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Copy of Writing Paper 3 Questions

Project for IB psychology HL 2012

Sean Sonderman

on 11 January 2016

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Transcript of Copy of Writing Paper 3 Questions

Question 1
Question 2
Qualitative Research
Answering Paper 3 Questions

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of qualitative research methodology

Data in quantitative research is numbers-based, limited in interpretation, lab-based, and use statistical tests (inferential stats). Data from many participants.

Data in qualitative research is text-based (transcripts, field notes), open-ended "rich" data, with no single approach to analysis. Data from few participants.

The topic of research may be influenced by the research process, the participant, or the researcher. The focus is real-world and how the participant(s) "see the world".
Usually involves explaining
Why did they use that technique?
What technique did they use in the study?
What is methodology?
An organized, documented set of procedures and guidelines for one or more phases of research

Meaning: it is the rules that regulate a kind of research.

Qualitative research is a specific methodology that separates from quantitative research.
Methods That Might Be Used
Focus groups
Narrative interviews
Participant observation- Festinger
(1956) cult infiltration- focus is on natural
behavior. (strengths? weaknesses?)
Non-participant observation- (s & w?)
Ainsworth (1967) attachment
Naturalistic observation (s&w?)
Controlled observation (lab setting) -(s&w?)
Overt/Covert observation (s&w?)

Can have mixture- i.e., covert, naturalistic,
non-participant observation.
Case Studies
Intrinsic vs. Instrumental
Descriptive vs. Explanatory
Case Studies:
Can be a single case or multiple cases compared
Can be one person, a family, a social group, an event or organization
Opportunity to investigate a new phenomenon in particular depth- social, cultural & bio dimensions
Insight into social processes- because of richness of data sources.
Stimulates new research opportunities
Opportunity to contradict established theory
Data actually comes from interviews, observation, diaries, official docs, clinical notes, etc.
Allows for directed elaboration
Researcher bias can be reduced
themes can be rigorously vetted
Quick & convenient to set-up
Semi-natural settings- conversational
Can use multiple participants-
focus group
Very detailed
Most naturalistic, first-hand
Avoids participant interpretation
Can establish systematic observations
Avoids researcher bias because they seek to understand social processes, not predict
Combines "etic" and "emic" dimension
subjective participant perspective
(allows personal perspective)

objective observer perspective
(scientific observer perspective)
Relating back to the original scenario
You're given the
prompt, so use it!
What Technique was used in the study?
always be sure to refer back to the stimulus material given
how did the study use the technique?
why was the method selected?
strengths and weaknesses?
Question 3
Usually involves
analyzing a psychological process
Explain or discuss how data could have been used or why it was used
Important Terms?
Researcher Bias
Participant Expectations
Participant Expectations
Credibility/Trustworthiness & Researcher Bias
Command Terms
1.) Analyse – Break down to be able to highlight the key structure
2.)Apply- using your knowledge relevant to the presented problems in order to solve them.
3.)Compare- Give examples showing similarities between different items in the information.
4.)Compare and Contrast- give examples of similarities and differences between two or more items.
5.) Contrast- Give examples of differences between two or more items.
6.) Define- the exact and accurate meaning behind a word, phrase, and concept.
7.) Describe- A detailed run through of something.
8.) Discuss- An opportunity to review a topic as a group including arguments, factors, or hypotheses
9.)Distinguish- Clarify the problems between two or more concepts
10.) Evaluate- Make a statement by comparing the strengths and limitations.
11.)Examine- Looking at a conflict at another point of view to reveal the assumptions and relationships
12.) Explain- Giving clear examples accounting for all the possible causes.
13.)Outline- Giving a short and brief summary of your topic
14.) State- Giving clear answers to a question without explaining or presenting how you came to that answer.
15.)To what extent-Contemplating the both sides of an argument or concept. Understanding opinions and conclusions to be presented when your able to back them with to create a good argument.
Behaviors observed are assumed to represent larger population
Small # of participants may mean diff generalizing (
representational generalization weakness- applied to populations outside the sample
) and findings are applied to different settings (
inferential representation- known as "transferability"- settings outside of the setting of the study
ex. homeless study in London cannot generalize to Liverpool- Why? But a domestic violence study's finding may apply to a children's orphanage.
Theoretical generalization
- theoretical concepts from the study can be used to develop further theory. May contribute to wider social theory/policy, i.e. applying the theory that placebo drugs improve athletic performance = change in event policy.
difficulty arises as sampling is often criteria based, not representative
An approach at qualitative research in which the researcher is aware of his or her own contribution in the research process & therefore attempts to account for it. Acknowledges bias potential. Linked to credibility and trustworthiness.
- How personal factors influence results
All info that may affect data is noted including info about researcher
demonstrates self-awareness & critical eval of how bias could affected research and conclusions
Epistemological reflexivity
- Examines if a different approach, design, or less limited research question would change results
Limit researcher bias:
However, it can be controlled through reflexivity? Triangulation?
A decision-trail?
Usually involves discussing
of using a
certain research method
Case Studies:

Risk of identification of participants (either by the participant or others)= loss of anonymity
Participant may be affected negatively
Personal relationship- may get too close
No consent forms in some cases (informed consent)
Exploitation of participant(s)
Cherry picking- selecting data that supports theories- researcher/confirmation bias


Unclear understanding
of the topic
confidentiality- friends, bosses,
teachers may be interviewed
Signs of discomfort- obligation to avoid mental stress- ex. spouse abuse interview
Interviewees anonymity
Questions designed to support theories
Reminders of repressed memories


informed consent
protection from harm- cannot place participant in harm's way, but can observe- i.e., gang violence
influence of natural behaviors
interpretations of notes after the fact
researcher empathy for group or behavior
post-observation effects
Case Studies:

Stimulates new
Insight into social processes in a group
Possibility to investigate cases not set up in


of people and
their lives
research from
experiments and
Chance to follow-up in real-time

First-hand information in naturally occurring situations
no researcher influence
investigation of group dynamics
What are the ethical
issues when using
certain research
Are there any advantages or benefits from using certain research methods?
Are there any disadvantages from using certain research methods?
Case Studies:

Researcher bias
Memory distortions and effects of social desirability

Time consuming
social desirability
Doesn't explore opinions and beliefs
Limited number of settings
Confounding variables
Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis.
Identifies key themes, concepts and categories
work through transcripts
decide how themes relate, place in clusters& hierarchies, i.e, effect of the birth of a new child in the family goes in "new baby" cluster
produce summary table of themes & details. Reflexivity!!
Coding- placing information into specific categories
Goal: gain insight into how an individual perceives information
usually through semi-structured interviews
Combining different research methods or sources in a study to give a complete picture (
method or data triangulation- or inter-coder triangulation
Goal: collect
richer data
through a combination of various methods
Also known as Reactivity
Participants alter the way they behave in a study because they are aware of being observed
Placebo and Hawthorne effects
Rosenthal Effect- When the researcher comes into the investigation with preconceived idea
social desirability
researcher may give non-verbal cues that affect participant (head nods, smiles)
Explain why a single method of qualitative research is inadequate for drawing conclusions
How could a method be used in the study and what is the effect of using that method?
How to tackle question 3
Be familiar with key terms and concepts
Read and reread the question, pay attention to exactly what the question is asking
Semi-structured Interviews

Most widely used method of data collection in qualitative research- Willig (2001)

The interviewer and respondents engage in a formal interview. Often video-taped, but can be over the phone.

The interviewer develops and uses an
'interview guide.
' This is a list of questions and topics that need to be covered during the conversation, usually in a particular order.

The interviewer follows the guide, but is able to follow
topical trajectories
in the conversation that may stray from the guide when he or she feels this is appropriate.

Strengths- Enables researcher to intervene/clarify
- allows for pursuing themes that are
indentified before or during interview
- compatible w/ many forms of data
Weaknesses- Formal nature can = eco-valid. issues
- data can be voluminous
- prior planning may actually interfere
Focus groups

Typically consist of a group of 6-10 people
where the researcher acts as facilitator. The
researcher introduces the issue & directs/
monitors the discussion. Participants are encouraged to interact with one another. Questions are often open-ended. Conversation is mostly informal.

Strengths- data is collected by multiple subjects
- more natural setting (eco-validity) informal
- free discussion promotes consensus

Weaknesses- Personal issues may not be shared
freely (social desirability)
- danger of group conformity (Asch)
Narrative interviews

Based on the assumption that humans are
storytellers. Often have a beginning, middle and end. Narratives are seen as a person's
interpretation of the world, not fact. Researchers
therefore, analyze the details & structure of the ways people talk about themselves in their historical and cultural context. Can be in the form of a life-story interview or situational- ex. "Tell me how what you thought when you were confronted with your abandonment" or ex. Murray (2002) "Tell me about how you went about living with breast cancer on a daily basis after you got the news".

Strengths- People can talk freely
- provide in-depth understanding of how
people construct meaning in their lives
- can be used with all people
Weaknesses- May contain a great deal of worthless
- time consuming to process
- ethical issues if talking about traumatic
Intrinsic and instrumental interest in cases matters according to what you are hoping to learn about:

- because you want to understand this particular case better. To gain insight into that case (Jeffrey Dalmer, Dr. Money, HM). They are interesting in their own right.

- I examine the case to provide insight into an issue or phenomenon- child abuse, drug use, etc.. The issue I'm interested in is engagement in relationships between subjects therefore my cases are instrumental. Hence, I can study a number of cases jointly.
The goal of all explanatory research is to answer the question of "why"?

Explanatory research

attempts to go above and beyond "what" in descriptive research to identify the actual reasons why a phenomenon occurs. An example of
descriptive research
would be a study that finds that Christian couples are twice as likely to divorce as Jewish couples. An explanatory researcher would then be interested in the reasons behind these facts.
credibility in qual research is = to internal
- does it measure what it claims?
based on eval of whether the findings represent a "credible" interpretation of the data
must present a
"true picture"
of the phenomenon (Lincoln & Guba, 1985)
should be possible to check = trustworthiness
used to judge quality of research from participant and researcher perspectives
measured by reflexivity, triangulation, cross-checking facts, peer review, researcher
"decision trail
- documents all decision in collection, anlaysis, and interpretation of data
Triangulation is based on the assumption that by comparing data from different methods or studies (or even researchers in
researcher triangulation- or inter-rater reliability
) in the same setting it is possible to overcome biases
Participant expectations = demand characteristics at
qualitative research

Researcher bias- mainly occurs when researcher pays less attention to the participant responses and more to their own beliefs (self-serving bias) when recording and interpreting- may be alleviated by having participant(s) review & comment on notes
Inductive Content Analysis
on interview transcripts
The use of classification codes to reduce volumes of recorded material into manageable (hierarchically-structured) data to i.d. patterns & gain insight.
post-modern vs verbatim transcription?
draw meaning out of data
no pre-existing theoretical framework
focus is on what emerges from data
analyzes verbal & non-verbal
Handout Chart pg. 153 IB Study Guide

Qualitative research utilizes methods that seek to discern the quality — as opposed to the quantity — of its subject.
It is more often concerned with explaining the why and how of a phenomenon rather than the what, when and where.

Qualitative research methods are most often utilized in fields such as anthropology, the humanities and sociology, and psychology.

Text-rich data collected

In qualitative research, data samples are usually not collected through random selection but rather
reasoning. For example, a qualitative research study on racial inequality will not likely concern itself with affluent minorities or the entire population of a minority, but rather, it might focus on depressed areas where minorities are most prevalent.

The researcher's role in interpreting the meaning of data is
centralized (for better or worse)

Qualitative researchers must reflect upon their research (reflexivity-based) and make the reasoning behind it transparent and interpretations of their data explicit in their analysis.

It may or may not be pertinent to ask whether or not a conclusion is replicatible, or whether it was affected by bias.
Qualitative Research
Sampling in
Qualitative Research
1. Purposive sampling

2. Snowball sampling

3. Convenience sampling
chosen for salient characteristics- divorced, homeless,
elementary school students
confidentiality issues,
bias issues
gained typically
through advertising
Data Obtained in
Observational Research
Grounded theory analysis
ICA approach to data analysis of observational research
Creates a picture as the data is collected
& interpreted
Goes further than Interpretive Phemonological Analysis in that the final product is a written account based on all elements- including a theoretical framework in which to place the phenomenon studied.
1. full description studied - could include environmental description
as well, description of people, dialogue, analytical diary (covert)
2. classification of notes into themes & sub-themes,
coded & arranged hierarchically
3. interpretation including elements to support & question
the findings/proposal
4. Produces as rich account based on all elements, including a theoretical framework for understanding the phenomenon. The categories "ground" the theoretical explanation
5. researcher follows-up with the observed or may confirm with the findings of other researchers
Investigator triangulation
(inter-observer reliability)
theory triangulation
- approach from different theoretical points of view
Hawthorne effect

Demand characteristics
self-preservation- when the participant does not agree w/ interpretation of data (may be due to sensitive nature of data)
Used to increase credibility and overall trustworthiness
time sampling
- observations at regular
time intervals
event sampling
- tallly each time a behavior occurs
point sampling
- focus on one indiv. at a timefor a set period of time
Goal in sampling is to find the participants who are particularly informative about the research topic
(s&w of each?
Social desirability
confirmation bias
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