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AQA: A Level Psychology Paper 2 > Research Methods > Flashcards

Flashcards in Research Methods Deck (84)
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Aim [definition]:

A statement of what the researcher intends to find out in a research study.
For example: Investigating the effect of caffeine on memory


Debriefing [definition]:

A post-research interview designed to inform participants of the true nature of the study and to restore them to the state they were at the start of the study


How is debriefing useful? [2]:

- It is a means of dealing with ethical issues
- Can be used to get feedback on the procedures of the study


Independent variable [definition]:

The variable that changes in an experiment


Dependent variable [definition]:

Dependent on the independent variable


Control variable [definition]:

The one that doesn't change


Confounding Variable [definition]:

A variable under the study that is not the IV but varies systematically with the IV


Extraneous variables [3]:

- Do not vary systematically with the IV
- They do not act as an alternative IV but instead have an effect on the DV
- They are nuisance variables


Internal validity [definition]:

The degree to which an observed effect was due to the experimental manipulation rather than other factors such as confounding/extraneous variables


External validity [definition]:

The degree to which a research finding can be generalised to other settings (ecological validity)


Validity vs Reliability:

Reliability = consistency of a measure
Validity= accuracy of a measure


Confederate [2]:

An individual in a study who has been instructed how to behave, by the researcher
- In stanford prison experiment


Directional hypothesis [2]:

- States the direction of the predicted difference between two conditions
- example: Women will have higher scores than men will on Hudson's self-esteem scale


Non-directional hypothesis [2]:

- Predicts simply that there is a difference between conditions of the iv
- There will be no difference between men's scores and women's scores on Hudson's self-esteem scale


Pilot study [definition]:

- A small-scale trial run of a study to test any aspects of the design, to make improvements before the final study


When do psychologists use a directional hypothesis?

When past research suggests that the findings will go in a particular direction


When is a non-directional hypothesis used?

When there is no past research on the topic studied or past research is contradictory


What are 3 types of experimental design?

- Repeated measure design
- Independent measure design
- Matched pairs design


Repeated measures design [3]:

ALL participants experience ALL levels of the IV
+ Participant variables are reduced since its the same person
+ Fewer people are needed as they take part in all conditions


Limitations of repeated measure design [2]:

- Order effects e.g getting tired. Can be avoided by using counterbalance
- Participants may guess the aim of the experiment and behave a certain way e.g purposely do worse in the second half. Can be avoided by using a cover story


Independent measure design [2]:

Participants are placed in separate groups and only experience one level of the IV each
+ Avoids order effects


Limitations of independent measure design [2]:

- Participant variables e.g different abilities or characteristics [participants are randomly allocated]
- Needs more participants than repeated measure


Matched pairs design [3]:

Participants are matched by key characteristics or abilities, related to the study
+ Reduces participant variables because the researcher has tried to pair up the participants so that each condition has people with similar abilities and characteristics
+ Reduces order effects


Limitations of matched pairs design [3]:

- If one participant drops out you lose 2 PPs’ data
- Very time-consuming trying to find closely matched pairs
- Impossible to match people exactly


Lab experiments [3]:

- Conducted in a controlled environment
- The researcher decides where the experiment will take place, at what time, with which participants, in what circumstances
- Researcher manipulates the IV


lab experiment examples [2]:

- Milgram’s experiment on obedience
- Bobo's doll


Strengths of lab experiments [2]:

- It is easier to replicate. This is because standard procedure is being used
- They allow for precise control of extraneous and independent variables


Weaknesses of lab experiments [2]:

- The artificiality of the setting may produce unnatural behavior that does not reflect real life (low ecological validity)
- The artificiality of the setting may produce unnatural behavior that does not reflect real life


Field experiments [3]:

- Conducted in the participant's everyday setting
- Researcher manipulates the IV, but in a real-life setting (so cannot really control extraneous variables
- example: Hofling's hospital study on obedience (involves medicine cabinet used by nurses in hospital and tested nurses)


Strengths of field studies [2]:

- Behavior in a field experiment is more likely to reflect real life because of its natural setting
- There is less likelihood of demand characteristics affecting the results, as participants may not know they are being studied (in covert experiments)