Research Methods- Experiments

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 07-02-15 10:28
What are the three types of experiments?
-Laboratory, -Field, -Comparative method,
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What type of sociologist argues for experiments?
Positivists
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What type of sociologist argues against experiments?
Interpretivists
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What is the definition of a laboratory experiment?
A research technique where the researchers manupilates an independent variable and measures a dependent variable in a carefully controlled environment,
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Is the environment where the experiment occurs artificial?
Yes
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What are the two types of groups used in a laboratory experiment and what is the role of each?
-Experimental group-Group that is manipulated by the researcher, -Control group-Not manipulated by the experimenter but used to compare the experimental group to,
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What is an example study of a laboratory experiment?
Philip Zimbardo- He used a laboratory experiment to investigate the effect of prison on the behaviour of both guards and prisoners,
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Why is the researcher being able to control their environments conditions an advanatage?
As it means the researcher has greater control over 'confouding variables' so allows the researcher to have only the IV and DV so results are highly reliable,
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Why is this method reliable in terms of re-testing?
It is reliable as the method is standardised and easy to repeat and retest,
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Why does the experiment allow the researcher to be objective?
Objective- the Researcher remains detached so can manipulate variables and record results with no feelings or opinions biasing the results,
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What is the last theoretical advantage?
It allows cause and effect relationships to be established and make predictons,
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What is one practical advantage of this experiment?
The researcher doesnt have to wait for events to occur naturally but can produce the situation they wish to study in the laboratory,
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What is a disadvantage of laboratory experiments regarding the scale?
They are often small scale which makes generalisations to the wider population difficult so it is not representative,
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What is a disadvantage regarding the behaviour of the participants within the experiment?
The Hawthorne effect could occur as people may be aware they are part of an experiment and so may not act natural- research may not reflect what actually happens in real life as a result, lowering validity
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What is the last theoretical disadvantage concerning cause and effect relationships?
Interpretivists argue human behaviour cant be explained with cause and effect relationships and claim humans act on feelings, emotions, choices which affect their behaviour,
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What is one practical disadvantage of laboratory experiments and an example?
Society doesnt lend itself to be studied in a laboratory e.g. impossible to investigate the effect of marketisation policies on ed achievement in lab. So difficult ton control all variables that affect behaviour,
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What is an ethical problem with this technique?
Ethical problems regarding giving informed consent and deception
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What is the definition of a field experiment?
A study where the researcher manipulates an independant variable and measures a dependent variable in a natural environment
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What is an example of a field experiment?
Rosenthal and Jackson- They manipulated teacher expectations about pupil abilities to discover the effect of labelling on exam achievement,
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What is one theoretical advantage of field experiments when compared to laboratory experiments?
They are more valid as the experiment occurs in the real world so is not 'false'
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What is the another advantage of field experiments concenering them taking part in a natural environment?
Peoples behaviour is more natural as in some, they dont know they are being researched so there is no Hawthrone effect and this increases validity,
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What is the last theoretical disadvantage concerning field experiments concerning reliability?
Highly reliable as the method is standardised and easy to repeat and retest,
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How many times was Rosenthal and Jacobsons' experiment repeated in how many years?
242 times in 5 years,
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What is a theoretical disadvantage of field experiments?
Less control over variables in the field which affects results, especially in terms of reliability,
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What is an ethical disadvantage of field experiments?
Ethical problems include deception, a lack of informed consent and protection from harm.
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What is the definition of a comparative method?
It is a 'thought experiment' whihc doesnt involve experimenting on real people but making comparisons between individuals, groups or societies through time,
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What is an example of a comparative method?
Durkheim and suicide,
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What is a theoretical advantage when compared to lab experiments?
It avoids creating artificical research methods
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What is another advantage about predictions it allows the researcher to make?
Allow researcher to establish cause and effect relationships, making predictions and creating laws of human behaviour
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What is a practical advantage of comparative methods when compared to lab experiments?
They can be used to study past events unlike in lab experiments,
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What is the advanatge of the method ethically?
No ethical problems as there is no harm and no deception,
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What is a theoretical disadvantage of comparative methods about lacking control?
There is a lack of control over variables so we cant be sure of cause and effect relationships,
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What is a practical disadvantage of this method concerning different countries
Difficult to make comparisons between countries as data is often collected in different ways,
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What type of sociologist argues for experiments?

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Positivists

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What type of sociologist argues against experiments?

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What is the definition of a laboratory experiment?

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Is the environment where the experiment occurs artificial?

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