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What is the scientific method?

A method that uses empirical observation and indirect proxy measures to operationalise psychological concepts. It involves deductive reasoning and the principle of falsifiability. The hypothesis is then falsified or supported.


What are the 5 main research methods?

Observation, interviews, surveys, correlations and experiments.


Describe the research method: observation

It records overt behaviour by studying participants in an unobtrusive manner.The categories of behaviour are decided before hand and the researcher either uses time or event sampling. There is non-participant observation, which involves no direct contact and observation in a lab or naturalistic setting. Participant observation involves a naturalistic setting where the researcher becomes involved in the group being observed.


Name 2 advantages and 3 disadvantages of an observational method

Advantages: It studies all of the participants' environment rather than individual elements and there is no intervention.
Disadvantages: Hawthorne effect; participants may react to being observed, observer bias; researcher is subjective and bias, sampling bias; samples may not be typical.


Describe the research method: surveys

It obtains data from a specific population by questioning a sample from the population. There are different ways of recruiting participants; random, opportunity etc. The sample aims to be representative. Surveys consist of closed and open questions. Closed measures prevalence and open measures qualitative.


Name 2 advantages and 3 disadvantages of the survey method

Advantages: Economy; you can measure large samples easily, consistency; the surveys are standardised
Disadvantages: Response-behaviour mismatch; how they claim to behave may differ to reality, response bias; they may lie, forget or chose not to reveal information, the wording of questions can influence the response.


Describe the research method: interview

They gather in-depth, qualitative data that explores the motivations of the participants. The types of interviews are structured; specific questions in a specific order and semi-structured/informal; themes are discussed in any order.


Name 2 advantages and 2 disadvantages of the interview method

Advantages: Participants' own words are used and it uses detailed, real insights, it doesn't concentrate on quantifiable characteristics (numbers).
Disadvantages: Researcher subjectively decides the questions and the evidence, not generalisable as the sample size is usually small.


Describe the research method: correlation

It measures the extent of which behaviours are related to each other. It does this by measuring the strength and direction of the relationship


Name 2 advantages and 2 disadvantages of the correlational method

Advantages: You can predict the value of one variable via the other variable, can be used to see if two variables are independent from each other.
Disadvantages: You can't infer a causal relationship, the relationships can't be extrapolated beyond the range of data.


Describe the research method: experiments

Experiments manipulate the IV and measure the DV