Research Methods


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What is a hypothesis?
A prediction about what might happen in the study.
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What is a directional hypothesis?
States the direction of the predicted difference between two conditions or two groups of participants.
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What is a non-directional hypothesis?
Predicts simply that there will be a difference between two conditions or two groups of participants, without stating the difference.
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What is a pilot study?
A small-scale trail run of a study to test any aspect of the design, with a view to making improvements.
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What is a confederate?
An individual in a study who is not a real participant and has been instructed how to behave by the investigator/experimenter. May act as the independent variable.
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Define experimental experiments.
Controlled conditions and controlled variables which helps to establish cause and effect.
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What is a observational techniques? (non experimental)
Conduct a study by observing
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What is the self-report method? (non experimental)
Ask questions to people you meet and produce results for each person.
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What is correlational analysis? (non experimental)
Correlate two factors (such as number of fruit bought and the healthiness of the person)
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What is a case study?(non experimental)
Focus on a few individuals and ask them to record what it is that you are testing. Record various other factors of their life and extend this study to a wider selection of people. Enables generalisation from the data.
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What is a laboratory experiment?
An experiment carried out in a controlled setting. Lab experiments tend to have high internal validity and low external validity, however this is not always true.
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Evaluate laboratory experiment.
:) very controlled - extraneous variables are minimised. Easy to replicate. IV and DV easy to determinate. :( Low validity. Low mundane realism. Artifical situation
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What is a field experiment?
A controlled experiment conducted outside a laboratory. The IV is still manipulated by the experimenter, and therefore casual relationships can be demonstrated. Field experiments tend to have lower internal validity and higher external validity.
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Evaluate field experiments.
:) High ecological validity and mundane realism. Avoids participant effects (not aware). :( Less control over IV and DV. May be demand characteristics
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What is a natural experiment?
A research method in which the experimenter cannot manipulate the independent variable directly, but where it varies naturally and the effect can be observed on a dependent variable. The IV is naturally occurring and the researcher records the DV.
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Evaluate natural experiments.
:) High ecological validity. Allows research where IV can't be manipulated.Enables study of 'real' problems. :( Replication is difficult. Can't demonstrate casual relationships because the IV is not manipulated. Only use where conditions are natural.
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What are three ways to design an experiment?
Independent Groups-Each participant is tested in one condition. Repeated Measure-Each participant is tested in all of the conditions. Matched Pairs-2 groups of participants are used with members of each group being matched on key variables .
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Evaluate independent group design.
:) Quicker = participants are less likely to guess the purpose of the experiment. No risk of order effects. Can be a problem with individual differences (their different abilities). Lots of participants needed-time consuming/expensive.
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Evaluate repeated measure design.
:) Controls individual differences. Less people. Participant variable controlled. :( Participants can guess the purpose of the experiment. Vary difficulty of conditions. Order effects.
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Evaluate matched pair design.
:) Avoids order effects. Controls individual differences :( Difficult to match, time consuming and expensive.
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What is an independant variable?
What you change.
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What is an dependant variable?
What you measure.
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What is validity?
The extent to which you are measuring (or testing) what you intend to measure.
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What is internal validity?
Inside the experiment- was the effect due to manipulating the IV or did extraneous variables influence result- if so will lack internal validity
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What is external validity?
The extent to which you can generalise findings to outside settings (Ecological validity)
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What is reliability?
A measure of consistency both within a set of scores (results) and over time. The reliability of an experiment can be determined through replication - if it's possible to obtain similar results this indicates reliability.
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What is mundane realism?
How close the task or experiment is to a real life situation if too artificial the study will lack mundane realism - this then reduces ecological validity
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Card 2

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What is a directional hypothesis?

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States the direction of the predicted difference between two conditions or two groups of participants.

Card 3

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What is a non-directional hypothesis?

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Card 4

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What is a pilot study?

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Card 5

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What is a confederate?

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