4.2.3 Research methods Flashcards Preview

A level Psychology > 4.2.3 Research methods > Flashcards

Flashcards in 4.2.3 Research methods Deck (70)
Loading flashcards...

Name the 4 research methods

  1. Experimental method
  2. Observational techniques
  3. Self-report techniques
  4. Correlations


What is random allocation?

When participants have same chance of being placed in any condition in experiment


Describe how you could randomly allocate participants to 2 condtions

  1. Name each participant on separate piece of paper
  2. Put all names in a hat
  3. Pick out names individually
  4. 1st half of names are assigned to condition A
  5. 2nd half of names assigned to condition B


Name 4 experimental methods

  1. Laboratory Experiments 
  2. Field Experiments 
  3. Natural Experiments
  4. Quasi Experiments


What is meant by a laboratory experiment?

  • Experiment that takes place in controlled environment
  • Where researcher manipulates IV and records effect of DV
  • Involves controlled EVs and randomly allocating participants to conditions


Laboratory Experiments 

Name 2 pros

  • Replication
    • Due to high level of control
    • Find if results are valid
  • High control over EV
    • Researcher can ensure that effect on DV is result of manipulation of IV
      • Show true cause and effect = high internal validity


Laboratory Experiments 

Name 2 cons

  • Demand characteristics 
    • Results invalid
  • Lack generalisability 
    • Lab experiment = artificial 
    • Participants may behave in strand ways = behaviour cannot be generalised = low external validity


What is meant by a field experiment?

Experiment that takes place in natural setting where researcher manipulates IV and records effect of DV


Field Experiment

Name a pro

  • Higher mundane realism = environment is more natural
    • Produce behaviour that's more valid = high external validity
    • Especially when participants don't know they're being studied


Field Experiment

Name 3 cons

  • Precise replication is difficult due to lack of control
  • Harder to control extraneous variables
    • Harder to establish cause and effect between IV and DV
  • Ethical issues
    • Participants cannot consent to being studied


What is meant by a natural experiment?

Experiment where IV occurs naturally and not manipulated by researcher (is external)

  • Setting could still artificial 
  • DV would happen even if researcher were not studying IV (e.g. IV e.g. adoption/natural disaster)


Natural Experiment 

Name 2 pros

  • Provides opportunities for research that may not be undertaken for practical or ethical reasons
  • High external validity 
    • Involve study of real life issues


Natural Experiment 

Name 2 cons

  • Naturally occurring event rarely happens
    • Limits the scope for generalising results to other similar situations
  • Participants may not be randomly allocated to experimental conditions
    • Can't be sure if IV affected DV


What is meant by a quasi experiment?

  • IV had not been determined by anyone (it's naturally occurring within the participant)
    • IV is internal & can't be manipulated by researcher
    • e.g. IV = twin, old, young, where they have IQ over 100


Quasi Experiment 

Name a pro

  • Under controlled conditions
    • Have same strengths had lab e.g. clear cause and effect, high internal validity, ability to replicate


Quasi Experiment 

Name 2 cons

  • Lack ecological validity 
  • Researcher cannot randomly allocate participants to conditions
    • May be confounding variables = affects validity


Why conduct observations?

Experimental method doesn't always provide most suitable way to study particular behaviour


Name 8 observational techniques

  1. Naturalistic Observations 
  2. Controlled Observations 
  3. Covert Observations
  4. Overt Observations
  5. Participant Observation 
  6. Non-participant Observation
  7. Unstructured Observations
  8. Structured Observations 


Describe Naturalistic Observations 

Watching and recording behaviour in setting which it would normally occur in

e.g. watching infant play in its natural environment (nursery school)


Naturalistic Observations 

Name a pro

  • High external validity 
    • Findings generalisable 


Naturalistic Observations 

Name 3 cons

  • Lack control = replication is difficult
  • Hard to have confidence in results
  • Difficult to control extraneous variables
    • Hard to judge any pattern in behaviour in valid way


Describe Controlled Observations 

Watching and recording behaviour within structured environment (where some variables managed)

e.g. Mary Ainsworth's strange situation


Controlled Observations 

Name a pro

  • Extraneous variables controlled
    • Easier to cause and effect & replicate observation


Controlled Observations 

Name a con

More artificial = lack external validity ∴ can't generalise to real life


Describe Covert Observations

  • Participants' behaviour is watched and recored without their knowledge
  • Behaviour has to be public & happening anyway for observation to be ethical


Covert Observations

Name a pro

  • Removes problem of participant reactivity & ensures behaviour observed will be natural
    • Increases validity of data 


Covert Observations

Name a con

Ethics questionable = public may not want to be observed


Describe Overt Observations

  • Participants' behaviour is watched and recored with their knowledge
  • Observers try to unobtrusive as possible = use one way mirrors


Overt Observations

Name a pro

More ethical = no issues with privacy and informed consent


Overt Observations

Name a con

  • Participant reactivity e.g. social desirability
    • Behaviour may not be valid