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Research Methods

AQA A Psychology AS Research Methods revision
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on 20 January 2014

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Transcript of Research Methods

RESEARCH METHODS REVISION
Research Methods
Non Experimental Methods:
Experimental Designs:
Pilot Study
Reliability
Validity
Research Methods
Identify problem/topic.
Gather info.
Hypothesis/questions.
Research method.
Pilot Study.
Data.
Analyse.
Conclusions + findings.

Measures Of Central Tendency
Mean
- Take all the values. Add them together. Divide by the total number of values.
+ Most sensitive measure of CT (takes all data into account).
- Easily distorted by extreme scores (may be unrepresentative).
Median
- Put all of the values in order. The central value.
+ Unaffected by extreme scores.
- Only looks at one or two values.
Mode
- The value that appears most often.
+ Unaffected by extreme scores.
- Useless or none or more than one mode.
Measures Of Dispersion
Range - Difference between highest and lowest score.
Used as a basic measure of variation in data. If there are extreme scores the range is inappropriate.
+ Easy to calculate.
- Can be distorted by extreme scores.
Standard Deviation - Indicates the spread of data around a central value.
Used when a sensitive measure of dispersion is required.
+ Takes into account all scores.
+ Sensitive measure of dispersion.
- More difficult to calculate compared to the range.
Aims and Hypothesis
Directional
- predicts there will be a
change
and
how
it will be affected.
Non-Directional
- predicts there will be a
change
but
not how
.
Null
- predicts there will be
no change
.
Alternate
- refers to
any hypothesis except null.
Experimental
- only if research is
experimental
. Predicts there will be a
difference
.
Sampling
Volunteer - Researcher advertises and asks for participants. They volunteer (self select).
Random - Every member of target population has an equal chance of being selected. Use a random sampling method such as names out of a hat or random number generator.
Opportunity - Sample consists of people who are available to the researcher. Approach people who are available and ask them to take part in research.
Graphs
Histograms
- Often used to provide
visual illustration of distribution of data items
in a data set. -
No gaps
between bars. -
All data
represented (even if none). - Bars
equal widths
for equal categories.
Scattergrams
- Provides
visual representation of correlational relations.
- Descriptive statistic. - One variable on x axis other on y. - Perfect answer for a correlation.
Bar charts
- Like line charts, bar charts are useful for
comparing classes or groups data
. - Easy to see the data is being represented. - Simple bar chart has one data series but more can be added. -
Can represent frequencies or single statistics
e.g. mean. - No need to show all frequencies.
Experimental Methods:
Case studies
Observations
Questionnaires
Interviews
Content Analysis
Correlations
Laboratory
- uses all the features of an experiment. In a
tightly controlled
environment. Participants
know
they're taking part but sometimes true aim is unknown.
Field
- Takes place in
real life situation
. Can't control all variables. Ps
often unaware
they're taking part.
Natural (Quasi Experiment)
- Researcher
doesn't directly manipulate IV
as often unethical. IV occurs naturally.
No random allocation
of ps.
Not a true experiment.
Need to know:
What they are
Advantages
Disadvantages
Repeated Measures
-
Whole group
does condition A then condition B.
Independent Groups
-
Group split in half
. Half do A other half do B.
Matched Pairs
- Group split into
pairs of similar people
. One person from each pair does condition A and other person does condition B.
What and when
Advantages
Disadvantages
Variables:
Independent Variable (IV)
- The variable the researcher
manipulates
and is assumed to have a
direct effect
on DV.
Dependent Variable (DV)
- The variable that is
affected
by changes in IV.
Extraneous Variable (EV)
- Something
other than the IV
that might affect the results. - Participant, situational, experimenter, confounding.
OPERATIONALISE
What
What it is and why needed
What it is
When you have your aim + hypothesis. A smaller study to test reliability+ to find out any changes that need to be made.
(Consistency) that two or more measurements or observations of the same psychological event will be consistent with each other.
Can easily be replicated.
Test - Retest
Inter- rater/observer
What it is
Internal
- Is the outcome the
result of the variable
that's been manipulated?
External
- The extent to which our findings can be
generalised to settings outside
our research.
Ecological
- How true to life the
setting
is.
Population
- How representative the
sample is of target population.
Face
- Does the study measure what it
should be?
Concurrent
-
Comparing
results of new test with valid old ones.
Predictive
- The ability to
predict the performance
of future tests.
That we are measuring what we say we are measuring.
What it is
DATA
ANALYSIS
What it is
Advantages
Disadvantages
What it is
What it is
Advantages
Disadvantages
Target population
Population validity
What it is
Ethics
Guidelines
Issues
Dealing with ethical issues
What it is
Guidelines
Consent
Participants must give full consent to the research.
Participants under 16 need consent of a Loco Parentis (someone who is responsible for them e.g. parent/school).
Deception
Unless necessary, participants must not be deceived.
If necessary, deception must be as small as possible.
Debriefing
At the end of a study participants must be given information about the research and their part in it.
Withdrawal from investigation
Participants must have, and be aware of, the right to withdraw from the investigation, before, during and after the study.
Confidentiality
All names and data must remain anonymous.
Protection of participants
No physical, psychological or cultural harm must come to participants.
Observational research
Participants must be observed in a public place unless permission is given.
Giving advice
No psychological advice above your qualification must be given.
Colleagues
You must ensure your colleagues stick to the ethical guidelines.
Question colleagues' work if unethical.
Issues
FROM THE BRITISH PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY (BPS)
D
eception
Prevents informed consent.
Lack of trust between participant and researcher.
I
nformed consent
Participants who don't want to take part in research.
Lack of trust between participant and researcher.
P
rotection from harm
Participants should leave in the same mental and physical state as when they arrived.
REMEMBER DIP!!
Others...
Right to withdraw
Participants who don't know they're taking part in research (covert observation) don't know they have R2W.
If been paid to participate, participants might not have the confidence to withdraw.
Confidentiality
Sometimes possible to identify sample (sometimes due to unique nature of study).
Privacy
Not everyone agrees on what constitutes a private space (e.g. restaurant).
Dealing With Ethical Issues
Deception - very common in psychological research.
Deal with it by - debriefing and gaining retrospective informed consent, cost-benefit analysis.
Informed consent - do children under 16 really understand the study?
Deal with it by - prior to general consent, presumptive consent (from Loco Parentis).
Protection of participants
Deal with it by - right to withdraw, termination, debriefing, cost-benefit analysis.
Cost-benefit analysis: weigh up the pros and cons.
Full transcript