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Resourcd File

  1. 1. Research Methods Activity Booklet Name _________________ Specification 1
  2. 2. Research methods Methods of Investigation Methods of Control, Data Analysis and Data Presentation Ethical Considerations The use of scientific methods and techniques which aim for objectivity • Formulation of testable hypotheses to promote enquiry • Procedures for the experimental method of investigation: Independent and dependent variables • Advantages and disadvantages of this method of investigation (including ecological validity). • Experimental designs: - independent groups, repeated measures, matched pairs • Advantages and disadvantages of each experimental design • Target populations, samples and sampling methods: random; opportunity; systematic; stratified • Advantages and limitations of each sampling method • The use of standardised procedures, identification and control of extraneous variables, instructions to participants • Random allocation, counterbalancing and randomisation • Calculations, including mean, mode, median, range and percentages - Anomalous results and their possible effects • Graphical representations, including bar charts • Research in natural and experimental settings, including advantages and limitations of each. Candidates should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: - ethical issues in psychological research as outlined in the British Psychological Society guidelines - ways of dealing with each of these issues. • Introduction The aim of this booklet is to provide you with practical activities to enhance your understanding of research methods in psychology. This booklet will complement lessons and other handouts and notes taken during class time and you can also use this booklet to aid your revision. Please note: This booklet will be used during lessons so it is important you bring it to all research methods classes 2
  3. 3. The Experimental Method Learning Objectives: To understand the experimental method and the point of objectivity. To formulate testable hypotheses. To identify the difference between and independent variable and a dependent variable. Define the following key terms; Hypothesis Independent variable (IV) Dependent variable (DV) When you design an experiment you need to identify the IV and the DV and include these in your hypothesis. Look at the following hypotheses. Highlight and label the IV and DV in each case. TRY THIS! “Eating breakfast will have an effect on pupil’s concentration in lessons.” “Touch will have an effect on people’s attitudes.” “The amount of alcohol drunk will affect and individual’s ability to walk in a straight line.” “The time spent looking at a list of words will affect the number of words recalled.” 3
  4. 4. Working in a small group, you are going to plan and conduct an experiment to test how well pupils learn when listening to music. Write a hypothesis for this experiment and clearly identify the IV and DV. My hypothesis… What about other variables? Extraneous Variables – any other variable other than the IV that may affect the DV. TRY THIS! What possible extraneous variables might there be with your hypothesis? List as many as you can. 4
  5. 5. The Experimental Method 2 Learning Objectives: To describe the different experimental designs. To explain the strengths and weaknesses of each design. The term “Experimental Design” refers to how participants are used in an experiment. There are usually at least 2 conditions in an experiment and researchers have to decide who will take part in each condition. Design What is it? Advantages Disadvantages Independent groups Repeated measures 5
  6. 6. Matched pairs Define the following key terms; Order effect Participant variables What kind of experimental design will you use for your music experiment? TRY THIS! Explain why you have chosen this design 6
  7. 7. The Experimental Method 3 Learning Objectives: Explain what is meant by the terms; standardised procedures and randomisation. Outline the advantages and disadvantages of the experimental method. An experiment must be carefully organised. A set order must apply to all participants; this is known as a standardised procedure and makes the experiment unbiased. Define the following key terms; Counterbalancing Random allocation The instructions given for an experiment might affect how participants perform. How could we ensure that this is not an extraneous variable? Briefing Standardised instructions Debriefing 7
  8. 8. Define the following key terms; Randomisation Give an example of how randomisation might be used… Decide on the standardised procedures for your music experiment. What instructions will you give participants? Write them here TRY THIS! TRY THIS! 8
  9. 9. advantages disadvantages THE EXPERIMENTAL METHOD TRY THIS! Exam style question 1. Describe how an experimenter could use counterbalancing in a study where participants are timed sorting cards a) In front of an audience – condition A b) In the absence of an audience – condition B (3 marks) 9
  10. 10. Sampling Learning Objectives: Understand the different methods of sampling Outline the advantages and limitations of the different sampling methods. When doing an experiment it is impossible to test everyone, instead research is carried out on small groups of people. Define the following key terms; Sample Target population Representative Generalised Describe how each of the different sampling methods is used and try to think of one advantage and one disadvantage of each. TRY THIS! Random Advantage Limitation 10
  11. 11. Opportunity Advantage Limitation Advantage Limitation Advantage Limitation Systematic Stratified Using Sampling Techniques 1. The target population for a research study was y10 students at Oakmeeds. How would you achieve a random sample of 30 students? TRY THIS! 2. A researcher put a poster up in a hospital for participants for his study on work/life balance. What sampling method is being used? 11
  12. 12. Answer the following questions about your music experiment. TRY THIS! Who is your target population? How many participants will you use? Which sampling method will you use? Why have you chosen this method? Describe how you will collect your sample. 12
  13. 13. Dealing with data Learning Objectives: Use descriptive statistics to analyse the data collected by an investigation (mean, median, mode, and range) Recognise anomalous results. Present data graphically The data that is provided by experiments is known as raw data until it has been analysed or summarised. Researchers tend to look for patterns in data across the group rather than individual results and so it is best to summarise the data by calculating averages and the range Define the following key terms; Mean Mode Median Calculate the mean, median and mode for the following: TRY THIS! Data from a primary class spelling test 1,2,3,7,10,20,30,43,47,48,50 Mean = Median= Mode= Number of words recalled out of 10 in a free recall task 1,1,5,2,3,7,6,5,2,1,8,7,9,5,4,3,2,5 Mean= Median= Mode= 13
  14. 14. What’s so good (and bad) about central tendency? Measure Advantage Disadvantage Mean Median Mode Define the following key term; Range Range Work out the range for the following data: TRY THIS! 5,4,1,2,1,2,3,4,5,6,8,7,2 Range – What does the range tell you? 14
  15. 15. TRY THIS! Anomalous results What is meant by an anomalous result? Write down an example set of data which contains an anomalous result. Displaying data Identify the type of graphs illustrated below. Outline why the graph has been chosen taking into consideration the data illustrated TRY THIS! 60 55 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Time in minutes Students Ratings of Courses 8 6 4 2 Ar t Po l it ic s H is to ry La w 0 En gl is h Rating out of 10 10 Ps yc ho lo gy So ci ol og y Rating out of 10 Time Psychology students take travelling to college 15
  16. 16. Ethics Learning Objectives: Understand ethical issues as outlined by the British Psychological Society Guidelines. Understand ways of dealing with these issues. The Code of Ethics and Conduct of the British Psychological Society (2006) underpins the activities of all practising psychologists. Whenever any research is carried out it must be ethical. You can find a full copy of the code at www.bps.org.uk Define the following key term; Ethical issues The main ethical issues that you need to be aware of for Unit 1 are; - Respect – confidentiality, informed consent, privacy, deception and right to withdraw. - Competence. - Responsibility – protection from harm and debriefing. - Integrity. For each of the following ethical issues, explain why it is an issue and how it can be dealt with. TRY Issue Why is it an issue? How can it be dealt with? THIS! Confidentiality Informed consent 16
  17. 17. Privacy Deception Right to withdraw Protection from harm Debriefing What ethical issues do you need to consider for your music experiment? TRY THIS! TRY 17 THIS!
  18. 18. You should now have considered all the planning aspects of your music experiment. Summarise your plan here. Conduct your experiment and record your results. Use statistics and graphs to summarise your results and write a conclusion. Cards task – extra activity 18
  19. 19. For each of the following experiments 1. Write a hypothesis. 2. Identify the IV and DV 3. What other possible extraneous variables might there be? 4. Decide whether the experimental designs are Independent groups, repeated measures or matched pairs A. The researcher was interested in whether mood could influence recall of negative and positive words. They used different kinds of background music to set the mood and both participants were given a mixture of positive and negative words to recall. Participants were assigned either to the upbeat music condition or the maudlin music condition. B. A researcher was interested in whether males or females had better spatial skills. They put the participants through a series of tests to assess their spatial ability and then averaged out the males scores and the female scores. C. Researchers were looking at whether people remembered more in the morning or evening. They gave participants free recall tests and tested them in the morning and the evening. D. Researchers wanted to find out whether a new teaching method could improve mathematical ability in 7 year olds. In one condition the children are given the new method and in the other they are taught using traditional methods. Each participant has a match for gender, ethnicity and mathematical ability in the other condition. 19
  20. 20. Extra task: Extraneous Variables Identify the extraneous variable in each of the examples below: 1. The researchers were interested in the effects of time of day on memory recall. They put all the young people in the morning condition and all the older people in the evening condition. 2. The researchers were interested in the effects of age on memory recall. They tested all the young people in the morning and all the old people in the evening. 3. Researchers were looking at the effects of noise on concentration. There were two conditions and participants were either in the noisy or quiet condition. When the researchers were conducting the quiet condition the thermostat broke on the radiator and the room was very stuffy and airless. 4. Researchers carried out a natural experiment on children in institutions. They looked at those that had been adopted by the age of three and those that had remained in the institution. They were interested in looking at the difference in social skills between the two groups. 20
  21. 21. Extra task – Ethical issues Read the following scenario and answer the questions that follow: Interview A psychologist wanted to find out whether there are gender differences in young peoples’ attitudes to eating habits. He carried out a series of interviews asking a number of questions that he had compiled in advance. The interviews were carried out in the students’ common room of a sixth form and so other people were present when each person was interviewed. The questions asked were about skipping meals, types of food consumed and worries about over/under eating. Identify one ethical issue that the researcher might consider in this investigation. Explain how the researcher might have dealt with that ethical issue 21

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