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1. Psychological Research and Scientific MethodTwo psychologists investigated the relationship betweenage and recall of medical advice. Previous research hasshown that…
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  • 1. Psychological Research and Scientific MethodTwo psychologists investigated the relationship betweenage and recall of medical advice. Previous research hasshown that recall of medical advice tended to be poorer inolder patients. The study was conducted at a doctor’ssurgery and involved a sample of thirty patients agedbetween 18 and 78 years. They all saw the same doctor,who made notes of the advice that she gave during theconsultation.One of the psychologists interviewed each of the patientsindividually, immediately after they had seen the doctor.The psychologist asked each patient a set of questionsabout what the doctor had said about their diagnosis andtreatment. The patient’s responses were recorded andthen typed out. Working independently, the psychologistscompared each typed account with the doctor’s writtennotes in order to rate the accuracy of the accounts on ascale of 1-10. A high rating indicated that the patient’srecall was very accurate.16) The psychologists decided to propose a directional hypothesis. Why was adirectional hypothesis appropriate in this case? (1 mark)A directional hypothesis was proposed and appropriate because thepsychologists expected the correlation to move in a specific direction, e.g.,negatively “ as age increased, memory for medical facts decreased’. Thisproposal was based on prior research in the area.17) Write a suitable directional hypothesis for this investigation. (3 marks)“ There will be a negative correlation between the age of participants andthe number of medical facts they can recall that are given to them by theirdoctor; the older they are the less facts they will be able to recall.’18) The psychologists were careful to consider the issue of reliability during thisstudy. What is meant by reliability? (1 mark)Reliability refers to the consistency of a measure. A test or set of data isconsidered reliable if we get the same result repeatedly.19) Explain how psychologists might have assessed the reliability of their ratings(3 marks).The psychologists might have assessed the reliability of their ratings byusing another psychologist to analyse the ratings. This is known as inter-
  • 2. rater reliability. The ratings of both psychologists should correlatepositively so that the researchers can have faith that the ratings are indeedreliable, e.g. consistent repeatedly.20) The study collected both qualitative and quantitative data. From thedescription of the study above, identify the qualitative data and the quantitativedata. (2marks).The qualitative data was when each patient was asked a set of questionsabout what the doctor had said about their diagnosis and treatment. Thiswas because the patient’s responses were open ended they could talkfreely and were not restricted for example by choosing closed responsesfrom set choices. The patient’s responses were recorded and then typedout. The quantitative data was when patient’s responses were rated foraccuracy against the doctor’s notes and given an ordinal scale number. E.g.,10 if the raters thought the patients response mirrored the doctors.The psychologists used a Spearman’s rho to analyse thedata from their investigation. They chose to use the 0.05level of significance. The result gave a correlationcoefficient of -0.5221) Give two reasons why the psychologists used a spearman’s rho to analysethe data. (2 marks)Two reasons why the psychologists used a spearman’s rho to analyse thedata was they need a test of correlation, the data was ordinal (e.g., ratingon a scale can be ordered from highest to lowest but the gaps between thescales are not mathematical as they are down to the opinion of the raters.22) Using Table 1 below, state whether the result is significant or nor notsignificant and explain why. (2marks).The critical value for a one tailed hypothesis where p<0.05 and N=30 is 0.306. Asthe calculated value of rs was -0.52 the null hypothesis can be rejected as itexceeded the critical value. We can therefore conclude that age and recall ofmedical facts are negatively correlated.Table 1: Extract from a table of CRITICAL VALUES ofSpearman’s rho (rs)LEVEL OF SIGNIFICANCE FOR A ONE TAILED TEST 0.05 0.01LEVEL OF SIGNIFICANCE FOR A TWO TAILED TEST 0.10 0.02N=29 0.312 0.43330 0.306 0.42531 0.301 0.418
  • 3. Calculated rs must exceed the table (critical) value forsignificance at the level shown.23) Explain what is meant by a type 1 error (2 marks).A type 1 error is when psychologists accept the experimental hypothesisand reject the null when the reverse is true. This can occur with anysignificance level chosen but is more likely to occur when a 10% level ischosen. Researchers will not know they have made a type 1 error until theyreplicate their results or if the calculated value is very close to the standardcritical values of 5% and 10% and under the 1% critical value.24) Use the information in TABLE 1 above to explain why the psychologistsdid not think that they had made a type one error in this case. (3marks).The psychologists did not think that they had made a type one error in thiscase because the calculated value exceeded the critical value even at the1% significance level ( by 0.095 ).The psychologists then wanted to see whether the use ofdiagrams in medical consultations would affect the recallof medical information.In a laboratory experiment involving a medicalconsultation role-play, participants were randomlyallocated to one of two conditions. In condition A, a doctorused diagrams to present to each participant a series offacts about high blood pressure. In condition B, the samedoctor presented the same series of facts about highblood pressure to each participant but without the use ofdiagrams.At the end of the consultation, participants were tested ontheir recall of facts about high blood pressure. Eachparticipant was given a score out of ten for the number offacts recalled.25) In this case, the psychologists decided to use a laboratory experiment ratherthan a field experiment. Discuss advantages of carrying out this experiment inthe laboratory. (4marks)Laboratory experiments are often favoured over field experiments becausethere is absolute control over variables. In the example above thepsychologists could ensure that both group A and group B heard exactly thesame information and that this was not confounded by extraneous
  • 4. variables such as receptionist calling during an appointment andinterrupting the flow of concentration of patient and/or doctor. Moreover,role-play would ensure that patients were not really stressed by real healthproblems and that anxiousness did not interfere with their listening skills.Lab experiments are easier to replicate because of this absolute control.Thus cause and effect relationships easier to establish. Obviously internalvalidity is an issue as participants knew they were in an experiment andmay have displayed demand characteristics.26) Identify an appropriate statistical test that the psychologists could use toanalyse the data from the follow up study. Give one reason why this test isappropriate. (2marks).A Man Whitney U inferential test would be appropriate because a test ofdifference was needed and the design was independent groups. The level ofmeasurement was interval (e.g., recalling numbers of facts are quantifiabledata with mathematical intervals and can be ordered from smallest tolargest).27) Research has shown that music can affect ability toconcentrate. Design an experiment that could be carriedout in a classroom to test the effects of two different kindsof music on a task requiring concentration (e.g., wordsearch).You must use a repeated measures design.In your answer you should: Fully operationalise the dependent and independent variables Provide details of how you would control extraneous variables Describe the procedure that you would use. You should provide sufficient detail for the study to be carried out. (10 marks)DesignExperiment. Repeated measures design. Independent variable: different types ofmusic. Operationalised as Reggae music (Bob Marley’s One Love non lyricversion) and classical music (Mozart’s Requiem). The dependent variable wasconcentration this was operationised as the number of digits participants couldrecall from ten sets of seven string number/letter arrays.
  • 5. Controls Standardised instructions Same volume of music Number/letter arrays to avoid chunking Two distinct music types were chosen as classical music is said to often improve concentration and memory because of the way it affects brain waives. Therefore a real comparison was needed. That both types of music contained no lyrics so that lyrics did not confound results. Counterbalance groups to avoid order effectsParticipants 40 males and females aged between 18-20, all math degree students at Orpington University recruited via poster in common room (volunteer sample). Mixed class, ethnicity. No other variables deemed important. Researcher: one female aged 43Apparatus/materials Standardised instructions Consent form Mark scheme Digital arrays on power point) The music Bob Marley and Mozart Pens and record sheets for arrays DVD player. Volume 7 Debrief Poster for advert Procedures Counterbalance groups by random allocation (drawing names from a hat). Two researchers conduct counterbalance groups at the same time independently Give participants standardized instructions Then consent form (fully informed as hypothesis will be obvious due to design). Start music Play arrays on powerpoint. Participants wait ten seconds and the write the arrays they recall. Swap conditions. Debrief. Give chance to ask questions. Thank participants.
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