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Methods and Techniques

Research methods module- psychology

Joe Sephton

on 25 September 2013

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Transcript of Methods and Techniques

Natural Experiments
Methods and Techniques
Methods and techniques used during Research.
Laboratory experiments
Field Experiments
This part
of the unit will explain
to you the various methods and techniques used by psychologists during research.


Manipulation of independent variable can indicate cause-and-effect relationships.
Increased control and accurate measurement increases overall validity.
Standardised procedures mean that replication is possible.
Artificial conditions may produce unnatural behavior, which means that the research lacks ecological validity.
Results may be biased by sampling, demand characteristics or experimenter bias.
Total control over all variables is never possible.
There may be ethical problems of deception.
Some people regard the process as dehumanising, with participants being treated like lab rats.
Greater ecological validity because surroundings are natural.
Less likelihood of demand characteristics (if people are unaware of the research taking place).
Difficulties in controlling the situation.
Difficult to replicate.
Time- consuming.
Ethical problems- consent etc.
Case Studies
Experimental method
Experimental Method
Greater ecological validity- as the change in the independent variable is a natural one.
Allows researches to investigate variables that would be impractical to manipulate.
Increased validity of findings due to lack of experimenter manipulation.
If subjects are unaware of being studied there will be little bias from demand characteristics.
Difficult or impossible to infer cause and effect due to lack of control.
Difficult to replicate exactly.
May be subject to bias if participants know they are being studied.
Ethical problems of consent, deception etc.
Experimental Method
Allow researchers to access a person's reasons for behaviour.
Large amounts of data can be collected quickly.
Easy to replicate.
Closed questions are easy to analyse.
Open Qs generate rich qualitative data.
People may lie.
Questions and scales can be interpreted differently.
Closed Qs may force people to choose an answer.
Open Qs are difficult and time-consuming.
High ecological validity.
Produces extremely rich data.
Low demand characteristics.
Can be used where it would be difficult ethically.
Can generate hypotheses for further research.
Lack of control over variables.
Difficult to conclude cause-and-effect relationships.
Subject to observer bias.
Difficult to insure inter-rater reliability.
Ethical issues.
Problems of demand characteristics.
Precise information on the degree of relationship between variables.
No manipulation is required.
Strong significant correlations can suggest ideas for experimental studies.
No cause and effect can be inferred.
Technique is subject to any problems associated with the method used to collect data.
Case studies work on a large amount of people.
Generates a large amount of detail and rich quantitative data.
Rarely produce enough quantitative data.
May lack objectivity due to the intense relationship between the researcher and the participant.
Full transcript