Edexcel GCSE 9-1 Psychology Topic 11 Research Methods
Research and experimental design (p. 138)
1) To learn about the different research and experimental
2) To evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these designs.
Key terminology: try to write it in your own words! Try to draw a picture or a key word/phrase to help you
remember each in the right hand column.
Think back to the studies we have covered so far. Remember – there are two studies for each topic.
For each of the studies listed (if we have covered them), state what design the researchers used.
Topic Type of design Explanation for decision
3) Psychological problems
4) Brain & neuropsychology
5) Social Influence
6) Criminal Psychology
9) Sleep and dreaming
Complete the table showing the strengths and weaknesses of each design
Strengths Weaknesses Controlling problems
Matched pairs design
Identify each of the following research and experimental designs.
1) A study to investigate the value of believing in free will involving 13 female and 17 male university
students. They were tested individually after having been randomly allocated to either the
experimental or the control group.
2) A study to investigate the role of pets in preadolescent psychosocial development involving 130
children aged between 8 and 11 years old. Of the children, 65 were pet owners, and 65 were non-
3) A study to investigate prisoner-guard conflict in a simulated prison environment where 10 were
randomly assigned the role of guard and 10 were assigned the role of prisoner.
Stretch and challenge:
Some of these do not neatly fit into the categories we have been discussing. What type of experimental
design are they?
4) A study to investigate whether helping behaviour in a natural environment is more likely in certain
conditions where 4500 men and women passengers travelling on a New York Subway between
11am and 3pm were observed covertly.