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1. How to Structure Your Answers to Section B Questions a) This question usually asks you about the aim of the study. Sentence Starter: The aim of the study by…
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  • 1. How to Structure Your Answers to Section B Questions a) This question usually asks you about the aim of the study. Sentence Starter: The aim of the study by ________________ was______________________ Example: The aim of the study by Samuel and Bryant was to investigate the question of whether children under the age of 7 are able to conserve, and to see if children would cope better with Piaget’s conservation task if they were only asked one question after the transformation, rather than two questions- pre and post transformation. Key terms: The psychological language used in the aim will be from the study e.g. • Samuel and Bryant- conservation • Bandura, Ross and Ross- Social Learning Theory, observational learning, model. b) This question usually asks you about the sample, and for a limitation (weakness). Sentence Starters: The sample in this study consisted of _________________ This sample was split into ___________________________ One limitation of this sample is ________________________ Example: The sample in this study consisted of Little Hans, his father and mother and his little sister Hannah. There were also other people who Little Hans came into contact with who had an impact on his life such as people he saw at the farm in the countryside. His father was an important part of the sample because he was the on who collected data on Little Hans and questioned him about his phobia. One limitation of this sample is that it is only one little boy. This means that the results cannot be generalised because Little Hans may be unrepresentative of the general population, or even of the population of little boys. Key terms: It is important to use words like representative and generalisable. If you know how the sample has been selected e.g. Milgram uses a self selecting sample (people responded to adverts) then you should refer to “self selecting” sample in your answer.
  • 2. c) This question usually asks you to describe the procedure of the study. The wording of the question can be difficult. Here are some examples of questions that are all asking you to describe the procedure: • Describe how data was gathered in the Loftus and Palmer study. • Describe the way data was collected in Savage-Rumbaugh et al. • Describe how behaviour was measured in the study by Samuel and Bryant • Describe how children’s behaviour was observed in the study by Bandura et al. Don’t be put off by the different ways the questions are worded. They are all asking you to do the same thing: describe the procedure. Sentence Starters: In the study by _______________ data was collected by asking participants to ____________________ The study by ___________ was a case study. This means that the data was gathered by _______________________ In order to find out ___________________________ Loftus and Palmer showed participants ___________________________________ There are lots of ways you can start this question off. Follow the order of the procedure as it is in your text book. Example: Data for the experiment was gathered through four basic tasks: the eyes task, the gender recognition task, a basic emotions task and Happe’s Strange Stories task. The subjects were tested individually, either in their own home, a researcher’s clinic or in there own home. The eyes task involved showing __________________ In the gender recognition task participants were asked to _________ Key terms: You can say what kind of data is being collected: Quantitative (numerical) and qualitative (open word based responses).
  • 3. d) This question will ask you to outline an advantage and disadvantage of the data or research method (laboratory experiment, quasi experiment, field experiment, case study, observation, self report, longitudinal, snap shot) You should use the Point Example Comment structure for this question Sentence Starters: One advantage of the ____________ method is that _____________ For example, in the study by ________________ they used _______ However, it could also be argued that_________________________ One disadvantage of collecting quantitative/qualitative data is that ___ For example, in the study by _______________they used interviews/scores and this meant _________________________________________________ In addition, this type of data is ___________________________________ You should use connectives to link your sentences. • If your comment agrees with the previous point then use words like: In addition, Also, Indeed, Consequently, It can also be seen that, Therefore, Furthermore • If your comment disagrees with the point then use words like: However, Nevertheless, Albeit, Despite Example: Point:One advantage of the laboratory method is that it has high levels of control. Example: For example, in Loftus and Palmer they controlled extraneous variables by making sure that each group saw the same film clips and was asked the same questions, except for the verb change in the critical question. Comment: However, the study was low in ecological validity because seeing a film of a car crash is very different to seeing it in real life. In real life you would not be watching the event expecting to be asked questions about it, as you would when taking part in an experiment, so you would remember it differently. Key Terms: There are many key terms you can use in this question. It depends on what the question is about, but all of them could be used. Lab. Experiment: high levels of control, low ecological validity, reductionist, ethics Quasi-experiment: ecological validity, application to everyday life, ethics, the independent variable is not manipulated Case Study: longitudinal, qualitative data, not replicable, not generalisable, ethics
  • 4. e) This question will usually ask you about the results or conclusions of the experiment. Make sure you don’t get them mixed up. They are different and this is clear in your textbook. Sentence Starters: The results of the study show that ____________________________________ This provide support for the aim because ______________________________ For example, in condition __________ we can see that __________________ The study concludes that __________________________________________ The researchers found that ________________________________________ In addition we can see that ________________________________________ Example: The results of Samuel and Bryant’s study show that children get better at conserving as they get older. For example, in the one question condition the 5 year olds performed less well with 7 as the mean number of errors, whereas 8 year olds made only 1 mean number of errors. The study by Samuel and Bryant concludes that children must have been using their knowledge of conservation when they solved the one question task and they must also have used their knowledge of the pre- transformation to do this because they did better in the one question task than the standard (two question) and the fixed array task. The important lesson is that children may possess certain cognitive abilities (such as conservation) but may not display these when questioned in a certain way. Key Words: The key words you use in this question will most likely be related to the study. f) This question usually asks you to suggest two changes to the study, and to comment on the implications of these changes. You should think about the weaknesses of each study. Then think of how you could change the study to deal with these weaknesses. Sentence Starters: One weakness of the study is that ____________________________________ One change I could make to this is that _______________________________ This change would mean that _______________________________________ It would mean that the scores of the participants would increase/decrease because _________________________________________________________ Another weakness of the study is ___________________________________ This could be dealt with by ________________________________________ Changing the _____________ would mean that ________________________ Example: One weakness of the study by Bandura is that it is low in ecological validity: it is unlikely that a child would witness an adult behaving aggressively towards a blow up doll. One change I could make to this study is to change the model so that it was more like a real life event to
  • 5. the children. Instead of an adult the model could be an older child, trained to act out certain aggressive actions using toys. For example, the older child could use a toy gun and pretend to shoot at the other toys, or hit the other toys with a hammer. The non-aggressive child model would play a card game like patience. The younger participant would observe this behaviour and then be offered the same toys while being observed by two independent observers. This change would mean that the study had a higher level of ecological validity because children are more likely to see older children playing violent games e.g. in the playground. This change to the study would increase the aggressive behaviours observed in both girls and boys because they would be more willing to imitate the behaviour of a model closer to them in age. Also they would be less intimidated by this model than an aggressive adult. Key terms: You should use key terms that link to the weakness of the study e.g. ecological validity, sample, generalisation, ethics, reductionist, qualitative and quantitative data.
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