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1. Research methods paper 2Nov 2012 An applied look at research methodsDATA – a researcher isinvestigating whether females A METHODS USED- A STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS…
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  • 1. Research methods paper 2Nov 2012 An applied look at research methodsDATA – a researcher isinvestigating whether females A METHODS USED- A STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OFfind males who can provide THE FOLLOWING METHODSresources more attractive. Alaboratory experiment is 1 Laboratory experiment-conducted. The researcher showsthe participants a picture of the S1 A strength of this laboratory experiment is that cause andsame man with a lonely heart ad effectcan be shown(eg that the wealth of a man is likely toeither stating that he is wealthy lead to a date.this is because extraneous variables can beor stating that he does not havemuch wealth. The participants controlled(eg using the same picture means that the actualwere then asked to rate how attractiveness of the man will not affect results)-this increaseslikely they would be to go out validitywith him if he asked them (on ascale of 1-10!). Results are; S2 A strength of this laboratory experiment is that it can bewealthy guy mean score 8.not replicated to see if the same results occur(eg the experimentwealthy guy 6. can be repeated in a few weeks to see if the same results of 6S1 What do you think leads to the & 8 occur, this will show reliability if the results are the same orratings? similar.S2 Just re-state the study and D1 A disadvantage of this laboratory experiment is that it isrepeat the results low in mundane realismegin real life most dating is not doneD1 Simply decide on one thing in a laboratory but in more natural social settings. The artificialthat people would not normally setting might lead to low validity because the participants mightdo or would not do in that setting not accept dates in this way in real lifeD2 These are all extraneousvariables (anything that might D2 A disadvantage of this laboratory experiment mighthave led to the wealthy man be/participant effects(eg there could be differences betweenreceiving a higher rating than the the participants rating the likelihood of a date egthose whonon-wealthy man but not his rated the wealthy guy might have been more shallow than thewealth of course!) group who rated the ‘non-wealthy guy’ so affecting the scoresParticipant effects-any plausibledifferences between those rating investigator effects (eg the researcher might believe thatthe wealthy man compared to the more resources will attract women and so the researcher mightnon- wealthy man(don’t use if the be more positive when asking the participants to rate thesame participants do both wealthy guy than when asking the group to rate the not wealthyconditions of course!) guy so unwittingly encouraging a higher scoreInvestigator effects-Anything theresearcher might do to elicit the ordemand characteristics(eg)this could mean factors otherresponse expected!(probably this than the IV (eg the label ‘a wealthy guy’ might encouragewill not be deliberate) participants to give a high score because they think that is what is wanted )so this might have caused the observed resultsthus reducing validity
  • 2. 2 Field experiment S1 A strength of this field experiment might be that it is a realA Researcher is investigating life setting(eg a bridge/ bridges that people cross normally andwhether people in a highadrenaline setting might be more this will lead to the participants(eg) acting more naturally(eg ifattracted to other people (of the they normally would phone up in these circumstances they willsex to whom they are attracted) now too!) this would give the field experiment ecologicalThe female researcher walksto validity(eg)the middle of a shaky rope bridgeand tells the first 50 men that S2 A strength of this field experiment is that it avoidspass her that she is doing someDemand characteristics(eg the participants do not knowresearch on tourism and if they that they are taking part in an experiment on attraction)=moreare interested in finding out more validitysince they will likely act in a natural way(eg phone upthey should phone her(Chloe)onthe number she gave them. On the researcher if they feel the urge to do so, while notanother day she stands on a suspecting any ulterior motive)sturdy stone bridge and doesexactly the same but gives her D1 A disadvantage of this field experiment is that it might bename as Hannah. The Results; 35 hard to control certain extraneous variablesphoned for ‘Chloe’25 phoned forHannah. The researcher had eg participant effects= It might be that themen who she metdecided that the number of phone on the shaky bridge were all more extroverted than those oncalls would show a romantic the sturdy bridge and that as such they were more likely tointerest in the researcher! phone so affecting the number of phone callsS1 If participants were in a reallife setting then what they do or demand characteristics(eg although this is a naturalduring this study is likely to be setting the unknowing participants might still think the ‘meeting’how they would act under similar was odd and just phone out of curiosity because that is whatcircumstances so the results they thought was expected of them! meaning less validity(egfound are likely to be the same on the calls were made because the men guessed that was whatother similar occasions. Thismeans we can predict the same they should do!(nothing to do with attraction)findings would occur generally D2 A disadvantage of this field experiment is that it might beS2 Most field experiment hard to replicate(egwhy?Participants- The participants wereparticipants do not know they are unique on this occasion the men who crossed the bridge wouldparticipants! not be the same ones who crossed in the future! So it would beD1 Don’t worry about really hard to copy this field experiment in the futurecontradiction! Even though theymight not know, aspects of thestudy might be weird enough toalert them of a set up!D2 The researcher is never goingto have the same participantsagain
  • 3. 3 Natural experiment S1 A strength of this Natural experiment is that it avoids someThe natural experiment does not participant effects(eg revising more to prove a point!)=moreinvolve artificially changing theIV but rather researchers use validity since they will likely act in a natural way the Gothnatural differences in IV’s. In our participants will have studied in a completely natural setting orfirst example the IV was whether will have acted in a natural way(eg revised as they wouldthe participants saw a wealthy normally do at home or with their peers)man or a not so wealthy man. Inour second it was whether the S2 A strength of this natural experiment is that it allows themen were met on a shaky or study of things that can’t be manipulated for ethical orsturdy bridge. practical reasons(eg Goths exist, forcing naïve teenagers toSo for example if we think of the dress up in black etc might be unethical)IV as simply a difference/ ordifferent experience we can easily D1 A disadvantages of this natural experiment is that it can’tfind groups of people who are showcause and effect-eg IV is not manipulated(eg the Gothdifferent in some way or who experience has not been created by the researchers so wenaturally have different cannot state that the higher Goth mean score of 95% wasexperiences; caused/ a result of them being Goths it might be due to otherMale/female -public school/state factorsschool-brown eyes/blue eyes-vegetarian/non vegetarian- D2 A disadvantage of this natural experiment is that there areGoth/non-Goth many extraneous variables(eg-mostly participant effects etcOur researcher is investigating for example it might be that the Goth participants already had awhether Goths are more higher IQ than the non-Goths)this reduces validityintelligent than non-Goths.Rather than creating a group ofGoths with black eyeliner etc sheis going to find teenagers who areGoth like and teenagers who donot exhibit Goth characteristics.She has designed an intelligencetest out of 100. Results mean Gothscore 95%. Mean non-Goth score85%S1-Just say whatever they do inthe study is what they would belikely to do in othercircumstancesS2-Just show how impossible orunethical it might be to create thedifferent groups artificiallyD1-If the researcher doesn’tartificially change the IV we can’tassume cause and effect only arelationshipD2- Anything other than being aGoth that could affect the test
  • 4. 4 Correlational analysis S1 An advantage of this correlational analysis is that we canFirstly we will look at humanLet’s do life events and illness for discover if there is a relationship between the co variables(egobservation-the advantages andour correlational analysis. Firstlydisadvantages will obviouslywith a correlational analysis be life event score and illness amount- ie there seems to be aeffected by whether or nothere is no cause(IV)they know positive relationship between stress and illness)they are being looked at oreffect(DV) so the variables arenot!|Our researcher issimply called co-variables! S2 An advantage of this correlational analysis is that we caninvestigating the differences discover the strength of any relationship between the coOur researcher takes a group ofbetween the helpfulness of boys variables(eg +0.96 suggests a strong positive relationshipstudents and gets them to fill in acompared to girls. The researcher between stress and illness)questionnaire, which askshas decided to measure thequestions such as ‘have you beennumber of times boys hold a door D1 A disadvantage of this correlational analysis is we can’texpected to do any householdopen for girls compared to girls. show cause and effect-a 3rd IVeg we can’t say that stresschores in the last 6 months’ thisThis time thought anwas givenIa stress score of causes illness, eg the students who were more stressed mightobservation of animal behaviour95/100. Further questions have drunk more and it might have been the drink which couldwould be interesting to look a justincluded ‘Have you quickly have have led to the finding leading to lowexternal validityin make up researcher isto case. The an excuse for failinginvestigating whetherto hand in work?-70/100 &Haschimpanzees out that you moreanyone foundin a zoo showfailedaggression when a keeper wasyour driving test -60/100 & haspresent. The been missing for 15your I phone researchers recordedaggressive more acts when theminutes or chimp110/100. Theirkeeper was there then added upmean scores were and when thekeeper was absentand participants were put in oneof 10 ‘stress bands’What if the participants(eitherthe people notes in the next 6School sickin case1or the chimpsin case were then counted andmonths2 are aware that they arebeing watched/observed? illnessstudents were assigned anYoucan still say that naturalscore. Results ;those with thebehaviour will be observed buthighest stress scores had theyou can also suggest that thehighest illness scores-correlationobserver if seencoefficient +0.96can actuallyaffect behaviour! Ie people mightD1-think of something else otherwant to show themselves in athan the stress that might havebetter light or animals might justcaused illnessbehave differently eg at the zoo ifa keeper is present the chimpsoften respond with displays ofaggression which they wouldn’tshow every day 5 Observation(non participant/ participant/un disclosed- similar to field and natural experiments
  • 5. S1 An advantage of an observational study is that there is likely to be high ecological validity-since natural behaviour isA researcher wishes to observed(if they don’t know big brother is out there!! Soinvestigate whether students are behaviour that is classed as helpful –opening doors-will moststressed by debt. He decides to likely be the same behaviour the participants will displaygive out some 500 questionnaires usually)to undergraduate students whereparticipants have to on a scale of (egless participant variablesin that they are unlikely to act1-5 their stress levels over the differently to what they would normally in terms of the helpfulprevious 6 month period. Some of acts they do(opening doors). So the results here are likely tothe students will then have aninterview reflect what would happen in the general population or less demand characteristics) see natural experiments- they won’t second guess that a researcher is looking at their helpfulness& so won’t act differently to impress! D1 A disadvantage of an observational studyis that there is no control of extraneous variables’sIt might be that the girls observed are genuinely more helpful as a group than girls generally (egobserver bias-it may be that the researcher who wants toA researcher is interested in finds girls more helpful interprets their behaviour as moreinvestigating the nature of the helpfulmaterial posted on Facebook. Shebelieves that the more friends participant variables) –see D1someone has posted on the sitethe greater self -esteem that D2 A disadvantage of an observational studyis that there mightperson will have and this will be be low interrater reliability(eg)in that if more than one personreflected in the number of is tryingto see ‘helpful behaviour they might see different actspositive comments the person differentlyeg whether they think the participant deliberatelywill make.They are given access opened the door or notto a number of facebookaccounts by the account owners Chimp case answers-use S1- but talk about aggressive chimpand do a content analysis on behaviour! Use D1 or D2 but use the examples on leftthese sights to look for positive,neutral or negative commentsmade.I won’t write another case studybut think about Genie/ HM/AnnaOS1 Give an example from thecase-egGenie’about linguisticdevelopmentS1Say why it would be in thiscase depriving a child of care iswrongS2 Suggest a unique thing aboutthe person or group or uniquecircumstances
  • 6. 6 Questionnaire and interviews S1 An advantages of a questionnaire is that it can provide aOf course you only have to pick large amount of data-(egqualitative data)this researcher wasone issue even if the case raisesseveral issues. The data below able to give out 500 questionnaires which would be a largeallows you to see an application sample of quantitative datain every area S2 An advantages of an interview is that the interviewer canA researcher investigates follow lines of enquiry(eg the interviewer might ask awhether the distance sat in class question about debt and then be able to pursue parts offrom the teacher has arelationship with intelligence. answers they are interested in.The participants are V1th form D1 A disadvantage of an interview is-social desireabilitystudents. The class teachersrecord the distance each student bias(eg=untruthful responses)=low validityeg the students whosits away from them. A test is answer might not want to appear stressed so might play theirthen given to all participants stress down in front of an interviewer.(same point fordesigned to measure intelligence. questionnaires!)A correlational analysis is thenmade between test scores and D2 A disadvantage of any self reporting method is recall(iedistance sat. retrospective)low validityeg our respondents might haveHere you can look at one aspect forgotten how stressed or otherwise they were 6 months agoof the study or look at the study for example.as a whole. 7 Content analysis(eg such as analysing lonely heartsRemember the issue of reliabilityis whether what is done is adverts)consistent! S1 An advantage is that there is-high ecologicalTest your own interrater validity(eg=what people actual do) the comments on facebookreliability. Split into 3’s choose 2 were placed under natural conditions.observers/raters. Then take 3 orso minutes to observe the 3rd D1 A disadvantage is –observer bias-(ie in interpretationof theperson and count independently content) the researcher might interpret comments they see onhow often they blink- record your facebook as overly positive because they will be looking forscores. Now do a simplecalculation look at rater positive comments to support the hypothesis1recorded blinks and rater 2recorded blinks. Divide the lowest 8 Case studyscore eg 25 by the highest score S1 Advantages-in depth data-idiographic lots of qualitativeeg 35 and multiply by 100. Thiswill give you a percentage. The datahigher this is the more consistentthe ratersare(80%+ is generally S2 A strength of this case study is that it allows the study ofgood) things that can’t be manipulated for ethical or practical reasons(eg)D1 Disadvantages-hard to generalise from one person to the target population(eg that person might be unique B RELIABILITY-AN ISSUE OF RELIABILITY AND A WAY OF DEALING WITH IT
  • 7. B1The issue here is that the A-testused(eg) in this case there is the possibility that theSame data as above; intelligence test might not produce the same score every timeA researcher investigateswhether the distance sat in class B-Themeasuring instrumentused(eg) in this case the methodfrom the teacher has a used to measure the distance between teacher and studentrelationship with intelligence. might not give the same distance every timeThe participants are V1th formstudents. The class teachers C-or the observations /recordings by differentrecord the distance each student observers(raters)in this case the people measuring thesits away from them. A test is distance between student and teacher might not measure inthen given to all participants the same way(eg one might measure from the desk whiledesigned to measure intelligence.A correlational analysis is then another might measure from the body)made between test scores anddistance sat. Might not be consistent (eg) in that it does not give the same results every time(eg)A –Not applicable here since weare concerned really with the B2 This might bedealt with in the following wayconstruct being measured- in thiscase intelligence Reliability of observers-deal with using interraterThink of a construct such as reliability=training or pilot study (solution toC above) sointelligence/ self people measure in the same wayesteem/attractiveness/ being inlove as being more than one Internal reliability of a questionnaire/ test etc-deal with splitthing! To turn this around think half reliability (solution to A) eg if the test has 100 questionsto yourself what you would then take all the even questions and see if the participantsexpect to see to suggest to you score obtained on these is the same percentage as obtainedthat a couple were in love- think! on the odd questionsHolding hands? Touching? SayingI love you babe? Have a go! External reliability-deal with using test-retest-eg do the wholeThink of each thing as an correlational analysis(distance sat compared to test results) atoperation(not like a medical some point in the future to check if the same results areone)but as something someone obtainedshould do to convince you moreand more that they were in loveetc.So in this case would a high scoreon the test given convince you theparticipants had shown you allthe necessary operations/thingsto convince you they wereintelligent?More often than not just one‘operation’ is given in the dataEg not get close tocreature=phobia(does it?)
  • 8. C VALIDITY AN ISSUE OF VALIDITY AND A WAY OF DEALING WITH ITRemember validity means ‘does A-Issue 1-Decide whether there is any reason why athe study actually measure whatit is supposed to! As below does method of measurement/the study actually measure thelink between distance sat from B-test/questionnaireteacher person and intelligence.So another angle would be to might not actually measure what it is supposed to- thesuggest that the results are due to issue is the(eg the ‘intelligence test)might not measure whatsomething unexpected and are they want it to(eg does this test actually measure ‘intelligence)nothing to do with sittingdistance. Imagine those who sat Deal with using-Content validity-get an expert to check outcloser to the teacher had higherresults- are the results solely due the method and ask them whethe
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