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  • 1. Unit G544Research Methods inPsychologyName: __________________ 1
  • 2. Task Time…Complete the table.Study Method usedLotus and Palmer(eye witnesstestimony)Baron-Cohen(autism)Savage-Rumbaugh(kanzi)Samuel and Bryant(conservation)Freud(Little Hans)Bandura et al(imitation ofaggression)Dement and Kleitman(dreaming)Maguire(taxi drivers)Sperry(split brains)Haslam and ReicherBBC prison studyMilgram(obedience)Piliaven et al(subway Samaritans)Rosenhan(sane in insaneplaces)Thigpen and CleckleyMultiple personalityGriffiths(gambling) 2
  • 3. Glossary of Psychological TermsEthicsAimsIndependent variableDependent VariableOperationaliseAlternative HypothesisNull HypothesisOne-tailed hypothesisTwo-tailed hypothesisIndependent measures designRepeated measures designOrder effectsCounterbalanceMatched pairs designLaboratory experiment 3
  • 4. Field experimentQuasi/Natural experimentDemand characteristicsCorrelationPositive correlationNegative correlationObservationInter-Observer reliabilityTest-Retest ReliabilityTime samplingEvent samplingSelf reportOpen questionsRating ScalesClosed questions 4
  • 5. Social desirability biasResponse set biasTarget PopulationOpportunity sampleRandom SampleSelf-Selected SampleConfounding VariableEcological ValidityInternal ValidityMundane RealismReliabilityQuantitative researchMeanMedianMode 5
  • 6. The Research MethodsThere are four research methods that you must know.The four methods you need to know about are listed below. Write yourself a definition of eachincluding key terms which will help you differentiate them: Experiments Self-reports WARNING!! NOT ALL STUDIES ARE EXPERIMENTS!! Observations CorrelationsResearch methodsEach research method has its own strengths and weaknesses. For each method identify one strengthand one weakness in the following chart. Method Strengths WeaknessesLaboratory experimentField experiment 6
  • 7. Quasi experimentParticipant observationNaturalistic observationStructured interviewUnstructured interviewQuestionnaireCorrelationEach method can be assessed in terms of validity and reliability. Complete the following table with an evaluation of each method. Method Reliability (e.g. how it might be Validity (e.g. how it might be tested in this method) compromised by this methodLaboratory experimentField experimentQuasi experimentParticipant observationNaturalistic observation 7
  • 8. Structured interviewUnstructured interviewQuestionnaireCorrelationQuestionnaires and InterviewsWhy do questionnaires?They allow us to:1. gather large amounts of information2. in relatively short time3. in a relatively cheap way.4. Good for qualitative information about feelings/attitudesSamplingQuestionnaires would use the same sampling techniques as experiments:Volunteer or self selected (through adverts)Opportunity (using students or those available to you for example in a shopping centre)Random (use a computer programme to select participants randomly through the voters register fromthe whole of the UK).Questionnaires and dataData collected can be quantitativeData collected can be qualitativeData collected can be a combination of both qualitative and quantitativeTo get quantitative data add rating scales to your questions!Likert scales ( 1 – 10)Sematic scales (strongly agree, agree, disagree; never, sometimes, always etc)Strengths of scales 8
  • 9. Scales make a qualitative measure like a feeling into a quantitative measure – this makes databetween individuals easier to compare and we can use statistical analysis on the data to see if theresults are significant.Weaknesses of scalesPeople always tend to use the middle of the range ( so a 5 out of 10 or a ‘sometimes’) when givingtheir answer which does not enable us to see real differences between individuals.A 5 on a scale of 1 – 10 for one person represents something different to a 5 for another person.Think of how you might represent pain on a pain scale?Qualitative questionsAdvantages are the detail and richness of the data that can be obtained.The downside is you have to analyse it – that can be difficult when people use lots of different wordsto describe their feelings. This makes data between individuals difficult to compare.Open and closed questionsTo get lots of rich data you can ask open questions:Tell me about when you last felt unhappy?To make qualitative questions easier to analyse you can ask closed questions like ‘do you feel bad’Yes or No?Factors which affect validityThe length of the questionnaire (too long causes apathy – people may not care how accurate theiranswers are).The wording of each question (if any question is ambiguous, or you ask leading questions, yourquestionnaire will not be valid).Demand characteristics (they answer in such a way to please the researcher)Social desirability bias (they do not tell the truth for fear of embarrassment)Improving validityHide the purpose of your questionnaire with distractor questions to avoid demand characteristics.Keep the questionnaire confidential with no names to encourage participants to be honest.Do your questionnaire on line – people are more honest to a computer!Do a pilot study to check your questions are clear and measure what you set out to measure.Making your research more reliableMore subjectsRepeat the questionnaire at a later dateMeta analysis (compare results of different studies and see if there is a correlation of everyonesfindings)Triangulation (do a lab experiment and an observation study and compare results of all threeBeing ethicalDo not take names. Keep the participants confidential.Make sure they can fill out the questionnaire in private. 9
  • 10. Types of self reportsIdentify types of interviews from studies that you have covered. (Hint: Kolberg’s moral development)Group work: Think of 3 different research aims and then write out three questions that you could askAimQuestion 1:Question 2: 10
  • 11. Question 3:Aim:Question 1:Question 2:Question 3:Aim:Question 1:Question 2:Question 3:Types of Questions usedIdentify the different types of questions that can be used and the advantages and disadvantagedType of question Advantages Disadvantages 11
  • 12. In Groups Compare interviews and self reports, think about the advantages and disadvantages of bothDetails Advantages DisadvantagesDetails of interviewsDetails of self reportsActivity Time…….Measuring attitudes: scalesQualitative or quantitative data?In their research, psychologists collect data. These data are the evidence against which psychologicaltheories will be tested. But psychologists can do their research in many different ways and,consequently, data can take many different forms. Broadly speaking, however, all data fall into oneof two categories: 12
  • 13. • Quantitative data are numbers. They describe quantities. Quantitative data arise from questions like ‘how much?’, ‘how far?’, ‘how often?’, and ‘how long for?’• Qualitative data are non-numerical. They describe qualities. Quantitative data arise from attempts to describe things and are often verbal although they can take other forms (e.g. pictures).Many studies use both types of data to make sense of the issue being studied. Strength  Weakness  Qualitative Quantitative 13
  • 14. Quantitative measures of attitudesPsychologists who want to produce quantitative data about people’s attitudes often use attitudescales. These consist of a series of standardized questions (or scale items) the person (orrespondent) answers, often by means of a pen and paper questionnaire. Each scale item gives anumerical result depending on how the respondent answers, and the results of all the scale items canbe combined to produce an overall score that represents the person’s attitude towards whatever theresearcher is interested in.There are several ways of creating scale items. Two that you need two know about are:• Semantic differential scales• Likert scalesWhy might a psychologist prefer quantitative data? Why qualitative? Which do you think would bebetter if we wanted to assess people’s attitudes? 14
  • 15. Surveys: questionnaire designAsk a silly question…The following questionnaire has been put together to find out about attitudes to drinking alcohol andunderage drinking amongst a sample of 14 to 15 year-old school pupils. They did it in a hurry,however, and weren’t really thinking properly. Consequently, it is unlikely to elicit valid data. Havea careful look at their questionnaire design and highlight the problem areas.Underage Drinking QuestionnaireName ________________________________________________Address ______________________________________________Age _____ Sex _____How often do you drink alcohol?_____________________________________________________________________How many units do you drink a week? ______________________________________Do you binge drink? Yes NoWhy do you drink alcohol? (1) because it’s fun to get drunk(2) because all my friends do it(3) because it makes me confident(4) otherDo you understand the health risks of drinking and why do you still do it?• Identify some flaws with the questionnaire and explain how they might affect the validity of the data. 15
  • 16. • How could the questionnaire be redesigned to avoid the problems you have identified?• How might a pilot study have helped to improve the design of this questionnaire?Design your own Questionnaire or interview below. It can be on any topic which is ethical. If you cannot think of a title then do “Attitudes on Speech Day at Denstone College”. Have a good look at themark scheme first.Sampling MethodsWhat do these key terms mean?Target Population:Sample:Representative:Generalisable:Bias:TASK: What is the target population in the following studies?a. Research studying if people with Autism can see the world through another persons point of view. 16
  • 17. b. A study to measure if children (age 5 years and 8 years) can tell that if plasticine is the same massif it changes shape.c. Research which measures if taxi drivers (with lots of navigational experience) have structuralchanges to their brain.Sampling From your previous knowledge match the definitions of each sampling technique. Add any other sampling techniques you know e.g. stratified Sampling Definition  Advantages  Disadvantages techniqueRandom Participants volunteer to take part in research, e.g. answering advert asking for participantsOpportunity Participants each have an equal chance of being selected, e.g. names in a hat.Self Participants are used whoselecting happen to be available and meet research criteria, e.g. class of psychology 17
  • 18. studentsTask: For each of these situations, identify the sampling technique and comment on whether it islikely to produce a representative sample.1. Respondents are recruited for a survey by asking passers by in the street if they would mindanswering some questions.2. Gender differences in superstition are investigated by propping a ladder against a wall and seeingwho walks under it and who walks around it.3. A sample of A – Level students is chosen by putting the names of all A - Level students into a hatand drawing out 20 of them.5. A student recruits 15 male and 15 female students from her college canteen to take part in an experiment on memory.6. A researcher recruits 50 undergraduates to investigate gender differences in British driving behaviour.6. Signs are put up in games arcades in Stoke asking for volunteers for a study on gambling addiction.7. Names are selected by random number generator from the British electoral role for a national survey on people’s current opinions about the economy.Redesign three of these examples to use a different technique, and explain the choices you havemade. 18
  • 19. Complete the table belowScenario Target Sampling Rationale for technique Weaknesses of population technique techniqueTo investigatechildren’s IQbefore and aftera course ofvitamin tabletsTo investigateteenagers use ofthe InternetAn investigationinto similaritiesand differencesin successfullyandunsuccessfullymarried couplesAn investigationinto the qualityof care in home 19
  • 20. for the elderlyand the feeschargedVariablesWhat do these key terms mean?Variables:Independent Variables:Dependent Variables:TASK: Now identify the IV and DV in the following:1. A psychologist wants to investigate whether students who complete their 4 hours of independentstudy per week do better in the psychology exam than those students who only complete 1 hour perweek...IV =DV =2. An experiment to see if recall on a memory test is affected by time of dayIV =DV = 20
  • 21. 3. Does drinking coffee whilst revising improve exam results?IV =DV =4. An experiment to investigate the effects of fatigue on reaction timeIV =DV =OperationalisingYou need to know the word operationalising (to operationalise).This refers to the process of: Concept being How to operationalise (state precisely how measured you are going to measure it) IV - be precise about it – time of day. AM/PM – when? Memory – is it better in --------------------------------------------------------------- the morning or the afternoon? --------------------------------------------------------------- DV - Measure it  get Ps to learn a list of words Be precise(how many words)  --------------------------- Be more precise (what sort of words?) ---------------- Be even MORE precise (are you timing them) ----------TASK: For the four studies briefly described above, say how you would operationalise the IV and DV1. 21
  • 22. 2.3.4.Extraneous and Confounding VariablesWhat do these key terms mean?Extraneous variables:Confounding variables:Aims and Experimental HypothesisWhenever psychologists carry out a study they must start with a general aim. This is a statement ofwhat is going to be studied. It is not a prediction of expected findings and does not needoperationalising.TASK: Read these descriptions of research and write an appropriate aim for each:1. One group given cheese before bedtime, another group given nothing before bedtime and asked to count the number of nightmares they have during the night 22
  • 23. 2. One group given coffee before an exam, another group given caffeine free coffee before their exam. Their results are then compared3. Men and women are observed driving and their average speed is notedWhat do these key terms mean?Alternate Hypothesis:Null Hypothesis:One-tailed Hypothesis:Two-tailed Hypothesis:Significance:For your exam you need to be able to write each of these types of hypotheses correctly. Each examquestion tends to be worth 4 marks so you need to get it right every time!TASK: Think about this experiment: ‘Will students who do 4 hours independent study per week dobetter in the exam than those who do 1 hour per week?’ 23
  • 24. 1. Identify the IV (both conditions) and the DVIV =DV =2. Make sure that you have fully operationalised these (stated precisely how they will be measured).IV =DV =3. Turn it into a non-directional hypothesis:4. Turn it into a null hypothesis:TASK: Now try making pairs of hypotheses for the following research questions...and then makethem all the opposite direction.1. Aggression levels in boys and girls2. Playing driving games and the effect on actual driving skill 24
  • 25. 3. Reading and ability to complete crosswordsSampling, design and counterbalanceTask time……Draw a mind map about samples, remember to include advantages and disadvantages. 25
  • 26. From your AS or A2 notes write out two hypothesis. Consider the above hypothesis and choose thetype of sample you would use and why, then consider the effect on the generalisability of yourresults based on the type of sample that was used 1. Hypothesis Type of sample: Because Effect on generalisablity: 2. Hypothesis Type of sample: Because 26
  • 27. Effect on generalisablity:Ethical issues in PsychologyWhat are ethical issues?When we looked at research into obedience to authority, we asked whether there were any factors(such as sampling, ecological validity and demand characteristics) that affected how much we couldtrust it. Ethical issues are another way of assessing and evaluating psychological research studies, butthey are not quite the same. Whereas issues of validity concern the quality of research in terms ofwhether the result can be trusted, ethical issues relate to whether a research study was morallyacceptable.Ethical issues arise when there is a conflict between different sets of values that relate topsychological research. For example, on the one hand we may believe that we should be honest topeople because to lie to them demeans them. On the other hand, we know that a person’s beliefsabout the situation they are in affect their behaviour in that situation. Consequently we may think itnecessary to deceive people about the true nature of the situations in which we study them. Clearlythere is a conflict between the need to be honest and the need to deceive and that is why there is anissue to be resolved.All sorts of factors can play a part in determining the ethical acceptability of a study. We will befocusing on three. These are described below. Issue When does it arise? Why is it a problem?Informed consentWhen participants’ agreement to take part on a study is not obtained, or when participants are notinformed about the nature of what they will be asked to do before they agree to participate.It could be considered insulting or demeaning to people to use them in a study without theirpermission. If they are not fully informed about the purposes or methods of a study, then they mayagree to participate then later change their minds but find it difficult to withdraw because they haveagreed.DeceptionWhen participants are deliberately misled about the aims of research or the nature of some aspect ofthe study in which they are taking part.Again, it could be considered demeaning to participants to lie to them for the purposes of research.Additionally, deception may result in stress and other types of damage to the participants (see 27
  • 28. below). The use of deception could have a bearing on whether pps have given informed consent (seeabove).Protection from harmWhen participants are exposed to the risk that they will be psychologically damaged either in theshort or long term. This may happen in a variety of ways, for example, if the participants arestressed, or if their self image is altered or damaged.It is considered morally unacceptable for a psychologist to damage the participants in a researchstudy.Why Are Ethics Important?Ethical issues are important for two main reasons. First, the aim of psychology is to increase ourunderstanding of human behaviour in the belief that this knowledge is useful in helping people. Manypsychologists would argue that this aim is incompatible with manipulating and hurting people inorder to find out how they work. Second, the ethical issues raised by many studies have damaged theimage of psychology in the eyes of the general public. Consequently, members of the publicmisunderstand the purposes of psychology and are reluctant to trust psychologists. This could lead toa situation where we run out of participants for our studies.TASK: Read the following brief description of studies. What are the ethical principles these studiesviolate? 1. In a busy subway, a person collapses bleeding from the mouth. The person is a confederate (an actor; part of the study) and the event is staged. Bystanders are covertly observed (do not know they are being observed) to see if they help and how long they take to help. An investigation into bystander responses to emergency situations. 2. An experimenter in a pick-up truck, with a rifle visible in the back, and a sticker on the bumper saying ‘VENGEANCE’ stops at the red lights. The experimenter does not move when the lights turn green thus blocking the traffic. An investigation into the impact of aggressive stimuli on ‘horn honking’ behaviour. 3. Participants are presented with 2,000 sheets of random numbers, asked to add up 224 pairs of numbers on each sheet, and then tear the sheet into 32 pieces before going onto the next. After five hours of this useless task, some of the participants are still working through the task (adding up the numbers & then ripping up the answers). An investigation into the power of obedience. 4. Children are taken out of their nursery by a researcher. The children observe an adult being aggressive towards a bobo doll (an inflatable doll), they are then observed to see if they act aggressively and imitate the behaviour. An investigation studying if aggression can be learnt through imitation. 5. An observer hides (covert observation) in public toilets for men and records the time taken before participants begin to urinate and the time they take to urinate. A confederate of the 28
  • 29. experimenter either stands in the next urinal to the participant or one urinal ‘away’. An investigation into the effects of invasion of privacy on arousal. 6. A participant is told they are administering electric shocks to a confederate (an actor; part of the study), when the confederate stops ‘screaming’ & falls silent some participants ‘sweat, tremble, dig fingernails into their flesh and have ‘full-blown, uncontrollable seizures’. An investigation into the impact of obedience. How many of these studies do you think are real studies? /6It is important to know how to deal with ethical issues when conducting psychological research.Working with childrenWorking with people with mental health issuesWays of dealing with potentially unethical research:Presumptive ConsentPredictive Consent 29
  • 30. DebriefRetrospective WithdrawalTask:Remind yourself of the following studies that we have looked at recently:• Asch (1951) – majority influence• Moscovici et al (1969) – minority influence• Milgram (1963) – obedience to authorityEach of these studies raises ethical issues of the type outlined above. Write a short paragraph abouteach study in which you:• Identify which ethical issues it raises• Illustrate each ethical issue by drawing attention to the relevant aspects of the research.Here is an example to get you started:Asch’s (1951) study raises ethical issues of informed consent. This is because the participants weretold that the experiment was about visual perception rather than majority influence. Additionally,the participants were deceived about the aim of the research and were misled into believing that theconfederates were actually other participants. They were put under stress during the procedure, andafterwards those who conformed may have felt foolish and angry because of the deception. This mayhave caused them psychological harm. 30
  • 31. Research methods: ethical issues1. Audience effects on helpingResearchers conducted a field experiment into the effect an audience might have on a person’swillingness to help other people in distress. Prior research had suggested that the presence of otherpeople makes helping less likely. They conducted their experiment in an isolated area of a universitycampus. When a passer-by entered the area, a confederate dressed in a tracksuit ran in from adifferent direction. In view of the passer-by, they would fall to the floor as if injured. This was doneunder two conditions: (1) with no other people present; and (2) with three other confederatespositioned in view of the passer-by, apparently engaged in conversation. The researchers recordedwhether the passer-by would help the ‘injured’ confederate and, if so, how long it took them to doso.2. Teenagers’ attitudes towards underage sexResearchers conducted an interview survey investigating 14-15 year-old boys’ and girls’ attitudestowards underage sex. The respondents were interviewed in single-sex groups of four or five by aresearcher who asked them about their sexual behaviour and their attitudes towards their peers’sexual behaviour. An audio recording was made of the interviews and then transcribed. Thetranscripts were then analysed by a group of researchers to identify common themes in the thingsthe respondents said about sexual behaviour in their age group.3. Gender differences in physical contact between conversational partnersResearchers conducted an observation study into gender differences in physical contact betweenconversational partners in public places. They conducted their observation in a coffee shop. When apair of people came in and sat down opposite each other, the researchers observed them andrecorded (1) the composition of the pair (MM, MF, FF) and (2) how often they made physical contactwith each other and where (hand, arm, shoulder etc.) The observation of each pair ended when oneor both left the coffee shop.4. The effect of self talk on persistenceA research conducted an experiment in which she investigated the effect of positive self-talk onpersistence in a task. She designed a test of motor skills that was impossible to complete.Participants were told that most people completed the task within about two minutes. They weredivided into two groups. The first group were instructed to repeat the words ‘I can do it’ tothemselves whilst attempting the task. The second group repeated a different phrase with nomotivational content. The researcher timed how long each participant would spend attempting thetask before giving up.For each of these research studies:• Which ethical issues are raised by the design of the study and how? 31
  • 32. • What would the researchers need to do to deal with the ethical issues raised by their studies?• Write a briefing script for study 4 that would be read to participants before they agreed to takepart, in order to obtain informed consent.Self ReportsProcedure Task: Write a procedure on how to carry out a self report on “ Life as a sixth former atDenstone College”Review the responses of the class and evaluate the accuracy of each method • Questionnaire Procedure 32
  • 33. • Interview procedureLevels of measurementNominal level dataThis involves simply counting the number of subjects that did one thing or another, or fall into thiscategory or that. The numbers here refer to frequency with which something occurs.Example:1. Number of students in the class who have blue, brown or green eyes.2. Of 100 people, 40 recycle rubbish, while 60 do not recycle rubbish. Think of another two examples of nominal level data.Data are ‘measured’ roughly by putting into categories e.g. male/female, helpful/unhelpful. It isimportant to note that the numbers do not stand for amounts or distance on a scale.The numbers within each category stand for quantities in that category and these are referred to as‘frequencies’.Example:Imagine we survey gender differences in musical instrument choice and get the following nominaldata. Male FemaleStudents who play the piano 4 10Students who play the drums 12 2Students who play the violin 6 6We would use a bar graph to display these data. Students music choices 33
  • 34. Ordinal level dataWith this level of measurement, items may be placed in some rank order. Ordinal numbers representpositions within a group. They tell us which is first, second and third.Example1. In a 100 m sprint, the winner is placed first, the next runner across the line is placed second and so on, whatever the gap between the runners.2. A reviewer in a hi-fi magazine might rate components according to the following star rating: ***** Excellent, buy it **** Good, well worth considering *** Hmmm. Aaverage ** Pretty poor show * Avoid at all costsClearly a four-star rating **** is better than a two-star rating**, however we cannot assume that thefour-star rating is twice as good as the two-star rating. Indeed it cannot even be assumed that thedifference between the one-and two-star ratings is equal to the difference between the three-starand the four-star rating.Ordinal numbers indicate the position of an item in a group. Data are rank ordered in some way; theyare not a measure of the amount of interval numbers. Think of another two examples of ordinal level data. (Hint: likert scale measures)Example: Imagine we ask year 7 and year 10 students if they like their school by rating it on a scaleof 1 (don’t like it) to 10 (really like it). 34
  • 35. We get the following data: Year 7 students rating Year 10 students ratingStudent A 7 3Student B 5 4Student C 8 3Student D 8 4Student E 6 6 Mean rating of year 7 and year 10 studentsInterval level dataAn interval scale uses equal intervals.Example:The length of time a person takes to complete a test, or the IQ scores a person gets.This type of data gives more than just order; it also shows how much difference there is between thefirst and second, the second and third etc. These equal intervals could, for example, be centimetresor kilograms or seconds. An interval scale is usually defined as a scale that has an arbitrary zero.Example:Imagine we test how long it takes for students to complete a memory test either with or withoutcaffeine:Time taken With coffee Without coffee1–10 seconds 3 111–20 seconds 4 221–30 seconds 3 331–40 seconds 2 6 35
  • 36. For interval level data you use a histogram or frequency polygon. Time taken for memory test with coffee Think of three examples of interval data. Hint: Think of equipment you can buy that measures (e.g. a clock). 36
  • 37. Levels of Data (increasingly meaningful/powerful)Nominal data: a level of measurement where data are in separate categories.Ordinal data: a level of measurement where data are ordered in some way.Interval data /Ratio data: a level of measurement where units of equal measurements (a scale withequal intervals) are used e.g. minutes, kilograms, number of words recalled in a memory test orpercentage score in an exam. Ratio data is on a scale, but has a true zero eg weight/height, time,distance.Looking at the pictures above, find as many examples as you can, of each type:Nominal data Ordinal data Interval/Ratio data 37
  • 38. Now identify the level of the data in each of these examples: 1. Number of children (average age 4.5 years) engaged in type of play Non-play Solitary Associative Parallel cooperative 8 5 17 23 6………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2. Podium positions, Monaco Grand Prix 2010 Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Robert Kubica…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3. Rosenthal and Fode (1963) Time in minutes taken by rats to correctly find their way round a maze.…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4. Holmes & Rahe devised a stress scale, with arbitrary numerical values given to a series of life events such as ‘death of spouse’ or ‘getting married’…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5. Bandura’s Bobo Doll study, behaviours observed: aggressive, non-aggressive…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6. Schacter& Singer (1962) attempted to estimate how emotional Pps were feeling, using a scale to measure happiness, and another to measure anger.…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7. Collins & Quillian (1969) measured time taken in seconds, to decide if statements were true or false.…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8. Lang & Lazovik (1963) measured phobics’ scores on a 19-point scale ‘snake avoidance test’.…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 38
  • 39. Level of Measurement Game –Level of Measurement QuestionsQuestion AnswersResearchers want to find the difference betweenmale and female estimates of stopping distances.Ainsworth’s strange situation where observershad behavioural categories to observe and tickeach time they saw one in a childOn a questionnaire about social behaviour thereis a question asking:On a scale of 1-10 how aggressive is your child? 1is not at all 5 average and 10 very aggressiveParticipants have to choose ‘snog’, ‘marry’ or‘avoid’ when shown a set of photographs ofpossible partnersIn a company participants were asked to indicateon a scale of 1-7 how much they felt in control oftheir working environment.Participants are set a puzzle they can or cannotsolve. Their temperature is taken as a measureof stress.One group of participants are asked to take multivitamins for a month then their IQ is measuredbefore and after the month is up.Researchers want to find out what type ofteaching pupils prefer so ask them to put them inorder of preference. They are asked to put theirfavourite first and so on.Researchers want to investigate the effect ofleading questions on age. They want to see ifthose aged 5-10 were more likely to be misledthan those aged 11-15.Heartbeat was measured while participants triedto complete a puzzle they can or cannot solve.Scores on a memory test before and after takingcaffeineHow many days per week is your child in day careHow many units of alcohol per week areconsumed by males and femalesA school wants to advertise its good grades at ALevel and provides this by stating how many gotA’s; B’s, C’s etc.Participants are asked to rate a series ofphotographs on their level of attractivenessFemale and male participants are asked for theiractual and ideal weight.Participants are asked to complete the SocialReadjustment Rating Scale (Holmes & Rahe) andcalculate their score.Participants are asked to choose between anapple or a portion of popcorn. Then asked tochoose again after being given the nutritionalvalue of each. 39
  • 40. Presentation of dataUsing the Questionnaire/ interview you designed and carried out you now need to present your data.You will need a table of central tendency, data tables and a graph.Evaluation of your researchFuture research, suggest alternatives designs and samples: write up ideas for improvements, to yourstudy, type of questions, design, sample etc.. 40
  • 41. TASK: Interpreting DataAs part of an ongoing project on lifestyle choices amongst Rats, research was conducted researchinto whether rats preferred The Red Hot Chilli Peppers to The Rasmus. The rats were placed,individually, in glass boxes. In each box was a loudspeaker and a lever. Music was played at anaverage sound intensity of 100dB through the loudspeaker. The rat could turn off the music bypressing the lever. The lever was also attached to a timer, which recorded the interval in secondsbetween the music commencing and the rat pressing the lever.The rats were randomly assigned to one of two conditions:Condition 1: the music played was ‘In The Shadows’ by The RasmusCondition 2: the music played was ‘Give It Away’ by the RHCPsThey conducted their experiment twice, to check reliability.Experiment 1: Results Mean duration Range Standard DeviationRasmus 17.6s 24s 5.3sRHCPs 24.3 7s 3.8sExperiment 2: Results Mean duration Range Standard DeviationRasmus 22.9s 8s 2.1sRHCPs 25.7 5s 3.1s1. Comment on the results of the experiments, referring to all the measures given.2. Suggest some conclusions that the researchers may have drawn from the results of theirexperiment. 41
  • 42. Here are the results from the ‘Rasmus’ condition of experiment 1:Rat Number Duration of music (s)1 182 263 164 175 26 157 128 189 1310 14Did the researchers use the right descriptive statistics to describe their data? Explain youranswer.Research Methods RevisionReferring to the experiment carried out above1. Suggest a suitable hypothesis for the experiment.2. What were the IV and DV in this experiment?3. Suggest why the rats were randomly assigned to the two conditions.4. Identify one variable controlled by the researchers and suggest why they needed to control it.5. What is meant by ‘reliability’? Were the researchers’ findings reliable?3. Does this experiment raise any ethical issues? Explain your answer.Extension ActivityIf you wanted to investigate whether exposure to Barry White records had an effect onreproduction in rats. Suggest how you could carry out a correlation study to investigate this. 42
  • 43. ObservationsComplete the table below Description Strengths Weaknesses Naturalistic Controlled Participant Structured 43