Research Methods - GROBY

Research Methods - GROBY

Research Methods Revision Investigation Design Aim What the experimenter wants to investigate. Hypotheses Directional the predicted difference in two conditions (one-tailed). Non-directional predicts there is a difference, without stating the direction (two-tailed). Null there will be no difference between conditions. IV Manipulated by the researcher. DV Measured by the researcher, this is the effects of the IV. Scenarios Are the following hypotheses directional or non-directional? 1. Boys score differently on aggressiveness tests than girls. 2. Students who have a computer at home do better in exams than those that dont. 3. Participants remember the words that are early in a list better than words which appear later. 4. Hamsters are better pets than budgies.

5. Words presented in a phonemic for are recalled differently to those presented in a semantic form. Directional Nondirectional Writing hypotheses A good hypothesis should start: there will be... Non-directional continues ...a difference Can you write both directional, nondirectional and null hypotheses for each of the following studies. 1. A study to find out whether boys or girls watch more television. 2. A study to see if teachers give higher marks to more or less attractive students. 3. A study to see if amount of sleep affects schoolwork. Sampling Random Sample Participants are drawn from a hat, or by using a random computer generator method. Opportunity Sample People are asked to take part, e.g. on a street, in a supermarket etc. Volunteer Sample

Participants apply via adverts to take part in the study. Weaknesses: Biased samples can occur (e.g. more boys than girls). Weaknesses: Weaknesses: Biased due to small population drawn from. Highly motivated sample. May not be representative of target population. Strengths: Strengths: Strengths: Easiest method. Quick. Convenient. Convenient. No bias from the experimenter.

Unbiased as everyone has an equal chance of being selected. Experimental Method Laboratory Experiments take place in a laboratory (a controlled environment) and the researcher manipulates the IV. Field Experiments take place in the participants natural environment and the researcher manipulates the IV. Weaknesses: Lacks mundane realism. Behaviour may change as people know they are being watched. Weaknesses: More difficult to control extraneous variables. Ethical issues of being watched without knowing. Strengths: Can control extraneous

variables. Easily replicated. Strengths: Natural environment. Higher mundane realism. Natural Experiments take place in the participants natural environment the researcher does not manipulate the IV. Yarmey (1993) Weaknesses: Extraneous variables are common. Cannot determine cause and effect due to no IV. Strengths: Allows research where the IV cannot be manipulated. High validity. Challenge Time Pick up the red cards from the pack. Place them into three categories: Lab experiments Field experiments Natural experiments Then decide if they are random,

volunteer or opportunity samples. Place them on the grid. Pilot Studies A small-scale trial run of the research before the real study takes place. Reasons for a pilot study: Check that there are no flaws in the study; Check the participants understand the instructions and what they are required to do; Ask a few participants about their experience of taking part; and Changes can then be made to the procedure if necessary, to avoid wasting time/money. Experimental Design Independent Groups Design Participants only take part in one condition of the experiment Words (2 separate groups) 2 1 Weaknesses: More ppts are needed than repeated measures design. Differences between participants in the groups 1 may affect results, (participant variables).

2 Strengths: Avoids order effects. Less demand characteristics Matched Pairs Design Repeated Measures Participants are matched Design in each condition for Participants take part in characteristics that may both conditions of the have an effect on their Pictures experiment (1 group). performance. e.g. age, 1 2 1 gender, 2 IQ etc. Weaknesses: Order effects are more likely Weaknesses: Very time-consuming trying to find closely matched pairs. Impossible to match people exactly. Requires more participants. to occur (counterbalancing needed). Demand characteristics more likely as participants might

guess the 1 aim of the study. Strengths: Strengths: Reduces participant variables. Avoids order effects. Avoids the problem of participant variables. Fewer people are needed. 2 Correlational Analysis Shows the relationship between two variables. Each individual has two scores (one on the X axis and one on the y axis. The scattergraphs of results look like this: A statistical test can be used to work out if the relationship is significant. The results are as follows: Strengths: The closer to 1 (+ or -) the stronger We calculate a coefficient between -1 and +1 When When research one the relationship one

Canvariable be used when other is unethical or impossible. increases so does the is significant variable further increases research is justified. If correlation Strong Weak Weak Strong other variable the other variable Weaknesses: decreases -1 0 +1 negative correlation correlation positive correlation Misinterpretation of cause and effect is possible. There may

No perfect perfect intervening variables be other that cause the change. Mini-Whiteboard Challenge Guiseppe Gelate always liked statistics at school and now he has his own ice cream business he keep various records. The table below his data: A graph toshows show the relationship between ice cream sales and aggressive behaviour Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov 140 Ice cream sales 10 8 7 21 32 56

130 141 84 32 11 120 Aggressive 21 32 29 35 44 55 111 129 99 36 22 100 crimes 80 60 Sketch a scattergram 40 of Guiseppes data. 20 What can you conclude from the data in the scattergram? 0 What intervening variable might better explain the 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Dec 6

25 AggressiveCrimes Jan relationship between ice cream and aggression? Ice cream sales Describe how you would design a study to show Guiseppe that ice cream does (or does not) cause aggressive behaviour. Observations Structured Observation Controlled Observations The behaviour being observed is under controlled conditions, e.g. in a lab. An example of this is the strange situation. Observations are organised using behavioural categories (e.g. behaviours you might expect) and sampling procedures (e.g. event and time sampling). Unstructured Observations The observer records all

relevant behaviour without using a system. This might be used if the behaviour is unpredictable. Covert Observations Overt Observations One-way mirrors may be used in a lab. This is so that the participants behaviour doesnt change if they know they are being watched. The researcher is open about what they are studying and they are in the room where the behaviour is being observed. Challenge Most observation questions are linked to attachment. Can you answer this question? A psychologist wanted to investigate the effects of age of adoption on aggressive behaviour. He compared children who had been adopted before the age of two with children who had been adopted after the age of two. The children were observed in their school playground when they were six years old. a) Suggest two operationalised behavioural categories the psychologist could use in his observation of aggressive behaviour. Explain how the psychologist could have carried out this observation. Behavioural Category 1: Behavioural Category 2: Explanation of how the observation could have been carried out (4) b) Explain one ethical issue the psychologist would have needed to consider when carrying out this research. How could the psychologist have dealt with this issue? (4) The psychologist wanted to investigate how aggressive the children were when they

were at home. He interviewed a sample of their parents to investigate this. c) Explain why using interviews might be better than using questionnaires in this situation. (4) Naturalistic Observations Naturalistic Observations An observation in a natural setting where the researcher does not interfere in any way. A structured observation is likely to be used. Designing Observations You may need: a behavioural checklist (a system where a behaviour is ticked every time it is seen); a rating system (where the observer rates someone, e.g. 1-5 in terms of their attractiveness); or a coding system (where each expected behaviour is given a number and every behaviour seen is written down). Advantages Gives a realistic view of behaviour. Can be used as a preliminary investigation. More valid than interviews/questionnaires. Disadvantages No control over EVs (except in a lab). Observer bias may occur. Ethical issues if you dont know youre being watched.

Self-Report Methods How to design them Questionnaires A list of standardised set of questions is given to each respondent; they give their answers in writing: Closed questions Open questions Weaknesses: Social desirability bias. Sample may be biased as only certain people are willing to take part. Strengths: Easily repeated. Cheap and quick. Interviews Questions are asked orally . Structured interviews: predetermined questions. Unstructured interviews: questions are developed as a response to the answers given. Weaknesses: Interviewer bias can occur. Reliability of using the same interviewer. Strengths: Easily repeated with standardised questions.

More detailed responses can be probed. Good questionnaires have: Clear questions. Filler questions to distract the respondent from the purpose of the study. Easy questions at the start. A technique to collect respondents. Pilot study to test the questions. Interviews and questionnaires must: Be checked for reliability (split-half/test-retest). Be valid (a representative sample and have face validity). Have no ethical issues. Case Studies The study of a single person in detail. Information comes from a range of sources (diary, interviews, observations, family etc). They are generally longitudinal. Advantages Rich data is collected. Can be used to investigate rare human behaviour. Disadvantages

Difficult to generalise. Unreliability when recalling past events. Researchers may lack objectivity. Issues of confidentiality. Extraneous Variables Age Temperature Noise Intelligence Time of day Investigator effects Order effects Demand characteristic s Motivation Experience Gender If extraneous variables are not controlled and they cause a change in the DV

then they become confounding variables. Researchers must control all Spot the EVs Two classes of primary school children are tested to see if older or younger children have better memories. One class contains older children, the other class contains younger children. The children are tested in their own classrooms by their own teacher. Some students investigate whether men or women are more affected by alcohol. They give each participant a reaction time test and then give them two glasses of wine, followed by another reaction time test. A psychological study tested the effects of vitamins on exam performance. Participants were told beforehand that the vitamins enhanced exam performance. One group of participants received a vitamin pill and the other group received a placebo. The exam performance of the two groups was measured. Reliability and Validity Internal Validity Making sure the study is correct and has no design faults ensures high internal validity. There should be no EVs. External Validity When you can generalise the results from one study to another you say the study has high external validity. Three

types (historical, ecological, population). Internal Reliability When the coding system, or observational checklist is consistent and you record the same result you can say that your study has high internal reliability. External Reliability When the items you measure are consistent over time, you can say that the measure has high external reliability. BPS Code of Ethics Informed Consent Right to Withdraw Deception Tell the participants what will happen in the study so they can make an informed decision about whether to take part. But sometimes the participants could guess the true aim and change their behaviour. Sometimes we have to hide the true aims of the study. But there is a difference between withholding information and being false. Fully informed consent has not been given.

All participants can leave the study at any point, especially if they feel they have been deceived. This can bias the results for the researcher if the participants who remain are more obedient. The researcher asks for consent in writing and gives just some information to participants. Debrief after the study (tell aims and their role in study) can also withdraw. Debrief is vital. Presumptive consent can also be gained (ask similar people to the participants whether they would agree to take part). Ethical committee can also be used to discuss the study. Participants can leave whenever they feel uncomfortable, they will be told this in the initial briefing. Money or rewards will still be paid. Privacy Confidentiality Protection from harm A persons right to control the flow of information about themselves. People do not expect to be observed in their own home, while they might if they were in the park. A person's personal information should be protected. The Data Protection Act makes this a legal right. Anonymity may be guaranteed.

Participants should not experience any negative physical or psychological effects (e.g. physical injury or lowered self-esteem). Should remain in the state they arrived. It is acceptable to observe in situations where you may normally overhear others (e.g. shopping centre). If privacy is invaded, confidentiality should be kept. Ask for written consent for personal information to be stored (securely). No names should be recorded, instead false names or numbers are used Avoid any risks that are greater than everyday life. The researcher should stop the study if any harm looks likely to occur. What is so unethical?! The Stanford Prison study by Zimbardo (1971) took great care to inform the prospective participants about what would be involved in the study. However, the participants who were selected to be the prisoners were not informed that they would be arrested in their own homes, and thus did not know the amount of distress that would be caused by participating. Craik and Lockhart (1972) conducted a study on memory where participants

had to read 30 questions and for each of the questions wither respond yes or no. Afterwards they were asked to recall as many words as they could. They were not informed of the true aims of the study (to compare deep with shallow processing) and were not told that they would have to recall the words. Middlemist et al. (1976) investigated invasion of personal space by conducting a field experiment in a mens urinal. There were three conditions: a confederate (ally of the researcher) stands either immediately next to a participant, one urinal away or absent. An observer records onset of micturation times (how long it took to urinate) as an indication of how comfortable the participant felt. Milgrams study involved paying participants $4.50 to take part in a study about the effects of punishment on learning (although they were told it was a study on memory). The were told they could leave at any time (although there were a series of prods by the experimenter to encourage continuation). 3 participants had seizures as a result of taking part in the study.

Presentation of Quantitative Data Graphs should be simple. They should have a short, but informative, title. The x axis should be labelled (usually the IV). The y axis should be labelled (usually the DV). Line graph Bar chart Scattergraph Table Only the scattergraph is a good example of what to do. Avoid doing wrong what the other graphs are. A table to show the results of memory (self-rated) and a score on a standard memory test. Past Paper Question Two groups of patients took part in a trial to compare the effectiveness of two different drug therapies. One of the groups was given Drug A and the other group was given Drug B. All patients completed a rating scale at the start of a ten-week course of treatment and again at the end of the course. This scale measured the severity of symptoms. The Drug A group had an average score of 9 before the therapy and an average score of 4 at the end of the course. The Drug B group had an average score of 7 before the

therapy and an average score of 5 at the end of the course. Sketch and label a bar chart to illustrate the data. (4 marks) Analyse this graph Some research has suggested that there is a relationship between the time children spend in day care and their aggressive behaviour. Researchers selected a group of school children who had been in day care. They asked the childrens mothers to estimate how many hours a week their children had spent in day care. They measured the same childrens aggression. Relationship between average hours spent in a day care and aggression (a) (b) How many children are represented in this scattergram? (1 mark) Suggest one way in which the childrens aggression could be measured. (2 marks) Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion Mean Add all the numbers up in the data set and divide by the number of numbers. Weaknesses: Can hide extreme values. Cannot be used with nominal data (categories). Strengths: Makes use of all values in the data set. Mode The most common value in

the data set. Weaknesses: There can be several modes. Strengths: Useful for nominal data. Range The difference between the highest and lowest numbers in a data set. Weaknesses: Strengths: Affected by extreme values.Easy to calculate. Median When the numbers are ordered, this is the middle number. Weaknesses: Not as sensitive as the mean as not all numbers are considered. Strengths: Not affected by extreme scores. Standard Deviation The average spread of data around the mean (a low standard deviation indicates reliability). Weaknesses: Strengths: May hide extreme values. More precise. Practice Questions For each of the following data sets calculate:

a) Mean 1) 2, 3, 5, 6, 6, 9, 12, 15, 21, 22 b) Mode 2) 2, 3, 8, 10, 11, 13, 13, 14, 14, 29 c) Median 3) 2, 2, 4, 5, 5, 5, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 10 d) Range Why is it better to know the standard deviation than the range? A psychologist has conducted an experiment to see how long it takes people to offer help when someone falls down. The results are shown below. Mean response time Range of scores Standard deviation Victim appears to be drunk Victim has a cane 24.9 seconds 19.7 seconds 10-48 10-30 11.7 6.8 State one conclusion that can be drawn from: a) The mean response times b) The range of each set of scores c) The standard deviations of each set of scores

Presentation of Qualitative Data Content analysis is a research tool used to indirectly observe the presence of certain words, images or concepts within the media (e.g. advertisements, books films etc.). First the psychologist decides what to analyse (e.g. a diary). Researchers then count and analyse the presence, meanings and relationships of words and concepts. These form codes. Codes with similar content are compared, and then grouped into categories. Similar categories can be grouped together into larger units. Conclusions can be drawn. Quantitative and Qualitative Data Type of data Advantages Quantitative Easier to analyse Can be summarised into graphs Can draw neat conclusions due to numerical data Disadvantages

Oversimplifies human experience into numbers Qualitative Represents how complex human behaviour is More difficult to detect patterns and draw conclusions Gains access into human thoughts Subjective analysis can occur due to personal expectations and beliefs Provides rich details

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