Research Methods

How much relevant extraneous variables are controlled for
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Extraneous Variables
Another variable which can cause a change in the dependant variable-the researcher may therefore not have tested what they intended to test
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Independent Variable
What the experimenter changes
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Dependant Variable
The variable which is measured-
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Mundane Realism/Ecological Validity
How much a study mirrors the real world
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Internal Validity
What goes on INSIDE the study-All about control and realism-High internal validity = High mundane realism/Did the IV produce the DV change/extraneous variables are controlled for and ensure you are testing what you meant to test
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External Validity
How much you can generalise the results-directly affected by internal validity
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Ecological Validity
Being able to generalise the results to different places/settings
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Population Validity
Being able to generalise the results to different people or groups
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Historical Validity
Being able to generalise the results to different time periods
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Informed Consent
An ethical issue-participants have the right to be told about the nature and purpose of the research and their role, they can make a choice about whether or not to participate
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An ethical issue-participants have the right to have their personal information protected, this sometimes makes it hard for researchers to publish the findings- anonymity helps deal with this
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Data Protection Act
This makes confidentiality a legal right, it says data can only be recorded if participants arent identified
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An ethical issue-When a studies true aims are not revealed to the participants-they cannot give true informed consent
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Protection From Harm
An ethical issue-Participants should not experience any negative physical or psychological effects during the study-Acceptable if the risk is no greater than that of one which could occur in real life-
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Right to Withdraw
An ethical issue-Participants have the right to withdraw from participation in the study if they are uncomfortable, and can also withhold the data they have produced
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An ethical issue-A zone of inaccessibility to the researcher-Researcher should avoid invasion of privacy
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Writing a hypothesis/IV/DV in a testable/measurable/specific form
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A precise and testable statement of the relationship between two variables
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Directional Hypothesis
States which 'direction' your results will go in
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Non-directional Hypothesis
Only states a difference between two sets of results/conditions/people-doesnt state a positive or negative change, just a difference
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Pilot Study
A small scale trial version of the experiment, done before the real thing-you can see if things wont work in the study
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A person in the study who is not a real participant-has been instructed how to behave-can act as an IV
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Repeated Measures Design
Each participant takes part in every condition that is being tested-You may need to use counterbalancing/single blind
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Independent Groups Design
Using random techniques, participants are allocated to different groups which each take part in a different condition
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Matched Pairs Design
Two different groups of participants are used, each participant is grouped with another in the other group by key variables that could affect the experiment-e.g. age/gender/IQ
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Order Effect
An extraneous variable-The first task may influence the second task-occurs in repeated measures design-e.g/might perform better in the second task because the have had practice
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Single Blind
The participant is not aware of the aims of the condition that they are in in the experiment
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Demand Characteristics
When participants become aware of what the researcher is experimenting/expecting to find-they may change their behaviour to conform to expectations
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Experimental Realism
How much participants become involved in the experiment and become less influence by cues about how to behave
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Social Desirability Bias
When participants answer questions/do actions that show them in the best light-might not be what they really think/want to do
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Investigator Effect
Actions/things that an experimenter may do that has an effect on the participants performance, e.g leading questions/the gender of the investigator
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Measure of Central Tendency
A statistic that provides information about a 'typical response' from a data set
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Measure of Dispersion
A statistic that provides information about how spread out results are
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Quantitative Data Analysis
Representing trends from numerical data-e.g/ Measure of Dispersion
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Laboratory Experiment
An experiment performed in a controlled setting-Often have HIGH internal validity, LOW external validity (not always), LOW realism, but HIGh control
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Field Experiment
An experiment done outside a lab, but the IV is still changed by the researcher-More natural, but LOWER control + ethical issues, LOW internal validity, but HIGH external validity, LESS participant effects
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Natural Experiment
The investigator can't change the IV, it varies naturally, its effects can be observed by changes to the DV-No causal conclusions can be drawn-Participants aren't randomley allocated, reducing validity
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Naturalistic Observation
The researcher observes behaviour w/o interfering in a natural setting, but is structured in their observations
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Controlled Observation
Behaviour is observed under controlled conditions
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Time Sampling
Observer records behaviour in a given time frame-e.g. Records every 30 seconds
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Unstructured Observations
Used when the behaviour is largely unpredictable-all relevant behaviour is recorded, but with no system
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Covert Observations
Observing people w/o their knowledge, e.g. One way mirrors in Ainsworth's Strange Situation
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Observer Bias
What someone observes is altered by their expectations
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Opportunity Sample
People are selected who are most easily available at the time
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Random Sample
A random technique is used so that every member of the target population has an equal chance of being selected
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Volunteer Sample
A sample of participants where they have all been self selected-But, can produce volunteer bias-They are more motivated to do the task at hand
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Interviewer Bias
The effect of an interviewers expectations, that may influence the respondents behaviour
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Positive/negative Correlation
The relationship between two variables
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Correlation Co-efficient
A number between -1 (perfect negative correlation) and +1 (perfect positive correlation) which tells us how closely the variables are linked
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Case Studies
A detailed study about one person, group or event-Hard to generalise from-May be unreliable + biased + ethical issues-But give us a varied record of human experiences
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Content Analysis
A study in which behaviour is observed indirectly in written or verbal material-Observing behaviour through articles that people produce-Behaviour is then categorised and may be counted
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When participants are lost from a study over time-could make the finished sample biased or too small
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Control group/condition
A baseline measure against which the effects of the IV can be measured-The effects of the IV can be shown
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Imposed Etic
When a theory/technique which has been developed in one country is then used in a different culture, which has different norms, values etc.
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When researchers look at the findings from lots of different studies to reach a general conclusion about a particular hypothesis
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Card 2


Another variable which can cause a change in the dependant variable-the researcher may therefore not have tested what they intended to test


Extraneous Variables

Card 3


What the experimenter changes


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Card 4


The variable which is measured-


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Card 5


How much a study mirrors the real world


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