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  • 206692511150604773295-5832475-4933953566160951738296265646266101371600-3105151106805Name:……………………………………………………… <br />Tutor……………………………………………………….<br />4627245114935<br />GCSE Psychology Course Handbook<br />Welcome to GCSE Psychology. During this course you will learn how to analyse and evaluate research – looking at the advantages and disadvantages of the methods used to test the participants. You will also learn about ethics in psychology – what things we can and cannot do to our participants. <br />We will look at 10 areas of psychology, including non-verbal communication, memory, phobias and obedience. (see pages 5 to 14 for a full syllabus). We will investigate research done by psychologists and see if it supports their theories. We will do ‘mini experiments’ in class as well as using videos and the Internet.<br />There are three examinations at the end of the course, B541, B542, B543. B541: Studies and Applications in Psychology 1 and B542: Studies and Applications in Psychology 2 have 40% of the total GCSE marks each and both exams are 1 hr 15 minutes. B543: Research in Psychology has 20% of the total marks and is 1 hour.<br />At the end of each topic, you will be required to complete the relevant homework section in this handbook. The homework is taken from past exam papers to give you a good idea of what to expect in the exams.<br />We hope you enjoy the course! Gook Luck! <br />CONTENTS<br />Welcome pagepp 2<br />Syllabus overviewpp 4<br />Syllabus in depthpp 5-14 <br />The examspp 15 – 16 <br />Research methodspp 17 – 22<br />Samplingpp 23 -24 <br />Ethicspp 25-28<br />Homework taskspp 29 onwards<br />(These are all taken from past exam papers so that you will be able to practice your exam technique)<br />This is an overview of what topics you will study on the course<br />Unit B541: Studies and Applications in Psychology 1<br />
    • Biological Psychology: • Sex and gender
    • Cognitive Psychology: • Memory
    • Developmental Psychology: • Attachment
    • Social Psychology: • Obedience
    • Individual Differences: • Atypical behaviour
    Unit B542: Studies and Applications in Psychology 2<br />
    • Biological Psychology: • Criminal behaviour
    • Cognitive Psychology: • Perception
    • Developmental Psychology: • Cognitive development
    • Social Psychology: • Non-verbal communication
    • Individual Differences: • The self
    Unit B543: Research in Psychology<br />
    • Planning research
    • Doing research
    • Analysing research
    • Planning an investigation
    This tells you in depth what you will study and what you will need to know for each exam – make sure you refer to this when you are doing your revision!!<br />5057775142240<br />Unit B541: Studies and Applications in Psychology 1<br />Biological Psychology<br />Sex and gender<br />Key concepts: sex, gender, masculinity, femininity, androgyny<br />Core theory: biological theory<br />Core study: Diamond and Sigmundson (1997)<br />Application of research into sex and gender: equal opportunities for the sexes<br />Sex and gender<br />Key concepts: You should be able to:<br />• distinguish between sex and gender;<br />• outline the concepts of masculinity, femininity and androgyny.<br />Core theory: biological theory <br />You should be able to:<br />• outline the role of chromosomes in typical gender development;<br />• outline the role of gonads and hormone production in typical gender development;<br />• describe basic evolutionary sex differences in human behaviour;<br />• explain the criticisms of the biological theory of gender development;<br />• consider psychoanalytic theory as an alternative theory, with specific reference to the role of the Oedipus/Electra complex in gender development.<br />Core study: Diamond and Sigmundson (1997) <br />You should be able to:<br />• describe Diamond and Sigmundson’s case study of the castrated twin boy raised as a girl;<br />• outline limitations of Diamond and Sigmundson’s study.<br />Application of research into sex and gender: <br />• equal opportunities for the sexes<br />571500089535You should be able to:<br />• explain how psychological research relates to equal opportunities for the sexes, e.g. sex typing in education, gender roles at work, natural differences in choice of leisure activities.<br />Cognitive Psychology<br />Memory<br />3895725201295Key concepts: information processing, input, encoding, storage, retrieval, output, accessibility problems, and availability problems<br />Core theory: multi-store model<br />Core study: Terry (2005)<br />Applications of research into memory: memory aids<br />Key concepts <br />You should be able to:<br />• describe information processing: input, encoding, storage, retrieval, output;<br />• distinguish between accessibility and availability problems in memory.<br />Core theory: multi-store model of memory <br />You should be able to:<br />• distinguish between sensory store, short-term memory, long-term memory with reference to duration and capacity;<br />• describe the processes of attention and rehearsal;<br />• explain how forgetting occurs through decay and displacement;<br />• explain the criticisms of the multi-store model of memory;<br />• consider levels of processing theory as an alternative theory, with specific reference to the importance of deep processing in memory.<br />Core study: Terry (2005) <br />You should be able to:<br />• describe Terry’s experiment on the serial position effect in recall of TV commercials;<br />• outline limitations of Terry’s study.<br />Applications of research into memory: memory aids<br />5686425101600You should be able to:<br />• explain how psychological research relates to memory aids, e.g. use of cues and retrieval failure, use of imagery and meaning, mind mapping and organisation. <br />Developmental Psychology<br />Attachment<br />Key concepts: separation protest, stranger anxiety, secure attachment, insecure-avoidant<br />attachment, insecure-ambivalent attachment<br />Core theory: Bowlby’s theory<br />Core study: Hazen and Shaver (1987)<br />Application of research into attachment: care of children<br />Key concepts You should be able to:<br />• describe separation protest and stranger anxiety as measures of attachment;<br />4099560200025• distinguish between different types of attachment: secure, insecure-avoidant, insecure-ambivalent.<br />Core theory: Bowlby’s theory <br />You should be able to:<br />• explain the concept of monotropy;<br />• explain the concept of a critical period in attachment;<br />• describe the effects of attachment, deprivation and privation;<br />• explain the criticisms of Bowlby’s theory of attachment;<br />• consider behaviourist theory as an alternative theory, with specific reference to reinforcement in attachment as opposed to instinct.<br />Core study: Hazen and Shaver (1987) <br />You should be able to:<br />• describe Hazen and Shaver’s survey of the relationship between attachment types and adult relationships;<br />• outline limitations of Hazen and Shaver’s study.<br />Application of research into attachment: care of children<br />You should be able to:<br />572452599695• explain how psychological research relates to care of children, e.g. dealing with separation in nurseries, encouraging secure attachments through parenting classes, dealing with stranger anxiety in hospitalised children.<br />Social Psychology<br />Obedience<br />Key concepts: obedience, defiance, denial of responsibility<br />Core theory: theory of situational factors<br />Core study: Bickman (1974)<br />Application of research into obedience: keeping order in institutions and situations<br />473329055880<br />Key concepts You should be able to:<br />• distinguish between obedience and defiance;<br />• explain what is meant by the term ‘denial of responsibility’.<br />Core theory: theory of situational factors <br />You should be able to:<br />• explain the effect of environment on obedience, i.e. setting, culture;<br />• explain the effect of authority and the power to punish on obedience;<br />• explain the effect of consensus on obedience;<br />• explain the criticisms of situational factors as an explanation of obedience;<br />• consider dispositional factors as an alternative theory, with specific reference to the role of the authoritarian personality in obedience.<br />Core study: Bickman (1974) <br />You should be able to:<br />• describe Bickman’s field experiment into effects of uniform;<br />• outline limitations of Bickman’s study.<br />Application of research into obedience: keeping order in institutions and situations<br />572452548260You should be able to:<br />• explain how psychological research relates to keeping order in institutions, e.g. use of punishment in schools, use of authority in armed forces, effect of prison setting.<br />Individual Differences<br />Atypical behaviour<br />Key concepts: typical behaviour, atypical behaviour, fear, agoraphobia, social phobia, school<br />phobia, acrophobia, arachnophobia<br />Core theory: behaviourist theory<br />Core study: Watson and Rayner (1920)<br />Application of research into atypical behaviour: behaviour therapy for phobias<br />517207543180<br />Key concepts <br />You should be able to:<br />• distinguish between typical and atypical behaviour in relation to fear;<br />• outline common types of phobia: agoraphobia, social phobia, school phobia, acrophobia and arachnophobia.<br />Core theory: behaviourist theory <br />You should be able to:<br />• distinguish between an unconditioned stimulus, neutral stimulus and a conditioned stimulus;<br />• distinguish between an unconditioned response and a conditioned response;<br />• use the process of classical conditioning to explain the onset of phobias;<br />• explain the criticisms of the behaviourist theory of atypical behaviour;<br />• consider evolutionary theory as an alternative theory, with specific reference to preparedness.<br />Core study: Watson and Rayner (1920) <br />You should be able to:<br />• describe Watson and Rayner’s experiment to induce a phobia in a young child;<br />• outline limitations of Watson and Rayner’s study.<br />Application of research into atypical behaviour: behaviour therapy for phobias<br />You should be able to:<br />56673753175• explain how research relates to psychological behaviour therapy for phobias, e.g. use of stimuli in systematic desensitisation, use of classical conditioning in flooding and implosion therapy, cognitive therapy for going beyond behaviour modification.<br />Unit B542: Studies and Applications in Psychology 2<br />Biological Psychology<br />Criminal behaviour<br />Key concepts: crime, measures of crime, criminal personality<br />Core theory: biological theory<br />Core study: Mednick et al (1984)<br />Application of research into criminal behaviour: crime reduction<br />Key concepts <br />4838700177165You should be able to:<br />• outline the problems of defining and measuring crime;<br />• explain the concept of a criminal personality.<br />Core theory: biological theory <br />You should be able to:<br />• explain the role of heritability in criminal behaviour;<br />• explain the role of brain dysfunction in criminal behaviour;<br />• describe the facial features associated with criminals;<br />• explain the criticisms of the biological theory of criminal behaviour;<br />• consider social learning theory as an alternative theory, with specific reference to vicarious reinforcement of role models in the learning of criminal behaviour.<br />Core study: Mednick et al (1984) <br />You should be able to:<br />• describe Mednick et al’s adoption study into the genetic basis of criminal behaviour;<br />• outline limitations of Mednick et al’s study.<br />Application of research into criminal behaviour: crime reduction<br />5667375162560You should be able to:<br />• explain how psychological research relates to crime reduction, e.g. biological perspective on use of prisons, implications of research for crime prevention, reinforcement and rehabilitation.<br />4238625118110Cognitive Psychology<br />Perception<br />Key concepts: sensation, perception, depth cues, linear perspective, height in plane, relative size, superimposition, texture gradient<br />Core theory: constructivist theory<br />Core study: Haber and Levin (2001)<br />Application of research into perception: advertising<br />Key concepts You should be able to:<br />• describe the difference between sensation and perception using shape constancy, colour constancy and visual illusions;<br />• explain depth cues, including linear perspective, height in plane, relative size, superimposition and texture gradient. <br />Core theory: constructivist theory <br />You should be able to:<br />• outline the role of experience in perception;<br />• explain the concept of top-down processing;<br />• explain the concept of perceptual set;<br />• explain the criticisms of the constructivist theory of perception;<br />• consider the nativist theory as an alternative theory, with specific reference to bottom-up processing in perception.<br />Core study: Haber and Levin (2001) <br />You should be able to:<br />• describe Haber and Levin’s experiment into depth perception and familiarity of objects;<br />• outline limitations of Haber and Levin’s study.<br />Application of research into perception: advertising<br />566737579375You should be able to:<br />• explain how psychological research relates to advertising, e.g. use of context in perceptual set, use of motivation in perceptual set, subliminal advertising and levels of perception.<br />Developmental Psychology<br />Cognitive development<br />4991100352425Key concepts: invariant stages, universal stages, sensori-motor stage, pre-operational stage, concrete operational stage, formal operational stage<br />Core theory: Piaget’s theory<br />Core study: Piaget (1952)<br />Application of research into cognitive development: educating children<br />Key concepts You should be able to:<br />• describe how cognitive development occurs in invariant and universal stages;<br />• outline the stages of cognitive development: sensori-motor, pre-operational, concrete operational and formal operational.<br />Core theory: Piaget’s theory <br />You should be able to:<br />• describe the concept of object permanence;<br />• describe the concept of egocentrism and the process of de-centring;<br />• describe the concept of conservation;<br />• explain the criticisms of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development;<br />• consider Vygotsky’s theory as an alternative theory, with specific reference to the zone of proximal development.<br />Core study: Piaget (1952) <br />You should be able to:<br />• describe Piaget’s experiment into the conservation of number;<br />• outline the limitations of Piaget’s study.<br />Application of research into cognitive development: educating children<br />5695950182245You should be able to:<br />• explain how psychological research relates to educating children, e.g. key stages in relation to Piaget’s stages, active/discovery learning, scaffolding in relation to Vygotsky’s theory.<br />Social Psychology<br />Non-verbal communication<br />Key concepts: non-verbal communication, body language, facial expressions<br />Core theory: social learning theory<br />Core study: Yuki et al (2007)<br />Application of research into non-verbal communication: social skills training<br />Key concepts You should be able to:<br />• outline examples of body language as a form of non-verbal communication;<br />• outline examples of facial expressions as a form of non-verbal communication.<br />Core theory: social learning theory <br />You should be able to:<br />• explain the role of observation and imitation in learning non-verbal behaviour;<br />• describe the role of reinforcement and punishment in learning non-verbal behaviour;<br />• describe cultural variations in non-verbal communication;<br />• explain the criticisms of the social learning theory of non-verbal behaviour;<br />• consider evolutionary theory as an alternative theory, with specific reference to survival and reproduction. <br />Core study: Yuki et al (2007)<br /> You should be able to:<br />• describe Yuki et al’s experiment into cross-cultural differences in interpreting facial expressions;<br />• outline limitations of Yuki et al’s study.<br />Application of research into non-verbal communication: social skills training<br />571500073660You should be able to:<br />• explain how psychological research relates to social skills training, e.g. rehabilitation of criminals, customer-service training, managing conflict by managing body language.<br />4062095-485775Individual Differences<br />The self<br />Key concepts: individuals as unique, free will<br />Core theory: humanistic theory<br />Core study: Van Houtte and Jarvis (1995)<br />Application of research into the self: counselling<br />Key concepts You should be able to:<br />• understand the idea that individuals are unique;<br />• explain the concept of free will.<br />Core theory: humanistic theory <br />You should be able to:<br />• distinguish between self concept and ideal self in relation to self esteem;<br />• explain the idea of unconditional positive regard;<br />• explain the idea of self actualisation;<br />• explain the criticisms of humanism as an explanation of the self;<br />• consider trait theory as an alternative theory, with specific reference to extraversion and neuroticism.<br />Core study: Van Houtte and Jarvis (1995) <br />You should be able to:<br />• describe Van Houtte and Jarvis’ interviews about pet ownership amongst adolescents;<br />• outline limitations of Van Houtte and Jarvis’ study.<br />Application of research into the self: counselling<br />5715000107950You should be able to:<br />• explain how psychological research relates to counselling, e.g. raising self esteem in depressed people, individual choice in careers counselling, humanistic principles of relationship counselling.<br />Unit B543: Research in Psychology <br />
    • Planning researchTypes of studiesHypothesesAnalysing researchVariablesTypes of dataExperimental designsDescriptive dataSampling techniquesTables, Charts & GraphsEthical considerationsEvaluating FindingsDoing researchSources of BiasExperimentsPlanning an investigationQuestionnairesInvestigation skillsInterviewsDesign skillsObservationsTypes of studies
    As preparation for this exam we will be conducting mini experiments within the class and as homework assignments<br />Planning research<br />Hypotheses You should be able to:<br />• frame a null hypothesis;<br />• frame an alternate (research) hypothesis;<br />• distinguish between null hypotheses and alternate hypotheses.<br />Variables You should be able to:<br />• distinguish between independent variables and dependent variables;<br />• outline what is meant by an extraneous variable;<br />• explain how extraneous variables can be controlled, including standardisation.<br />Experimental designs You should be able to:<br />• distinguish between repeated measures and independent groups designs;<br />• describe the strengths and weaknesses of a repeated measures design;<br />• describe the strengths and weaknesses of an independent groups design.<br />Sampling techniques You should be able to:<br />• distinguish between a target population and a sample;<br />572452524130• distinguish between random sampling and opportunity sampling;<br />• describe the relative strengths and weaknesses of random and opportunity sampling with reference to representative samples and biased samples.<br />Ethical considerations You should be able to:<br />5724525146050• discuss the issues of informed consent and right to withdraw;<br />• discuss the issues of confidentiality;<br />• discuss the issues of protection of participants, including deception, and health and well-being. <br />Doing research<br />Experiments You should be able to:<br />572452550165• describe the use of laboratory experiments;<br />• describe the use of field experiments; <br />• describe the strengths and weaknesses of laboratory and field experiments.<br />You will be asked to plan an investigation (based on one of the above methods) in the examination.<br />Planning an investigation<br />Investigation skills You should be able to:<br />5724525150495• carry out an experiment;<br />• carry out a questionnaire;<br />• carry out an interview;<br />• carry out an observation. <br />Design skills You should be able to:<br />• state the hypothesis for an investigation;<br />• describe and justify the sample used in an investigation;<br />• describe ethical issues involved in an investigation;<br />• describe and justify how the variables are measured in an investigation;<br />• describe and justify the control of extraneous variables in an investigation;<br />5724525152400• describe the procedure used in an investigation; <br />• explain the strengths of the method used in an investigation;<br />• explain the weaknesses of the method used in an investigation;<br />• describe how data is analysed in an investigation.<br />Assessment<br />GCSE: The Exams!<br />GCSE Psychology (J611)<br />Unit B541: Studies and Applications in Psychology 1<br />This question paper has five sections:<br />One topic is selected from each of the five approaches in<br />Section A, B, C, D, E. Four of the five topics are assessed in four sections worth 15 marks each. The first three sections contain only short-answer questions, with questions worth up to four marks. The fourth section also comprises short-answer questions, with the last one worth six marks.<br />The final topic is assessed in one section worth 20 marks. This section contains gradated questions with the final question being worth 10 marks.<br />In each section, short-answer questions may include stimulus questions, e.g. completing tables, multi-choice, matching concepts and interpreting sources.<br />Different topics are assessed in different sections across the series of examinations.<br />40% of the total GCSE marks<br />1 hr 15 mins written paper<br />80 marks<br />This unit is externally assessed.<br />Unit B542: Studies and Applications in Psychology 2<br />This question paper has five sections:<br />One topic is selected from each of the five approaches in<br />Section A, B, C, D, E. Four of the five topics are assessed in four sections worth 15 marks each. The first three sections contain only short-answer questions with questions worth up to four marks. The fourth section also comprises short-answer questions with the last one worth six marks.<br />The final topic is assessed in one section worth 20 marks. This section contains gradated questions with the final question being worth 10 marks.<br />In each section, short-answer questions may include stimulus questions, e.g. completing tables, multi-choice, matching concepts and interpreting sources.<br />Different topics are assessed in different sections across the series of examinations.<br />40% of the total GCSE marks<br />1 hr 15 mins written paper<br />80 marks<br />This unit is externally assessed.<br />Unit B543: Research in Psychology<br />This question paper has two sections:<br />Section A: You are required to answer a series of questions, based on and around a source, that test knowledge of the research process. The source material presented in the exam describes a piece of research. This section is worth 25 marks.<br />Section B: You are required to plan an investigation based on a stimulus provided in the exam. The method will be specified and chosen from an experiment, questionnaire, interview or observation. The questions are based on the design skills listed in the specification.<br />This section is worth 15 marks.<br />20% of the total GCSE marks<br />1 hr written paper<br />40 marks<br />This unit is externally assessed<br />1600200132080<br />4286250-514350RESEARCH METHODS<br />Scientific Experiment (laboratory experiment)<br />This method is widely used in psychology because it gives the psychologist greater control over what happens, compared with many other research techniques. Therefore, cause and effect can be tested. The experimenter alters one variable (called the independent variable - IV) and then measures the effect this has on another variable (called the dependent variable - DV).<br />Advantages<br />It is possible to claim the IV is the cause<br />Extraneous/nuisance variables can be controlled e.g. noise levels<br />It can be replicated<br />Disadvantages<br />It is an artificial situation, usually conducted in a lab to maximise control, therefore results may not generalise to real life - low ecological validity<br />There may still be extraneous variables beyond the control of the experimenter e.g. whether someone has drunk caffeine before a reaction time experiment<br />The results may be affected by things such as: experimenter bias, demand characteristics etc<br />476885033655<br />Field Experiment <br />This is an experiment which is conducted in more natural surroundings (not necessarily a field!) It could be on the underground or in a supermarket. Participants are unaware that they are taking part in a psychology experiment. The independent variable is still manipulated.<br />Advantages<br />It has greater relevance for real life – higher ecological validity<br />The technique avoids experimenter effects such as participant bias and demand characteristics, because the participants are unaware that they are taking part in an experiment<br />Disadvantages<br />Extraneous variables such as noise and heat are harder to control<br />It is more time-consuming and expensive than lab experiment<br />Natural Experiment (Quasi experiment)<br />If conditions vary naturally, the effects of an independent variable can be observed without any intervention by the experimenter, or where it would be unethical to do so. For example: looking at the effects of maternal deprivation on children who are placed, either in foster care or children’s homes. It would be unethical to take children away from their mothers just to see the effect of this deprivation. It is still an experiment in the sense that cause and effect are being identified but not a ‘true’ experiment as the experimenter is not manipulating the IV.<br />Advantages<br />Same as for field experiments<br />It can be a useful way to study cause and effect where there are ethical objections to manipulating the variables<br />Disadvantages<br />Participants may be aware they are being studied and show changes simply because of this<br />There is a loss of control over extraneous variables<br />Such conditions are not always easy or possible to find occurring naturally<br />Observation<br />Behaviour is observed in its natural environment or in written records. All variables are free to vary and interference is kept to a minimum. No independent variable is manipulated, but nevertheless a hypothesis (a prediction of what you think the outcome of your experiment will be) may be tested.<br />4076700-381000<br />There are different types of observation:<br />Controlled observation<br />This usually takes place in a laboratory. It gives some control over extraneous variables and observer variation and bias. However, it is an artificial environment and a rigid classification system may mean some important aspects of behaviour are missed.<br />Naturalistic observation<br />This is where the behaviour that is observed is naturally occurring. It gives greater ecological validity and is useful where experimentation would be impossible or unethical. However, extraneous variables are hard to control, it is hard to do discretely – i.e. using a video recorder etc, replication is harder. A rigid classification system may mean some important aspects of behaviour are missed<br />Participant observation <br />This is where the psychologist joins the group that he/she is observing. They may or may not tell the other members of the group who they are and what they are doing. It is non-structured way of gathering data. Participants act completely naturally is not told about the study. The researcher can gain first hand experience of the roles and interactions of those under investigation. However, the non-structured way of gathering data may give problems with observer bias and it may be difficult to replicate or to generalise to other settings. It may also me difficult to make notes on the spot and memory may be unreliable<br />Advantages<br />It gives a more realistic picture of spontaneous behaviour<br />It has high ecological validity<br />If the observer remains undetected, the method avoids most experimenter effects such as experimenter bias, demand characteristics etc<br />Disadvantages <br />It is not possible to infer cause and effect<br />It is difficult to replicate<br />It is not possible to control extraneous variables<br />Observer bias – the observer sees what he/she wants to see<br />Where an observer <br />5124450-514350Case Study<br />This is a detailed account of a single individual, small group, institution or event, e.g. Freud’s case study of Little Hans or Watson & Rayner’s Little Albert. It might contain data about personal history, background, test results or interviews. <br />Advantages<br />Gives in-depth picture producing rich data<br />Relates to real life<br />Used where a behaviour is rare – such as a boy raised by dogs<br />Disadvantages<br />Usually involves recall of earlier history and therefore may be unreliable <br />The close relationship between experimenter and participant introduces bias<br />Cause and effect are difficult to establish<br />You cannot replicable it<br />Limited sample – makes it difficult to generalise the results i.e. say that everyone in this particular situation would behave in the same way<br />Time consuming and expensive<br />Longitudinal Study<br />One group of individuals is studied over a long period of time, taking periodic samples of behaviour.<br />Advantages<br />Repeated measures are used, therefore participant variables are controlled<br />You can draw conclusions about cause and effect<br />Disadvantages<br />Impossible to replicate because of changes in society<br />Requires large investment of time and money<br />Participants may be ‘lost’ or drop out<br />Once the study has started the design cannot be modified<br />Cross-Cultural Study<br />Different cultures are compared with regard to certain practices such as child-rearing, taboos, language and thought.<br />Advantages<br />Suggests cause and effect<br />Rich data, provides interesting insights<br />Widens the scope of psychology to include a greater proportion of the human population<br />Disadvantages<br />A non-native observer may not understand language or practices<br />An outsider may have cultural biases<br />Practices may not be directly comparable<br />Costly and time-consuming <br />4438650-304800Survey/Questionnaire<br />This is a group of self-report method for collecting data; Oral or written. This includes questionnaires, attitude scales, opinion polls or interviews.<br />Advantages<br />It’s generally quick and easy to do<br />Enables you to gather large amounts of data<br />Gives access to information not available from direct observation<br />Disadvantages<br />It is possible to draw conclusions about correlations (the relationship between two things) but NOT state cause and effect<br />It relies on self-report, which is open to problems such as social desirability bias (people gives answers that ‘sound good’ rather than what they actually think!)<br />The method replies on people being able to understand the questions - so difficult to use with children<br />It is impossible to control for personal interpretations of the questions<br />Correlation<br />This is not strictly speaking a research method but a technique of data analysis (statistical test). It is used to look at the relationship between two things but you CANNOT state cause and effect.<br />Advantages<br />It can be used where experimental manipulation would be unethical <br />A good starting point for later experimental studies<br />Can indicate a trend<br />Disadvantages <br />It establishes a relationship only – you cannot state cause and effect<br />The relationship may be due to other extraneous variables<br />SAMPLING<br />In order to conduct any research we need some people (or animals) to study. The participants which are to be used are called a sample. To obtain a sample, researchers must first identify the target population. This is the whole group with which the study is concerned, for example, a study on “the attitudes of college students towards smoking” would have a target population of “all college students”.<br />Psychologists try to avoid using a biased sample; biased means ‘not representative’. As you go through your psychology course, you will not find it difficult to provide examples of very biased samples of participants being used.<br />There are several ways of choosing a sample from a target population.<br />1. Random sampling: <br />Here every member of the target population has the same chance of appearing in the sample. <br />It could be done by ‘drawing straws’ or ‘pulling names from a hat’. <br />One popular method is to give each member of the target population a number and then to take numbers from a random-number table.<br />An exact definition of a random sample is a sample where no member of the target population has a greater chance of being chosen than any other<br />2. Systematic sampling: <br />Here every 4th or 10th (or any other number) name is taken from a list of the target population. <br />For example, if your target population is every child in a school of 500 and you need 25 then you can use every 20th name from the register.<br />3. Stratified sampling: <br />A list is made of each variable which might have an effect on the research.<br /> For example, if we are interested in the money spent on books by undergraduates, then the main subject studied may be an important variable. <br />This is because students studying English literature may spend more money on books than engineering students, so if we use a disproportionate percentage of English literature students or of engineering students then our results will not be accurate. <br />We have to work out the relative percentage of each group e.g. engineering 10%, law 5%, medicine 15%. The sample must then contain all these groups in the same proportion as in the target population. <br />Gathering such a sample can be time consuming and difficult to do and such sampling is not often used in psychology. <br />One example of an occasion when it is important and easy to use would be a study of attitudes of people over the age of 80 years. In the target population of people over the age of 80 years old, there is a grater percentage of women than men. This difference should be reflected in the sample population. <br />4. Opportunity sampling: <br />This type of sample is the most easy and convenient to use - the researcher simply takes advantage of having participants available at the time to use as the sample. <br />For example, students at college and universities are often used by their tutors to take part in the tutor’s research. <br />You may end up using your class mates, friends, people in the LRC just because they’re there at the time you’re doing your research.<br />5. Self selected samples: <br />In this case participants chose themselves by, for example, answering an advertisement in a newspaper, sometimes replying to a postal questionnaire. <br />This is not a representative sample since most people do not volunteer or return a questionnaire; those who do return the questionnaire are hardly likely to be representative of the target population so the sample is naturally biased.<br />ETHICS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH <br />GUIDELINES FOR GCSE students <br />1 Aim <br />The aim of this document is to give guidelines to students involved in behavioural research in schools and colleges. It addresses many of the major issues, but does not cover all of them. Whilst the following guidelines refer to behavioural research in general, they are written specifically with psychological research in mind. <br />2 Introduction <br />Ethical issues arise whenever psychological research is carried out and you will need to consider these. Psychological investigations may have ethical implications for those participating in the study, others they have contact with, members of the public, the researcher and the reputation of Psychology. You need to consider the rights and welfare of the people involved, the value of the knowledge obtained and the need to promote and maintain a positive image of Psychology. Psychological research can be fun, but it should not be carried out just for fun. <br />If you ask people to help you with your research, they have the right to refuse. Respect their rights at all times and avoid exploiting them for your own interests. <br />Here are some of the questions you will need to ask yourself about the study you carry out: <br />Should I be conducting this kind of study at all? <br />What is the most ethical way of carrying it out? <br />Am I sufficiently competent to carry it out? <br />Have I informed the participants of all they need and would expect to know before taking part? <br />Have they willingly agreed to take part? <br />How do I ensure that all research records are confidential and anonymous, and will remain so? <br />How do I ensure that my research is carried out professionally and in a way that protects the rights of those involved? <br />3 Choosing the best method of study <br />However interesting your idea might seem, you should only proceed if your study can be ethically justified. You should familiarise yourself with previous relevant research and findings, and you should consult someone who is suitably experienced. The first person to approach will probably be a psychology teacher or lecturer. <br />4 Competence <br />You need to work within your limits, and seek advice from your teacher or lecturer in order to establish your competence level. <br />People may ask your advice because they know you are studying Psychology. They may want help with personal problems which may be beyond your level of competence. Be very careful how you respond and do not claim to be more skilled or better qualified than you really are. <br />5 Consent <br />Participants should be volunteers and told what your research is about. Whenever possible obtain their informed consent, making sure participants fully understand what they are agreeing to. <br />You will need to emphasise rather than cover up aspects of the study that might affect someone’s willingness to help. It is unethical to deceive people into taking part by saying the study is about something else. You should only withhold information if the research cannot be carried out in any other way. <br />Participants should be debriefed so they know exactly what the study was about; be prepared to answer any questions. Their own results should be made available to them. If participants will be distressed or annoyed when you give them feedback at the end of the study you should not proceed. <br />Participants have the right to withdraw from your study at any time. Make sure they realise they can do this. Be prepared to stop the study immediately if you sense discomfort. <br />Participants should not be intimidated or pressurised into continuing when they do not want to, however inconvenient it is for you. You should be aware that participants may see you as threatening, or in a position of influence, simply because you are undertaking research. <br />Some people may be unable to give their own informed consent. These may include children, the elderly and those with special needs. Every effort must be made to seek permission from those with responsibility for these individuals. <br />For research conducted in your own school or college, you should first obtain consent from the head teacher. This consent may also be required from parents or guardians. The head teacher will be able to advise you on this. <br />Participants should be drawn from the candidate’s own school or college, whenever possible. Consent is not needed when carrying out naturalistic observations of behaviour where an individual might expect to be observed, but people’s privacy should be respected. It is always best to check whether consent is required. Be aware that others may regard your behaviour as suspicious. <br />6 Confidentiality <br />Respect your participants’ privacy by treating data as confidential. Others should be unable to identify those who have taken part in your study. Many researchers assign numbers or initials to participants, both to identify them in their reports and to maintain their anonymity. You may need to discuss your data with other researchers or your supervisor, so let participants know if you intend to do this. It is unethical to divulge individual data unless a participant has provided written permission for you to do so. Records should be kept safely and not left where others can gain access to them. <br />7 Conduct <br />You should always be honest about your own competence and limitations. You are unlikely to be an expert in diagnosis, psychotherapy or psychological testing. It is unethical to claim that you are. <br />Make sure you consider the welfare of those affected by your study. Maintain the highest standards of safety, ensuring that apparatus is safe and that participants do not attempt embarrassing, dangerous, painful or illegal tasks. Your study must be designed so that those involved are not exposed to physical or psychological risks at any time. If in doubt, discuss this with your Psychology teacher or lecturer, and if necessary, be prepared to abandon your study. <br />You should never: <br />insult, offend or anger participants; <br />make participants believe that they have harmed or upset someone else; <br />break the law or encourage others to do so; <br />contravene the Data Protection Act; <br />illegally copy tests or materials; <br />make up data; <br />copy other people’s work; <br />claim that somebody else’s wording is your own.<br />