Flashcards in Non-Experimental Research Methods Deck (37)
Define 'naturalistic observation'
Observation of behaviour in a natural situation
Define 'controlled observation'
An observation where some of the variables are controlled by the researcher, reducing the natural-ness. These are usually conducted in a lab.
Identify the strengths and weakness of naturalistic observation
-No Demand Characteristics
-High Ecological Validity
-Difficult to replicate
-Observer's presence may affect behaviour
What is the difference between structured and unstructured observation?
Unstructured; the researcher records all relevant behaviour but has no 'system'. Usually when behaviour to be studied is unpredictable
Structured; the researcher uses various systems:
-Research aims (an area to study)
-Observational systems (how to record the behaviour)
Breaking the behaviour being studied into a set of measurable components
Define 'continuous' observation'
Where every instance of behaviour you see is recorded in detail
Define 'event sampling' and state on strength and weakness
Recording each time an event occurs
Con: May be difficult to record everything accurately
Define 'time sampling' and state on strength and weakness
Recording behaviour is regular time intervals
(e.g. every other minute)
Con: Some behaviours may be missed
What is the difference between participant and non-participant observation?
Participant; when the observer is involved in the research
Non-Participant; when the observer is not involved in the research
State the adavanages and disadvantages of Participant Observation
-Living the experience
-Avoids researcher bias
-Difficult to record
State the adavanages and disadvantages of Non-Participant Observation
-Easy to record
-Observer doesn't interfere
-Demand Characterisics (potentially)
Define 'covert observation'
When participants are unaware of the observer
Define 'overt observation'
When participants are aware of the observer
State the adavantages and disadvantages of Covert Observation
Pros: Allows observer to witness behaviour which might otherwise not be seen
Cons: No participant consent
State the adavantages and disadvantages of Overt Observation
Pros: Participant's consent
Cons: Demand Characteristics
What kind of data does an unstructured observation produce?
What kind of data does a structured observation produce?
How do observers assure that their research is reliable?
-Observation's results should be consistent
-Inter-observer reliability; correlating the observations of two or more observers
How do observers deal with low reliability within research?
Observers should be trained to use a behaviour checklist or coding system
Define the 'self-report technique'
A research method where participants give information about themselves without researcher interference
Usually in the form of questionnnaires or interviews
Outline the strengths of using a questionnaire as a form of self-report
-Easy to collect information from the masses
-No interviewer effects
Outline the weaknesses of using a questionnaire as a form of self-report
-Social Desirability Bias; not answering honestly
-Questions may be misunderstood
Define what is meant by 'a structured interview'
Contains pre-prepared questions (pretty much a face-to-face questionnaire)
Define what is meant by 'a semi-structured interview'
Consists of some prepared questions but allows for the interviewee to elaborate (most successful form of interview)
Define what is meant by 'a unstructured interview'
Consists of possibly one or two pre-prepared questions to start, but continues based on the responses of the interviewee
Outline the advantages of using an interview as a form of self-report compared to a questionnaire
-Body language can be recorded
-In unstructured interviews, the questions are specific and the interviewee is given an opportunity to expand
Outline the disadvantages of using an interview as a form of self-report compared to a questionnaire
-Some people may struggle verbalising their thoughts
Outline the advantages and disadvantages of using a structured interview interview
-Easier to analyse
-Rigid and inflexible
Outline the advantages and disadvantages of using a unstructured or semi-structured interview
-Answers are less easy to analyse as they are unpredictable