Psychologica
l
Research
Methods
1
2
Contents Page
→ Hypothesis………………………………………………………………..……….4
• One-tailed
• Two-tailed
• Null
→ Variables……………………………………………………...
• Observations……………………………………………….…..…..…17-18
• Self Report……………………………………………………….……..19-20
• Correlation………………………………………………...
higher exam grades than students who do not use a
revision guide.
 Two-tailed (non-directional) hypothesis: this predicts...
 Anxious people are more likely than relaxed people to have a
heart attack


 People perform differently in front of a...
A variable is anything within a study that changes and does not stay
constant, e.g. time taken to do a task, anxiety level...
 Pictures will be remembered better than words
 IV
 DV
 Anxious people are more likely than relaxed people to have a
h...
Operationalising Variables
An operational definition is a description of a variable given in
terms of how it is actually m...
 Concentration is better in the mornings than the evenings.
 Watching horror movies will cause nightmares.
 Noisy envir...


Extraneous Variables
These are any variable, other than the IV, which may potentially
affect the DV and thereby mix up...
 Demand characteristics: this is when participants form an idea
about the purpose of a study. If they think they know wha...
 Watching horror movies will cause nightmares.
 Noisy environments will affect stress levels.
Control
Psychologists empl...
The only difference that there should be within research, is the
independent variable.
If everything is the same – this is...
 Concentration is better in the mornings than the evenings.
 Watching horror movies will cause nightmares.
 Noisy envir...
External Validity
The extent to which a research finding can be generalised beyond the
research situation:
 Ecological Va...
an observation, all observers must be consistent in their note-
taking to ensure that all observers are characterising sim...
 Validity:
 Men and women were given a list of 25 words to learn in a noisy environment and
then asked to recall in a qu...
 Boys and girls were divided into 2 groups: a non-aggressive condition where they
observed an adult playing but ignoring ...
Key Words:
Debrief: after completing the experiment/study the researcher will
fully explain the study (aims, full procedur...
INFORMED
CONSENT
DECEPTION RIGHT TO
WITHDRAW
PROTECTION
FROM HARM
CONFIDENTIALITY PRIVACY
Pps must be
given full
informati...
writing
Debrief after
the study:
offer right
to withhold
data
committee
Debrief: though
this cannot
stop feelings
of shame...
Look at the following studies and using your list of ethical
guidelines, state the ethical guidelines that have been broke...
 Rats are given electric shocks to the brain after they have
learnt a maze to see how this affects their memory of the
ma...
Types of Data
Quantitative Data
Quantitative data is data that is measured in
numbers or quantities
[HINT: QUANtity = QUAN...
collected. It is subjective (biased by personal expectations and
beliefs)
26
Research Methods
Experiments
In an experiment, the researcher is trying to find out whether a
particular factor has an eff...
Field
Experime
nt
WHAT IS IT?
Behaviour is measured
in a natural
environment like a
school, the street or
on a train. Pps ...
Experimental Design
The way in which you organise your pps into groups is known as the
‘design’ of your experiment. There ...
be due to them having two goes at the task (which would be a
extraneous variable)
Group 1 Group 2
No order effects: no –on...
Number of pps: fewer pps are required to get the same amount
of data, therefore it is cheaper and less time consuming
Orde...
 Men and women, matched for age and IQ, were observed over a
12-month period to see who collected the most speeding fines...
confederates ignored the smoke) and Darley & Latane (1968)
recorded how long it would take the PPs to report the smoke.
 ...
Observations
Observations are collecting data by observing pps in their
natural environments. There are many ways in which...
Observations are often carried out by a group of observers. The more
people in the team the more variation they may be in ...
Self Report
These are any method that requires the participants to give their
own response.
Questionnaires
The participant...
3. Likert Scales: like closed questions, these offer a statement
to which the respondent must choose to what extent they
a...
Correlation
Correlational analysis is a method of analysing data. We use
correlation if we are interested to find out whet...
Can be used when its
impractical/unethical to
manipulate variables
It does not show cause and
effect – just because two
va...
as samples tend to be biased in some way (e.g. some members of the
target population are more likely to be included than o...
sample is likely to
be representative
researchers in
universities
representativeness.
May allow more in-
depth analysis an...
 Self-selecting sample-You would need to create an advert, perhaps a poster, asking for
skittles. Any of the skittles tha...


Opportunity


Self-selecting


Descriptive Statistics
Descriptive statistics describe patterns found in the data
s...
children – what is 0.4 of a child?)
Quick and easy to
calculate
Not affected by extreme
scores- so can be used to
give a r...
Graphs and Charts
We use graphs and charts to summarise their data in visual displays.
It makes it easier for others to un...
Histograms are used to show continuous data (e.g. time to complete a
task). The bars do touch.
46
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  1. 1. Psychologica l Research Methods 1
  2. 2. 2
  3. 3. Contents Page → Hypothesis………………………………………………………………..……….4 • One-tailed • Two-tailed • Null → Variables…………………………………………………………………………….6 • Independent Variable • Dependent Variable • Operationalising • Extraneous Variables → Controls………………………………………………………………….….…….…11 → Validity………………………………………………………………………..……...13 → Reliability…………………………………………………………………..………..9 → Ethics……………………………………………………………………….….……...10-11 → Qualitative / Quantitative Data……………………………….….……..12 → Research Methods • Experiments………………………………………………….….……13-14  Experimental Design……………………..……..….…15-16 3
  4. 4. • Observations……………………………………………….…..…..…17-18 • Self Report……………………………………………………….……..19-20 • Correlation…………………………………………………….…..……21 • Case Study…………………………………………………….………..22 → Sampling………………………………………………………………….….….....22-23 → Descriptive Statistics / Graphs……………………………….….….……24-26 Hypothesis When research is conducted, the idea is to carry out an objective test of something – to obtain scientific measurement of how people behave, not just someone’s opinion. An aim is a statement of a study’s purpose – e.g. to study duration of LTM. Research needs to have an aim to ensure it is clear as to what the study is investigating. However, the aim isn’t precise enough to test. Therefore we use ‘hypotheses’ which are clear statements of what is actually being tested and a prediction of what they results will be. A general hypothesis is known as an ‘alternate hypothesis’, and this suggests a testable link between your variables. There are two specific types of hypothesis, and being more precise with your hypothesis means you will either use a:  One-tailed (directional) hypothesis: this predicts a difference between the groups in your experiment; AND IT ALSO predicts which group will do better. This kind of hypothesis would be used when there is previous research which suggests which way the results will go. E.g. Students who use a revision guide will get 4
  5. 5. higher exam grades than students who do not use a revision guide.  Two-tailed (non-directional) hypothesis: this predicts a difference; BUT IT DOES NOT SAY WHICH GROUP WILL DO BETTER. It simply states that there will be a difference in the results. This kind of hypothesis would be used when there is little previous research in the area, or when research findings are mixed and inconclusive. E.g. there will be a difference in exam grades between those students who use a revision guide, and students who do not. For the following hypotheses indicate with a 1 or 2 whether they are directional or non-directional. Then change them in the space provided so if they were directional write them as non-directional and vice-versa.  Pictures will be remembered better than words   5
  6. 6.  Anxious people are more likely than relaxed people to have a heart attack    People perform differently in front of an audience    People are happier on Fridays than Mondays    There will be a difference between the number of boys and the number of girls pushing and shoving in the playground    There will be fewer 3 year olds than 7 year olds who can read a Mr. Men book accurately to the end   Variables 6
  7. 7. A variable is anything within a study that changes and does not stay constant, e.g. time taken to do a task, anxiety levels, exam results. There are a few different kinds of variables. 1. The Independent Variable (IV): the IV is the variable which is directly manipulated by the researcher. It is the thing which is being changed in an experiment. 2. The Dependent Variable (DV): is the result of the change. Look at this one-tailed hypothesis: Pictures are remembered better than words. The IV (the thing being changed): the stimuli – pictures and words The DV is the result: pictures are remembered better The IV is deliberately manipulated by the researcher; which leads to an effect on the DV. Look at the following hypotheses and then write in the space the IV and DV 7
  8. 8.  Pictures will be remembered better than words  IV  DV  Anxious people are more likely than relaxed people to have a heart attack  IV  DV  People perform differently in front of an audience.  IV  DV  People are happier on Fridays than Mondays.  IV  DV  There will be a difference between the number of boys and the number of girls pushing and shoving in the playground  IV  DV  There will be fewer 3 year olds than 7 year olds who can read a Mr. Men book accurately to the end  IV  DV 8
  9. 9. Operationalising Variables An operational definition is a description of a variable given in terms of how it is actually measured. This means that we need to state how we will measure the DV. Think about the human memory: we can see that there are a number of ways we can measure a person’s memory – one might be that we would use the number of words correctly recalled from a list. Some things are easy to operationalise (e.g. height would be measured as the distance from the bottom to the top in cm); whereas some are more difficult (e.g. a mother’s love for her newborn baby). This allows other people to replicate (copy) our study in order to confirm or challenge the results. Take a look at the following hypotheses, in each one state the DV and say how you would operationalise it.  Regular revision will lead to higher marks. 9
  10. 10.  Concentration is better in the mornings than the evenings.  Watching horror movies will cause nightmares.  Noisy environments will affect stress levels.  High temperatures will increase levels of aggression. Now write out those hypotheses as fully operationalised hypotheses.    10
  11. 11.   Extraneous Variables These are any variable, other than the IV, which may potentially affect the DV and thereby mix up the findings. When we do an experiment, we want to see whether our manipulations of the IV change the DV. Anything else which interferes will make our results lack meaning. There are many ways that extraneous variables can occur:  Environmental / situational factors: this is anything about the environment (external to your participants) which might affect their performance, e.g. the time of day the participant takes part (they may be tired).  Lack of standardisation within a procedure: if different groups experience different instructions, are given different stimuli, or if any part of their experience is different to that of other participants in other groups, then this can lead to invalid results – the IV is not the only thing which may be affecting the DV.  Participant variables: these are anything specific to the individual which might influence the results, e.g. age, gender, intelligence, personality. 11
  12. 12.  Demand characteristics: this is when participants form an idea about the purpose of a study. If they think they know what kind of response the researcher is expecting from them, they may show that response to please the researcher (or they may do the complete opposite to ruin the results).  Researcher bias: the researchers’ expectations can influence how they design their study, and behave towards participants. This may produce demand characteristics. Also, their expectations may influence how they analyse their results – and this may lead to acceptance of a hypothesis that was actually false. Conclusions drawn from research which has been affected by extraneous variables are likely to be inaccurate. We cannot always get rid of the problem, however if we are aware of them we can avoid them Take a look at the following hypotheses, for each one give extraneous variables that might appear when we try to test them.  People are more likely to obey people who wear uniform  Eating sugary food will lead to tooth decay.  Concentration is better in the mornings than the evenings. 12
  13. 13.  Watching horror movies will cause nightmares.  Noisy environments will affect stress levels. Control Psychologists employ ‘controls’ to overcome extraneous variables. Controls are about keeping variables which may affect the results constant or regulated. Often, controls are as simple as ensuring everything is the same for all participants – e.g. do the study at the same time of day, in the same room (distractions), same age range for participants. A good way to keep things the same is to use standardised instructions. This ensures that the experimenter acts in a similar way with all participants, as they have a script. Everything needs to be as similar as possible for all the participants. To ensure there are sufficient controls in place, it is sometime helpful to carry out a pilot study. A pilot study is a small-scale version of the study which is run before the actual research is carried out. It helps to establish whether the design works, whether participants understand the wording in the instructions, and whether anything of importance has been missed out. Carrying out a pilot study ensures that problems can be tackled before running the main study, which could save wasting a lot of time and money. 13
  14. 14. The only difference that there should be within research, is the independent variable. If everything is the same – this is good  If there are differences – this is bad  Spot the Difference: Using the following hypotheses, suggest possible actions that you could take to control the extraneous variables you identified.  People are more likely to obey people who wear uniforms  Eating sugary food will lead to tooth decay. 14
  15. 15.  Concentration is better in the mornings than the evenings.  Watching horror movies will cause nightmares.  Noisy environments will affect stress levels. Validity and Reliability Validity Validity is about the legitimacy of results. It refers to whether something tests or measures what it set out to test/measure. When we ask “Are the findings of a study valid?” what we are asking is “Can we trust these findings?” or “Are there any reasons to believe that they may not be true?” E.g. in Freud, are dreams a valid source of information? Or, can leading questions produce valid data? Internal Validity This refers to whether a study has measured what it intended to measure:  Mundane Realism: extent to which features of a research study mirror the ‘real world’ everyday life  Experimental Realism: extent to which participants believe in the experimental setup and therefore will behave naturally  Face Validity: if something ‘looks right’ or makes sense that it would be that way. An initial eyeball test – does it look as if it is measuring what it is supposed to measure? 15
  16. 16. External Validity The extent to which a research finding can be generalised beyond the research situation:  Ecological Validity: concerns the research setting i.e. the environment in which the study was conducted, and whether we can generalise from this to other settings such as everyday life  Population Validity: concerns the research population, i.e. the sample used in the study, and whether we can generalise from them to other people. Threats to validity can include: - An artificial situation lacks ‘ecological validity’ - Demand characteristics make the experiment lack ‘experimental realism’ which reduces the accuracy of the results Reliability Reliability is about consistency of the results. If you repeat the same study or test, you should get the same outcome. If a study lacks reliability, then it lacks validity. If a study gives different results each time is it carried out, then its validity is questionable as there must be something happening within the study which is affecting the DV. Internal Reliability The extent to which something (e.g. a questionnaire) is consistent within itself. For a questionnaire to have high internal reliability all of its questions should be assessing the same thing. Inter-rater reliability: the extent to which a data collection tool used by a group of observers produces similar data. If carrying out 16
  17. 17. an observation, all observers must be consistent in their note- taking to ensure that all observers are characterising similar behaviours. If not, then they are not measuring the same thing – which reduces a study’s reliability. External Reliability The extent to which a measure varies over time. A questionnaire or interview should produce the same result each time it is used with the same person. Threats to reliability can include: - Ambiguous questions on a questionnaire, as the participant may be unsure of how to answer - Confusing behavioural categories in observations, as the observers will interpret the behaviour in their own way which will reduce inter-rater reliability For the following experimental scenarios write aspects of reliability and validity. How reliable are they? What types of validity might we see?  Men and women, matched for age and IQ, were observed over a 12-month period to see who collected the most speeding fines. No previous research had been done on this.  Reliability: 17
  18. 18.  Validity:  Men and women were given a list of 25 words to learn in a noisy environment and then asked to recall in a quiet environment. They were then given a different list of 25 words to learn in a quiet environment and asked to recall them in a quiet environment.  Reliability:  Validity:  Students were shown a film clip of a car crash. They were then split into 5 groups. Each group was asked a different question: How fast were the cars going when they ***** each other? With the verbs being changed: smashed, collided, bumped, hit contacted. Each student was then asked to give an estimation of the speed they thought cars were travelling at.  Reliability:  Validity: 18
  19. 19.  Boys and girls were divided into 2 groups: a non-aggressive condition where they observed an adult playing but ignoring the Bobo-doll and an aggressive condition where they observed an adult being aggressive to a Bobo-doll. They were then taken individually to a room with a selection of toys – including a Bobo-doll – and left for 10 minutes to see how aggressive their play would be.  Reliability:  Validity: Ethics Psychologists belong to a professional organisation. In Britain, this is known as the ‘British Psychological Society’ (BPS). The BPS publishes a set of Ethical Guidelines to ensure that participants are treated with respect and care, and to protect them from psychological and physical harm. Ethical issues are dilemmas created by the conflict between the needs of researchers and the rights of the participants: 19 The researcher wishes to conduct meaningful research The participant wants his/her rights protected
  20. 20. Key Words: Debrief: after completing the experiment/study the researcher will fully explain the study (aims, full procedures etc.). The participants are able to discuss any concerns they may have about their behaviour in the study. It is particularly important when uninformed consent, or deception, has occurred. Presumptive consent: another method of dealing with lack of informed consent or deception is to gain consent from someone else. A similar group of people are told about the study and asked whether they would take part – if they consent then it is presumed that the pps would too! Ethical committee: consider potential costs and benefits of the research, and decide whether an experiment/study is ethically acceptable. 20
  21. 21. INFORMED CONSENT DECEPTION RIGHT TO WITHDRAW PROTECTION FROM HARM CONFIDENTIALITY PRIVACY Pps must be given full information about the nature and purpose of the study, and their role in it When a ppt is not told the true aims, or what a study may entail. This can involve the researcher withholding information, or lying Letting the ppt know they can leave the study at any time. This ensures they feel comfortable. Negative physical effects (personal injury); and/or negative psychological effects (embarrassmen t) Sharing personal information from the ppt. They need to trust that their information will be protected A person’s right to control the flow of information about themselves Necessary when deciding whether to take part in the experiment Prevents ability to give informed consent. Honesty is an important ethical principle May feel unable to leave as it may ‘spoil’ the experiment. Some studies offer rewards (£) so they may feel unable to leave No desire to be harmed! Data Protection Act makes confidentiality a legal right People have an expectation of privacy May cause demand characteristi cs May cause demand characteristics Loss of pps = biased findings May be impossible to predict risks Details of a study may lead to ppt identification Change of behaviour from ppt if aware of being observed Formally agree – in Seek permission from an ethical Emphasis at the start, remind Avoid risks greater than No names: numbers or Do not observe without 21 Et hi cal Issue Ppt ’ s poi nt of vi ew Resear cher s’ poi nt of vi ew How t he i ssue coul d be deal t wi t h
  22. 22. writing Debrief after the study: offer right to withhold data committee Debrief: though this cannot stop feelings of shame throughout study Assured of reward even if they leave those in everyday life Stop immediately pseudonyms Store information securely consent, if not a usual ‘observing situation’ Maintain confidentiality 22
  23. 23. Look at the following studies and using your list of ethical guidelines, state the ethical guidelines that have been broken and then suggest how those ethical issues might be dealt with.  A researcher in a pick-up truck, with a rifle visible in the back, and a sticker on the bumper that reads 'VENGEANCE', stops at red lights. The researcher does not move when the lights turn green thus blocking the traffic. The study is assessing the impact of aggressive stimuli on 'horn honking' behaviour and the participants are people who happen to driving that day.  Issues:  Dealt with by..  A hidden observer in a male toilet records the time taken before subjects begin to urinate and the time they take urinating. A researcher either stands in the next stall to the participant or one-stall away. The investigation is into the effects of invasion of privacy on arousal. The participants are people who happen to visit the toilet that day  Issues:  Dealt with by.. 23
  24. 24.  Rats are given electric shocks to the brain after they have learnt a maze to see how this affects their memory of the maze  Issues  Dealt with by..  In a busy subway, a person collapses bleeding from the mouth. The person is a confederate of the experiment and the event is staged. Bystanders are covertly observed to see if they help and how long they take to help. An investigation into bystander responses to emergency situations.  Issues  Dealt with by…  Subjects are presented with 2,000 sheets of random numbers, asked to add up 224 pairs of numbers on each sheet, then tear the sheet into 32 pieces before going on to the next. After five hours of this clearly useless task, some of the subjects are still going and have to be stopped by the experimenter. An investigation into the power of the psychology experiment.  Issue  Dealt with by.. 24
  25. 25. Types of Data Quantitative Data Quantitative data is data that is measured in numbers or quantities [HINT: QUANtity = QUANtitative] It is easy to analyse; seen as scientific as it allows for statistical manipulation and clear comparisons between different research However, is it criticised for not providing in-depth description Qualitative Data Qualitative data expresses the quality of things. This includes descriptions, words, meanings, pictures, texts and so on. Such data cannot be counted or quantified, but it can be turned into quantitative by placing the data into categories [HINT: QUALity = QUALitative] Provides a more in-depth and rich description. It is detailed and contextual. It sees people and their abilities – and accesses thoughts and feelings However, it is harder to analyse and draw conclusions from because of the large amount and variety of data usually 25
  26. 26. collected. It is subjective (biased by personal expectations and beliefs) 26
  27. 27. Research Methods Experiments In an experiment, the researcher is trying to find out whether a particular factor has an effect on a specific aspect of human behaviour or mental process. The purpose of the experimental or scientific method is to show cause and effect. We wish to show that the IV has changed the DV. The IV usually has two conditions. We then compare how these conditions have caused the DV to change. A condition is part of the IV. Often one condition is manipulated whilst the other condition is left alone to act as a control group – e.g. does giving children vitamin pills improve their IQ?  Group 1 will be given vitamin pills; Group 2 will not  They will all be given an IQ test  The DV will be the result of the IQ test; then we can compare the two groups to see if vitamin pills affect IQ You need to know about the three different types of experiments, along with strengths and weaknesses of each type! Laborato ry Experime nt WHAT IS IT? Controlled and scientific. It controls all relevant variables except for the IV. They take place in a specially- designed environment where variables can be easily controlled. Pps are aware they are taking part, although they may not know the true aims. STRENGTHS Control: effects of extraneous variables are reduced Easily replicated: you can do the study again to check findings WEAKNESSES Artificial: may lack ecological validity Demand characteristics : pps may respond to what they think is being investigated Ethics: pps are often deceived about the aim of the study 27
  28. 28. Field Experime nt WHAT IS IT? Behaviour is measured in a natural environment like a school, the street or on a train. Pps are often unaware that they are in an experiment. There is still deliberate manipulation of the IV. STRENGTHS Ecological Validity: less artificial than lab experiments, so they relate to real life better Demand characteristics : avoided if pps don’t know they are in a study WEAKNESSES Less control: more extraneous variables are likely in natural environment Ethics: might experience distress and often are not debriefed. Invasion of privacy 28
  29. 29. Experimental Design The way in which you organise your pps into groups is known as the ‘design’ of your experiment. There are occasions when it is possible to use the same people all the way through an experiment; but sometimes it is not possible and separate groups of individuals need to be used. There are three designs which you must know, along with strengths and weaknesses of each one! 1. Independent Groups Design This is where there are different participants in each group. This avoids the problem that if all the participants did the test in both conditions, any improvement in performance might 29 Quasi Experime nt WHAT IS IT? Takes advantage of the fact that a variable of interest (IV) varies naturally, so we can observe the effect of this on the DV. Quasi experiments can be both lab or field – it is simply a different kind of experiment because the IV is naturally occurring (e.g. age or gender). E.g. comparing behaviour in single-sex and mixed- sex schools (gender cannot be manipulated); or comparing a community with TV with one that doesn’t to see which is more aggressive STRENGTHS Ethical: allow research where the IV can’t be manipulated for ethical/practic al reasons Enables psychologists to study ‘real’ problems WEAKNESSES Control: no control over extraneous variables – very hard to say what caused what Rare: rare events are hard to come by e.g. a community without a TV Ethics: deception, confidentiality
  30. 30. be due to them having two goes at the task (which would be a extraneous variable) Group 1 Group 2 No order effects: no –one gets better through practice, or gets worse through being bored/tired (fatigue effect) Participant variables: differences between the people in each group might affect the results (e.g. a person in group 2 may have experienced the same sort of thing before and therefore will be better, whereas people in group 1 may never had done it before) Number of participants: need twice as many pps to get the same amount of data, compared to using the repeated measures design – this is more time consuming, and can be more expensive 2. Repeated Measures Design This is where all of the participants take part in every condition. You can compare the results from both conditions knowing the differences weren’t due to participant variables Group 1 Group 2 Participant variables: because the groups are made up of the same people, differences between individuals shouldn’t affect the results 30
  31. 31. Number of pps: fewer pps are required to get the same amount of data, therefore it is cheaper and less time consuming Order effects: pps can become practised at the task they are being asked to do, so differences in results could be because of this. However, to overcome this researchers use a technique known as ‘counterbalancing’ Counterbalancing is where you mix up the order in which pps complete the tasks, e.g. some will do condition 1 then condition 2; and some will do condition 2 first then condition 1. This helps to solve order effects, as the effect would be equal across conditions. 3. Matched Pairs Design This is similar to an independent measures design, in that there are different pps in each condition. However, each ppt is matched with a ppt in the other group on an important variable which could affect results (e.g. age, sex, IQ). Identical twins are often used. Group 1 Group 2 No order effects: there are different people in each condition Ppt variables: important differences are minimised through matching Number of pps: need twice as many, and it will be time consuming to match pps For the following scenarios write the type of experiment and also the design that would be most appropriate (with a brief reason why). In addition write down whether you think the experiment is quasi or not. 31 1 2 3 1 2 3
  32. 32.  Men and women, matched for age and IQ, were observed over a 12-month period to see who collected the most speeding fines. No previous research had been done on this.  Type:  Design:   Men and women were given a list of 25 words to learn in a noisy environment and then asked to recall in a quiet environment. They were then given a different list of 25 words to learn in a quiet environment and asked to recall them in a quiet environment.  Type:  Design:   Students were shown a film clip of a car crash. They were then split into 5 groups. Each group was asked a different question: How fast were the cars going when they ***** each other? With the verbs being changed: smashed, collided, bumped, hit contacted. Each student was then asked to give an estimation of the speed they thought cars were travelling at.  Type:  Design:   Participants(PPs) were either placed in a room alone to fill in a survey or in a room with confederates to fill in a survey. The room was then pumped full of smoke (the 32
  33. 33. confederates ignored the smoke) and Darley & Latane (1968) recorded how long it would take the PPs to report the smoke.  Type:  Design:   Boys and girls were divided into 2 groups: a non-aggressive condition where they observed an adult playing but ignoring the Bobo-doll and an aggressive condition where they observed an adult being aggressive to a Bobo-doll. They were then taken individually to a room with a selection of toys – including a Bobo-doll – and left for 10 minutes to see how aggressive their play would be.  Type:  Design:   Participants were asked to complete a puzzle either alone or in a group with three other people. The time they took to complete the puzzle and the number of errors they made was recorded  Type  Design  33
  34. 34. Observations Observations are collecting data by observing pps in their natural environments. There are many ways in which this can be different. The main way is whether it is a naturalistic or controlled environment: NATURALISTIC Observations made where everything has been left as it normally is, e.g. a town centre, on the bus, in the library CONTROLLED Some aspects of the environment are pre-set or controlled by the researcher, e.g. the Strange Situation (Ainsworth) Can discover new facts about behaviour High ecological validity Can manipulate variables to observe effects No control over extraneous variables Problems with observer bias and reliability of observations Reduced ecological validity Possible investigator effects Problems with observer bias and reliability of observations When the researcher has decided on the environment, they must decide on some other factors: In some observations the observer is also a participant in the behaviour being observed (participant observation) which is likely to affect objectivity. More often the observer is not a participant (non-participant observation). If a participant is aware of being observed (overt observation) they may alter their behaviour so validity is reduced. Observations can be made without a participants knowledge (covert observation), but this raises ethical issues regarding invasion of privacy. In a structured observation the observer uses behavioural categories and sampling procedures to control or structure the observations. In an unstructured observation the observer records all relevant behaviour but has no system. This technique may be chosen because the behaviour to be studied is largely unpredictable. The most common is a structured naturalistic observation. 34
  35. 35. Observations are often carried out by a group of observers. The more people in the team the more variation they may be in interpretation of events. Observations must have high inter-rater reliability, this involves carefully deciding on the categories and carrying out a pilot study. 35 Behavi oural Cat egori es: I n or der t o pr oduce r el i abl e obser vat i ons i t i s necessar y t o devi se obj ect i ve met hods t o separ at e t he cont i nuous st r eam of act i on we obser ve i nt o separ at e behavi our al component s. Thi s can done usi ng a behavi our checkl i st and a codi ng syst em. Behavi our checkl i st and codi ng f or t he St range Si t uat i on coul d be: EXPMExpl or at i on when wi t h mot her EXPSExpl or at i on when wi t h st r anger PLYMPl ayi ng wi t h mot her PLYSPl ayi ng wi t h st r anger Sampl i ng Procedures: Event Sampl i ng: Count i ng t he number of t i mes cer t ai n behavi our ( event ) occur s i n a t ar get i ndi vi dual ( i . e . ho w ma ny t i me s d o e s t he ba by hi t hi s mo t he r d ur i ng t he o bs e r v a t i o n) I f t oo many behavi our s occur at once i t may be di f f i cul t t o r ecor d ever yt hi ng. Ti me Sampl i ng: Recor di ng behavi our s at r egul ar i nt er val s, i . e. ever y 30 seconds Some behavi our s wi l l be mi ssed and t her ef or e t he obser vat i on may not be r epr esent at i ve
  36. 36. Self Report These are any method that requires the participants to give their own response. Questionnaires The participant must answer a set of written questions. Strengths Weaknesses Can be easily repeated, so lots of people can be questioned Answers may not be truthful because of leading questions, or social desirability bias (a desire to look good for the researcher) Respondents may be more willing to reveal personal information than in an interview Sample bias: questionnaires can only be filled out by literate people with time to do it A good question should be clear, unambiguous and not biased. There are three types of questions: 1. Closed questions: have a range of answers from which respondents select one, e.g. are you male or female? They produce quantitative data which are easier to analyse Respondents may be forced to select answers that don’t represent their real thoughts of behaviour. 2. Open questions: invite respondents to provide their own answers rather than select one of those provided. They tend to produce qualitative data, e.g. what did you eat for breakfast this morning? Can provide unexpected answers and rich detail, thus allowing researchers to gain new insights More difficult to analyse because there may be such a wide variety of different answers. 36
  37. 37. 3. Likert Scales: like closed questions, these offer a statement to which the respondent must choose to what extent they agree/disagree. However, they do offer slightly more variability in options for their answer. Interviews Questions are delivered in person or over the phone. Responses are recorded (e.g. written down, or recorded and later transcribed). There are two types of interview: STRUCTURED The questions are decided in advance and are the same for all participants. This is very similar to a questionnaire, but conducted verbally. SEMI-STRUCTURED The interviewer starts with a few standard questions but further questions develop in response to the answers given, through the use of prompts. Can be easily repeated because the questions are standardised Easier to analyse than semi- structured because the questions are predictable More detailed information can be collected because the interviewer can deal with incomplete answers Can access extra information because questions developed according to respondent’s answers More ecological validity as it is like a real conversation Answers may not be truthful because of leading questions or social desirability bias Answers may be influenced by the way the interviewer asks the question (interviewer bias) More likely to be affected by interviewer bias than a structured interview Requires trained interviewers who can develop insightful, unbiased questions on the spot and avoid interviewer bias It can be difficult to summarise the data, to analyse for trends, or to make comparisons between participants 37
  38. 38. Correlation Correlational analysis is a method of analysing data. We use correlation if we are interested to find out whether certain variables are related in some way, e.g. people who are more intelligent are also more attractive. There are three types of correlation, and we use ‘scattergraphs’ to show the extent/type of correlation: The correlation coefficient tells us how closely linked the variables are, and it ranges from -1 to +1. The sign (- / +) tells us the direction of the relationship (positive or negative) and the number tells us the strength. So a correlation coefficient of +0.8 is strong positive correlation, whereas a correlation of -0.2 is a weak negative correlation. The nearer the number is to -1 or +1 the stronger the correlation. 38
  39. 39. Can be used when its impractical/unethical to manipulate variables It does not show cause and effect – just because two variables are correlated does not mean that one of them has caused the other to change Can rule out a causal relationship if there is zero correlation E.g. does a +ve correlation between number of ice cream sales and number of violent crimes mean that ice cream sales cause violent crime? Case Study Detailed study of a single individual, institution or event. Involves many different techniques, for example interviews with the individual as well as relatives and friends, psychological tests, experiments and so on. It is often applied to unusual examples of behaviour (e.g. privation – Czech Twins; loss of memory – Clive Wearing) Useful for investigating unusual instances of behaviour where only individual cases may be available Lacks generalizability because of unique circumstances Rich, in-depth data – provides unusual or new insights into behaviour; with high ecological validity: it’s real life! May involve unreliable, retrospective recall Complex interactions are studied, rather than simple cause and effect relationships Researcher may lack objectivity because of their involvement with the case Sampling When carrying out research, it is impossible to use every single person in the world. Therefore, we select a representative sample from a target population and then generalise from the results of the study (based on your sample) to the target population! A representative sample aims to represent the target population fairly. It is difficult to produce a truly representative sample – 39
  40. 40. as samples tend to be biased in some way (e.g. some members of the target population are more likely to be included than others). A target population is the group of people the researcher is interested in, e.g. all teenagers in the UK. Random Sampling Opportunity Sampling Volunteer Sampling HOW? This is when every member of the target group has an equal chance of being selected for the sample. This could be done by placing all names in a hat and drawing out the required number HOW? This is when the researcher samples whoever is available and willing to be studies. This could be done by asking people who walk by you in the street HOW? This is when people actively volunteer to be in a study by responding to a request which has been advertised by the researcher (in a newspaper for example). The researcher may then select only those who are suitable for the study. It is ‘fair’. Everyone has an equal chance of being selected, and the This is a quick and practical way of getting a sample – used often by A large number of people may respond, giving a greater deal of 40
  41. 41. sample is likely to be representative researchers in universities representativeness. May allow more in- depth analysis and more accurate results Does not guarantee a representative sample – there is still a chance that minority groups may not be selected. It may be impractical with large target groups to give everyone a number… completely random samples are rarely used The sample is unlikely to be representative of a target group. This means that we cannot confidently generalise the findings. Because it is quick and easy, it is often used. Sample is likely to be biased because pps are likely to be more highly motivated and with extra time on their hands – unlikely to be representative of the whole population Sampling with Skittles  Random Sampling – Pick out 25 sweets at random one at a time and record how many of each you get in the table Colour Number  Opportunity Sampling – Tip out 25 sweets from the bag. These are who is available to do your research. Record the results in the table Colour Number 41
  42. 42.  Self-selecting sample-You would need to create an advert, perhaps a poster, asking for skittles. Any of the skittles that wanted to be eaten would simply apply.  Target population – tip all the sweets out of the bag and record how many of each colour there are in a table. Colour Number Evaluation: How close were your samples to the target population? Write down some details. Now write down a strength and weakness of each method of sampling, in relation to the task you have just completed Random 42
  43. 43.   Opportunity   Self-selecting   Descriptive Statistics Descriptive statistics describe patterns found in the data set. ‘Central Tendency’ is used to find out the average (e.g. the central tendency for the height of a group of 18 year old boys might be about 1.7m). ‘Measures of dispersion’ describe how spread out the data is (e.g. the difference in height between the shortest 18 year old boy and the tallest might be 35cm). Measures of Central Tendency It uses all the scores in the data set Can be used with any type of data It can be skewed by extremely high or low scores and so may be misleading Sometimes gives an unrealistic value (e.g. the average home has 2.4 43 Mean Thi s i s t he ‘ normal average’ . Cal cul at ed by addi ng al l of t he scor es i n t he dat a, t hen di vi di ng by t he number of scor es E. g. 5, 10, 6, 7, 2 Ad d e d t o g e t he r = 30 Di v i d e d by 5 = 6
  44. 44. children – what is 0.4 of a child?) Quick and easy to calculate Not affected by extreme scores- so can be used to give a representative score Not all the scores are used – only the middle one(s) It has little further use It shows the most common or important score It is not very useful if there are several modal values, or if the modal value is only slightly more common than other scores Tells us nothing about the other scores Measures of Dispersion These tell us how spread out the data is. 44 Medi an The mi ddl e score when t he dat a i s put i n ascendi ng or der ( If t he r e a r e t wo mi d d l e s c o r e s y o u a d d t he m t o g e t he r a nd d i v i d e by 2 ) E. g. 5, 10, 6, 7, 2 Ascendi ng or der = 2, 5, 6, 7, 10 Mode The scor e t hat occur s most of t en E. g. 5, 10, 6, 7, 2, 5 Mode = 5 Range: hi ghest score mi nus t he l owest score E. g. t he r ange of scor es 6, 10, 35, 50 = 50- 6 = 44 I t i s qui ck and easy t o cal cul at e I t compl et el y i gnores t he cent r al val ues of a dat a set , so i t can be mi sl eadi ng i f t her e ar e ext r eme
  45. 45. Graphs and Charts We use graphs and charts to summarise their data in visual displays. It makes it easier for others to understand the findings of the research. Bar charts are used to present data which falls into categories (e.g. number of words recalled by different groups in a memory experiment). The bars do not touch. 45 St andar d Devi at i on: measur es how much scor es devi at e f rom t he mean. The bi gger t he st andar d devi at i on, t he mor e t he dat a i s spr ead. Al l scores ar e t aken i nt o account , so i t ’ s mor e accur at e t han t he r ange I t ’ s not as qui ck or easy t o cal cul at e as t he r ange
  46. 46. Histograms are used to show continuous data (e.g. time to complete a task). The bars do touch. 46

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