth person might be male/old/young/ etc. and not everyone on the list had an equal chance of being in the sample, so the results may not be representative.
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Card 2

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What is an advantage of Lab experiments?

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It is high on reliability as it studies cause and effect of a manipulated IV on the DV in a controlled lab experiment, and is repeatable and consistent

Card 3

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What is a disadvantage of Lab experiments?

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Card 4

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What is a field experiment?

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Card 5

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What is an advantage of a field experiment?

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