Research methods

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What is content analysis?
Content analysis is a technique for analysing qualitative data of various kinds. Data can be placed into categories and counted (quantitative) or can be analysed in themes (qualitative).
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What is meant by peer review?
Peer reviewed research may be accepted, sent back for revisions or rejected.
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Why is the peer review an important aspect of the scientific process?
It is difficult for authors and researchers to spot every mistake in a piece of work. Showing the work to others increases the probability that weaknesses will be identified and addressed. Taken seriously, scrutenised by others
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What is empiricism?
A method of gaining knowledge which relies on direct observation or testing.
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Why is empiricism important?
Because people can make claims about anything but the only way we know such things to be true is through direct testing,i.e empirical evidence.
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What does it mean if something is objective?
Researchers should remain totally value free when studying; they should try to remain totally unbiased in their investigations. I.e. Researchers are not influenced by personal feelings and experiences. all biases minimised.
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What is replicability?
This refers to whether a particular method and finding can be repeated with different/same people and/or on different occasions, to see if the results are similar.
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Why is replicability important?
If a dramatic discovery is reported, but it cannot be replicated by other scientists it will not be accepted.If we get the same results over and over again under the same conditions, we can be sure of their accuracy beyond reasonable doubt.
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What is induction?
Involves reasoning from the particular to the general.
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What is deduction?
Involves reasoning from the general to the particular, starting with a theory and looking for instances to confirm this.
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Karl Popper argued that Falsification is the only way to be certain and suggested?
That researchers should actively search for ways to disprove their theory. If it's easy to disprove then it should be altered and re-tested.
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What is falsification?
The attempt to prove.
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What is meant by validity?
Validity refers to the extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to measure.
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What is internal validity?
How accurate the results are.->Internal validity refers 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 is external validity?
Can the findings be generalised beyond the present study, to other settings. ->ecological, historical and population.
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What is meant by reliability?
The ability to repeat a study and obtain the same result.
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What is external reliability?
Consistency over different occasions.
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What is internal reliability?
The extent to which something is consistent within itself.
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Briefly evaluate an independent groups design.
+avoids order effects and random allocation. -participant variables and need twice as many participants.
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Briefly evaluate a repeated measures design.
+minimises participant variables and need fewer participants. -doesn't eliminate participant variables, order effects and demand characteristics
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Briefly evaluate a matched pairs design.
+avoids order effects and minimises participants variables. -difficult to achieve a good match.
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Briefly evaluate a lab experiment.
+well controlled,easily replicated and high internal validity. -low external validity, demand characteristics and social desirability bias.
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Briefly evaluate a field experiment.
+less artificial so higher mundane realism and high internal validity. -extraneous variables are harder to control and demand characteristics.
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Briefly evaluate a natural experiment.
+research where IV can't be manipulated and increased validity and mundane realism. -extraneous variables can't be controlled and only used when conditions occur naturally
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What is the split half method?
To compare a persons performance on two halves of a test/questionnaire.
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What is the test re-test method?
Repeat test/questionnaire after a reasonable interval.
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What is meant by demand characteristics?
A cue that makes participants unconsciously aware of the aims of a study or how researchers expect them to behave.
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What is a correlational analysis?
Determining the extent of a relationship between 2 variables.
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What is stratified sampling?
Groups of participants selected according to their frequency in the population. Within each strata individuals are selected using random sampling.
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What is snowball sampling?
Start with one or two participants and they direct you to more.
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What are the 6 ethical issues?
Informed consent, deception, the right to withdraw, protection from harm, confidentiality and privacy.
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Explain respect (BPS code of ethics and conduct 2009)
Respect for the dignity and worth of all persons. includes standards of privacy, confidentiality and informed consent.
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Explain competence (BPS code of ethics and conduct 2009)
Psychologists should maintain high standards in their professional work.
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Explain responsibility (BPS code of ethics and conduct 2009)
Psychologists have a responsibility to their clients, to the general public and to the science of psychology. This includes protecting participants from physical and psychological harm, as well as debriefing at the conclusion.
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Explain integrity (BPS code of ethics and conduct 2009)
Psychologists have to be honest and accurate. This includes reporting the findings of any research accurately and acknowledging any potential limitations. It also includes bringing any issues of misconduct to the BPS.
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Which level of significance do you use unless the question says otherwise?
p=
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What is a one-tailed hypothesis?
A one-tailed directional hypothesis predicts the nature of the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable
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What is a two-tailed hypothesis?
A two-tailed non-directional hypothesis predicts that the independent variable will have an effect on the dependent variable, but the direction of the effect is not specified.
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What is a null hypothesis?
The null hypothesis states that there is no relationship between the two variables being studied (one variable does not affect the other)
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What is a type 1 error?
When we use a level of significance that is too lenient (e.g 0.10) we reject the null hypothesis, when it is in fact true.
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What is a type 2 error?
When we use a level of significance that is too stringent (e.g 0.01) we accept the null hypothesis when it is in fact false.
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If it's nominal data what statistical test do you use?
Chi-square test.
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If it's a correlation what statistical test do you use?
Spearman's Ro.
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If it's an independent groups design what statistical test do you use?
Mann-Whitney U test.
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If it's either a repeated measures or matched pairs design which statistical test do you use?
Wilcoxon test.
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What is nominal data?
The data are in separate categories. e.g. males and females.
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What is ordinal data?
Data are ordered in some way. The difference between each item is not the same.
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What is meant by peer review?

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Peer reviewed research may be accepted, sent back for revisions or rejected.

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What is empiricism?

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