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Flashcards in Research Deck (29):

Laboratory: Strengths

Can eliminate extraneous variables (ie something that might interfere with the result), shows cause and effect and easy to replicate.


Laboratory: Weaknesses

Low ecological validity - don't know if people would behave differently in real life.
Demand characteristics - people will try to figure out what the experimenter wants, and change their behaviour. This is sometimes called the Hawthorne Effect.
Operationalisation - the task itself may not reflect a real-life situation (eg trying to remember trigrams).
Experiementer effect - the nature of the research may influence researcher bias which can effect the outcome.


Field: Strengths

Greater ecological validity - participants are behaving as they naturally would.
Can generalise from results, ie presume that you would expect to find similar results were it repeated.


Field: Weaknesses

Hard to control extraneous variables.
Can be expensive to arrange and hard to replicate.
Ethical problems, if participants don't know they are being observed they never consented.


Natural: Strengths

High ecological validity, low demand characteristics, elminates sampling bias.


Natural: Weaknesses

Lack of control over variables.
Ethics - may include people who don't know they are being studied.
Impossible to allow for every possible extraneous variable.


Survey: Strengths

Cheap and esy to conduct.
Can use a large number of people, so a representative smaple is created.
Can tak place anywhere, so avoid some problems of labs, eg participants feeling uncomfortable.
Standarised questions mean that every participant is aksed precisely the same things.


Survey Weaknesses

Participants may not tell the truth.
Interviewer bias - who is doing the research may affect the outcome.
Participants may misunderstand questions.
Deman characteristics - participants may give answers that they think they 'should'.


Naturalistic Observation: Strengths

High ecological validity.


Naturalistic Observation: Weaknesses

Subjectivity of researcher's observations. Ethical issues if participants don't know they are being observed.


Participant Observation: Strengths

High ecological validity, but may be reduced by effect of researcher bias.


Participant Observation: Weaknesses

Subjectivity of researcher's observations.
Ethical issues if participants don't know they are being observed.
Participants may modify behaviour if they od know they are being observed.


Observation Schedule (used with either Naturalistic Observation or Participant Observation): Strengths

Helps to make sense of qualitative data or wide range of quantitative data.


Observation Schedule (used with either Naturalistic Observation or Participant Observation): Weaknesses

Can lose some sense of qualitative data once transferred into code.


Case Study: Features of the Case Study Method that Allow Data to be Collected

Case history (eg medical records), Interviews (the individual(s) might be interviewed to discover information about their past or present attitudes and feelings. Other people, such as realtives or friends or social workers and teachers, might be interviewed as well about the target 'case'), Questionnaires (can be used to assess attitudes and personality), Diaries (kept by target individuals), Observation (of the key individual in relevant situations).


Case Study: Weaknesses

Bias - people may not remember things correctly or want to give a certain impression of themselves.
Ethical problems - because the cases are unusual, it may be difficult to keep them confidential.
May be difficult/ impossible to apply findings to any other case.


Random Sampling:

Every member of the target population has an equal chance of being choen. This is good because there shouldn't be bias in who gets chosen. It is bad becasue the sample may not be representative, eg you may choose all the boys who don't like sport when you want to ask about attitudes to sport. Randomness can be achieved by assinging each potential participant a number, then using a random number generator to select.


Opportunity Sampling:

You choose the participants who are available. For example, the S6 students in the common room on a thursday afternoon. This is good because it is easy to arrange and you have control over whom you invite. Again, it may not be representative because all teh laziest students are in the common room.


Self-selection Sampling:

You get people to come to you. For example, you put a message on Twitter asking people to take part in a survey online. You don't approach them directly and you allow the participants to choose themselves. This may not be representative because only the attention-seekers volunteer!


Systematic Sampling:

Very similar to random sampling, but yuo apply a system to it. You choose a random sarting point, and after that there is a method for choosing (for example, every 10th name after that). It has to same weaknesses as random sampling, in that it works best if you are working with a population which is quite similar.


Quota Sampling:

Choosing a fixed number from groups within a population, for example 100 males and 100 females. Once you have your quota for each, you stop. This is easier than stratified sampling, but you could have a biased sample becasue all you ar edoing is filling your quotas.


Stratified Sampling:

The researcher divides the target population into strata (groups), and then selects randomly within each stratum. This might be male/ female, or age groups. It is different to quota sampling because each member of each group has an equal chanc eof being selected. This should lead to a less biased sample.


Ethical Concerns: Consent

- Participants should give fully informed consent.
- To be fully informed, they must be at least 16 (or have parental consent) and know exactly what they are consenting to.
- Where possible, you should get consent before you start your research.


Ethical Concerns: Right to Withdraw

- Participants must know that they can withdraw at anytime.
- You must not put pressure on them to continue.


Ethical Concerns: Confidentiality

- When you are publishing your research, the participants should not be named or be capable of being identified.
- You shouldn't share individuals' results with anyone apart from the researchers you are working with.


Ethical Concerns: Protection

- While people are taking part in your research, you are responsible for their safety.
- The participants shouldn't come to any physical/ mental harm.


Ethical Concerns: Deception

- You should be as honest as possible with your participants.
- If there is a need to lie during a research, you should fully debrief them afterwards.


Ethical Concerns: Debriefing

- After you are finished, participants should have the chance to talk about their experience. This provides qualitative data for you, as well as helping them come to terms with it.


Ethical Concerns: Giving Advice

- Without professional training, you aren't allowed to tell/ imply to your participants that yuo can diagnose mental problems etc.