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Flashcards in Experimental Research Methods Deck (36)
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1

What is meant by a 'dependent variable'?

The variable that the experimenter measures

2

What is meant by an 'independent variable'?

The variable that the experimenter manipulates

3

List the research methods in experimental psychology

Laboratory Study
Field Study
Natural Experiment
Quasi Experiment

4

Outline and evaluate Laboratory Studies

-An experiment conducted in an environment where the variables are carefully controlled
-IV manipulated by the researcher

Pros:
-Internal validity
-Less likelihood of extraneous variables
-Easily replicated

Cons:
-Artificial
-Demand Characteristics
-Low ecological validity

5

Outline and evaluate Field Studies

-An experiment conducted in natural settings
-IV manipulated by researcher

Pros:
-Ecological validity (behaviour is more realistic)

Cons:
-Less control over extraneous variables in the real world, therefore less internal validity
-Potentially time consuming and expensive
-Not easily replicated

6

Outline and evaluate Natural Experiments

-An experiment that is conducted when the IV can not be (practically or ethically) manipulated
-Therefore, it is said that the IV occurs naturally
-DV may be tested in a lab

Pros:
-Reduced Demand Characteristics
-Good method for sensitive ethical issues
-High ecological validity

Cons:
-Difficult to show cause-and-effect (IV + DV)
-Researcher doesn't control IV or environment

7

Outline and evaluate Quasi Experiments

-An experiment measuring the difference between people (e.g. gender, age, height), therefore the IV is naturally occurring
-DV may be tested in a lab

Pros:
-Allow for comparisons between different types of people

Cons:
-Participants may be aware of being studied, ultimately affecting the internal validity

8

List the designs used in experimental psychology

Independent Groups Design
Repeated Measures Design
Matched Participants Design

9

Outline and evaluate the Independent Groups Design

-One group for each condition

Pros:
-No practice effects
-Less likely to show demand characteristics

Cons:
-No control of individual differences between participants
-Twice as many participants are needed (potentially), therefore less economical

10

Outline and evaluate the Repeated Measures Design

-All groups do all conditions

Pros:
-Participant variables are controlled as the same participants are used in each condition
-More economical (fewer participants needed)

Cons:
-Practice effects
-Demand characteristics

11

Outline and evaluate the Matched Pairs Design

-Participants are matched by similar traits (e.g. age, gender, intelligence)

Pros:
-Attempts to tackle participant variables
-No order effects

Cons:
-Matching is difficult/expensive/time consuming
-Matching is never totally successful

12

Define 'extraneous' and 'confounding' variables

Extraneous Variables: variables other than the IV affecting the DV

Confounding Variables: if the EV is not removed, it becomes a confounding variable

13

Define 'counterbalancing'?

All participants doing all conditions (ABBA)

14

What is meant by 'investigator effects'?

How the investigator looks, speaks and acts. As the investigator could unintentionally convey how participants should behave

15

What is meant by 'social desirability bias'?

The tendency for participants (typically in questionnaires and interviews) to answer questions in a manner which they feel will be favoured by others

16

What is meant by 'face validity'?

Whether the experiment appears to test what it claims to

17

What is meant by 'concurrent validity'

Comparing the outcome of a new study with the results of a similar, pre-existing study

18

Outline the ways to improve internal reliability

Split-half method; questions on a test are split in half. If reliable, the answers for the questions highlighted should be the same for any individual

19

Outline the ways to improve external reliability

Test-retest method; the ability to replicate the results of the study

Replication; the ability to replicate the results of the study with different participants

20

List the sampling methods used in experimental psychology

Random Sampling
Opportunity Sampling
Systematic Sampling
Stratified Sampling
Volunteer Sampling

21

What is meant by 'Random Sampling'?

Each individual has an equal opportunity of being selected

22

What is meant by 'Opportunity Sampling'?

Using people who are available to participate

23

What is meant by 'Systematic Sampling'?

Taking every nth person from a list to create a sample

24

What is meant by 'Stratified Sampling'?

Small scale reproduction of a population, and the individuals within each category are random. (e.g. if 12% of the population are black, 12% of participants in the study should be black)

25

What is meant by 'Volunteer Sampling'?

Using people who offer to take part in a study

26

Evaluate Random Sampling

Pros: Best chance of getting a representative sample

Cons: Often difficult and expensive

27

Evaluate Opportunity Sampling

Pros: Can be the easiest method to organise, as participants are readily available

Cons: Researcher's choice may be biased

28

Evaluate Systematic Sampling

Pros: No bias in selection of participants

Cons: Unbiased selection does not mean and unbiased sample (e.g. the participants may be all female)

29

Evaluate Stratified Sampling

Pros: Representative of sub-groups within a population

Cons: Time-consuming; dividing into different categories and then randomly selecting participants takes time

30

Evaluate Volunteer Sampling

Pros: Very convenient

Cons: Usually biased, as the participants are all the same/similar (highly motivated, and/or too much free time)