6. Non Experimental Methods

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6. Non Experimental Methods

  1. 1. Non-Experimental Methods
  2. 2. Survey A variety of methods that involve asking questions. Self reporting: Participants asked how they feel, what their views are, what they have experienced. This contrasts with experimental methods: Where behaviour is recorded and inferences made about underlying thoughts and attitudes. Questionnaires Interviews
  3. 3. Questionnaires Now go back through that list and think how they were obtained. e.g. telephone Activity: In groups list all the uses of questionnaires that you can think of.
  4. 4. Questionnaires usually involve collecting large amounts of data from a lot of people. Samples groups have to be representative. Data usually quantitative rather than qualitative and standardised by asking all participants the same questions. Designing questionnaires can be difficult. Activity In your groups note down any problems with designing questions/ the types of questions to avoid e.g bias, offending people…
  5. 5. When designing questionnaires you have to avoid: <ul><li>leading or biased questions (don’t you think that…). </li></ul>- assumptions (all families have a car, all children have two parents). -double barrelled questions (two questions in one: do you enjoy Psychology or is it too hard). - strong emotive language (Do you think that KFC is the most disgusting thing you can eat?)
  6. 6. Make brief notes on the types of questionnaire: Postal surveys Telephone surveys Internet surveys State the pro’s and con’s of each Text book pages 148 and 152 Activity Activity Produce a mind map of the pro’s and con’s of questionnaires as a data gathering technique. Text book pages 148 and 149
  7. 7. Interviews <ul><li>Distinguish the main differences between an interview and a questionnaire. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the two formats interviews can follow. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe open and closed questions and the type of information they gather for analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the advantages and disadvantages of a an interview as a means of investigation. </li></ul>Extension: Prepare the activity on page 209 of Caldwell.
  8. 8. Problems associated with interview <ul><li>Social desirability bias- respondant provides socially desirable answer so they appear in a better light. </li></ul><ul><li>Answers do not represent what people actually think or do, but what they would like other people to think about them! </li></ul><ul><li>The ‘YES’ people (Response bias)- Some people prefer to always give the answer ‘Yes’ (or vice versa) to any question. </li></ul><ul><li>In this case it would be important to phrase the question in such a way to avoid ‘yes’ answers. </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewer Bias- Participants influenced by interviewers expectations. e.g. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Did you see the broken headlight? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Did you see a broken headlight? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Observation <ul><li>What is naturalistic observation? Caldwell p205 </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the different degrees of observer participation. Higher txt book p156-158 </li></ul><ul><li>What is an observation schedule and why is it important? Higher txt book 155-156, Caldwell p222 </li></ul><ul><li>Describe advantages and weaknesses of observations. Caldwell p205-206 </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Case Study Offers a rich amount of detail about a particular person, group or thing. It is also grounded in real life. Can involve one or more of a number of research Methodologies: - Case history : school, health records etc - Interviews : with individual, friends, relatives, teachers, social workers etc. - Questionnaires/psychometric tests . - Diaries : kept by individual. - Observation - Experimental tasks e.g memory tests.
  11. 11. Problems: Subjectivity -Lengthy interviews and observations. -Strong likelihood that researcher will communicate expectations to the participant. -Resulting data may be biased. Ethical Issues -Concerns over privacy and confidentiality of individuals life histories being published. -Suggested that real names are not used in case studies (although this does not always happen).

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