Research Methods- Psychology

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Observational techniques
Watching people and recording their behaviours
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Self report
When people tell you information about themselves
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Correlational analysis
Analysing 2 pieces of information to discover a relationship between them
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Confidentiality, Informed consent, Protection from physical and psychological harm, Deception, Privacy and Right to withdraw
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Independant Variable
Factor changed/manipulated
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Dependant variable
Factor measured
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Confounding variable
Any variable, other than the IV that may have affected the DV. They vary systematically with the IV.
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General statement about the purpose of the investigation
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A statement about the expected outcome of an experiment
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Directional hypothesis (1-tailed)
Saying that there will be a specific difference
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Non- directional hypothesis (2-tailed)
Stating that there will be a difference
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Null hypothesis
Stating that there will be no difference
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Stating a precise way of measuring something so that another person knows exactly what you've done
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Definition of laboratory experiment
Experiments conducted in highly controlled environments. Not always a lab, could be for example, a classroom.
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Strength of laboratory experiment (2)
(1) High control of EVs making the results reliable. (2) High level of control makes replication more possible
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Limitations of laboratory experiment (2)
(1) Lacks ecological validity as artificial environment. (2) Demand characteristics as participants are aware they are being studied.
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Field experiment definition
IV manipulated in a natural, everyday setting
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Strength of field experiment (2)
(1) High ecological validity due to natural environment. (2) Less demand characteristics as participants may not know they are being studied
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Limitations of field experiment (4)
(1) Loss of control of EV making results less accurate as cause and effect may be more difficult to record. (2) Precise replication not possible (3) Participants cannot give informed consent (4) Participants aren't given the right to withdraw
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Natural experiment definiton
Taking advantage of a pre-existing IV.The IV is not manipulated as the variable would have been changed whether the research was being carried out or not. Not always a natural disastar
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Strength of natural experiment (2)
(1) Provides opportunities for research that may otherwise not have been carried out due to practical or ethical issues.
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Limitation of natural experiment (2)
(1) Natural occurring event may only happen rarely, making little opportunities for research. (2) Participants cannot be randomly allocated to conditions
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Definition of Quasi experiment
The IV is based on an existing difference between people. The variable is not manipulated, it simply exists.
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Strengths of Quasi experiment (2)
High control making the results replicable(1) and reliable(2)
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Limitation of Quasi experiment (1)
Confounding variables as participants cannot be randomly allocated
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Independent groups design- definition
Participants are randomly allocated between 2 or more conditions, Different participants in each condition
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Independent groups design- strengths (2)
(1) Reduces demand characteristics as participants will only experience one condition so won't figure out what the experiment is actually about. (2) Reduces order effects as they only have to carry out one condition and so won't get bored, or tired
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Independent groups design- limitations (2)
(1) Less economical as have to pay more participants. (2) Doesn't account for individual differences
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Repeated measures design- definition
Same participants take part in all conditions
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Repeated measures design- strengths (2)
(1) More economical as less participants need to be paid. (2) Reduces individual differences as same participants in each group
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Repeated measures design- limitations(2)
(1) Increases order effects (2) Increases demand characteritics
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Matched pairs design- definition
Participants are different but matched on a variable
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Matched pairs design- Strengths (3)
(1) Reduces individual differences (2) Reduces order effects (3) Reduces demand characteristics
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Matched pairs design- Limitations (3)
(1) Time consuming as you need to find matched pairs, which is difficult (2) Loss of 1 participant results in a loss of a pair of results (3) Less economical
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ABBA design, where half of the participants do condition 1 first, and the other half do condition 2 first. This is only used in repeated measures design, to reduce order effects.
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Pilot study
A trial run of an experiment before it is carried out
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When it can be repeated to get the same results
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Test re-test
A way of checking reliability. Testing the same sample using the same test.
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A way of checking reliability. Someone else recording the results to see if they get the same
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Whether an experiment measures what it claims to
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External Validity
Can the findings be generalized beyond the study. Population and temporal
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Population validity
the extent to which the findings can be generalized to other populations
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Temporal validity
The extent to which the findings can be generalized to different times
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Internal validity
The extent to which everything inside a study is doing what it's supposed to do. Face/surface validity & criterion validity
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Face/Surface validity
The extent to which a measure appears to measure what it's supposed to measure
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Criterion validity
a way of assessing validity by comparing the results with another measure
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Target population
Who you want to generalize to
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Sampling frame
The population you can get access to
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Sampling technique
How you can get access to the population
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Who is in the study
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Random sampling- definition
Completely random- every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected
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Random sampling- Strength
Provides the best chance of an unbiased representative sample
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Random sampling- Limitation
Can be time consuming to create a list of each individual
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Stratified sampling- definition
Dividing the target population into subcategories and selecting members in the proportion that they occur in the population
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Stratified sampling- Strength
Effort is made to make the sample representative of the target population
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Stratified sampling- Limitation
Time consuming as subcategories have to be identified and proportions calculated
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Volunteer sampling- Definition
Individuals choose to be involved in a study
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Volunteer sampling- Strength (2)
(1) Convenient for researcher (2) Ethical if leads to informed consent
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Volunteer sampling- Limitation
Leads to bias on part of the participant
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Opportunity sampling- Definition
Selecting people available at the time
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Opportunity sampling- Strenth (3)
(1) Quick (2) Convenient (3) Economical
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Opportunity sampling- Limitation
Bias by researcher as chooses people who look friendly/helpful
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Systematic sampling- Definition
Choosing participants in an orderly way from the target population (every nth participant)
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Systematic sampling- Strength
Should provide a representative sample
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Systematic sampling- Limitation
Requires a lot of time, effort and money
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Primary research
Factual, first hand accounts of the study written by a person who was part of the study
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Strengths of primary research (2)
(1) Researcher can specifically target the data they need (2) Allows researcher to have control over aspects of the study
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Limitations of primary research
Requires time, effort and money
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Secondary research
analysis and interpretation of primary research
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Strengths of secondary research (2)
(1) Minimal effort (2) Inexpensive
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Limitations of secondary research (3)
(1) No control over how the research they are using was carried out (2) Do not know how valid the research that they are using is (3) Could be outdated research
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Meta analysis
A particular form of research that uses secondary data
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Strengths of meta analysis (2)
(1) View data with more confidence (2) Results can be generalized over larger populations
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Limitation of meta analysis
Publication bias as you can pick and choose the studies that fit/do not fit hypothesis
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Informed consent
Participants should be able to make informed judgements about whether to take part in the experiment or not
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Presumptive consent
A way of solving not being able to acquire informed consent. Asking people similar to the sample whether they would give consent or not after informing them
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Participants should not be lied to
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Telling the participants the truth at the end of an experiment to restore the participant to the same state that they were at at the beginning of the experiment
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Right to withdraw
Participants should be told that they have the right to leave a study at any time
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Protection from Physical or Psychological harm
Participants should not be put at risk of physical or psychological harm
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Participants should have their data protected and not be identifiable in public research
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Participants privacy should be respected
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Quantitative data questions
closed & rating scales
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Closed questions
Questions with expected/fixed answers
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Rating scales
A scale to measure an opinion, behaviour or belief
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Qualitative data question
Open question
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Open question
A question that allows the participant to answer in their own words
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Measuring the relationship between 2 co-variables
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


When people tell you information about themselves


Self report

Card 3


Analysing 2 pieces of information to discover a relationship between them


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Card 4


Confidentiality, Informed consent, Protection from physical and psychological harm, Deception, Privacy and Right to withdraw


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


Factor changed/manipulated


Preview of the back of card 5
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these will be perfect for my revision. Thank you 

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