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1. How Science Works Research Methods in Psychology Student Workbook Name …………………………………. Contents Jenny Turner 1 2. Methods and techniques You…
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  • 1. How Science Works Research Methods in Psychology Student Workbook Name …………………………………. Contents Jenny Turner 1
  • 2. Methods and techniques You need to know the following methods and their strengths and weaknesses know it? Experimental method including laboratory, field and natural  ……….  experiments Studies using a correlational analysis  ……….  Observational techniques  ……….  Self-report techniques including questionnaire and interview  ……….  Case studies  ……….  Investigation design You should be familiar with the following features of investigation design: Aims  ……….  Hypotheses including directional and non-directional  ……….  Experimental design (independent groups, repeated measures and  ……….  matched pairs) Design of naturalistic observations including the development and  ……….  use of behavioural categories Design of questionnaires and interviews  ……….  Operationalisation of variables including independent and  ……….  dependent variables (IVs and DVs) Pilot studies  ……….  Control of extraneous variables  ……….  Relaibility and validity  ……….  Awareness of BPS Code of Ethics  ……….  Ethical issues and ways in which psychologists deal with them  ……….  Selection of participants and sampling techniques including  ……….  random, opportunity and volunteer sampling Demand characteristics and investigator effects  ……….  Data analysis and presentation You should be familiar with the following features of data analysis, presentation and interpretation: Presentation and interpretation of quantitative data including  ……….  graphs, scattergrams and tables Analysis and interpretation of qualitative data  ……….  Measures of central tendency including median, mean, mode  ……….  Measures of dispersion including ranges and standard deviation  ……….  Analysis and interpretation of correlational data – positive and  ……….  negative correlations and the interpretation of correlation coefficients Presentation of qualitative data  ……….  The processes involved in content analysis  ……….  The research cycle Jenny Turner 2
  • 3. Research may begin with an observation e.g. Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death, and nobody helped or even rang the police – why was that? Data, observation e.g. I like music when I study Theory e.g. I Results of investigation – learn better when support theory – or not? music is playing Investigate – compare how much is learnt in silence or with music playing – how can we do this? What could go wrong? Research can enable us to answer questions about behaviour, with evidence to support our hypotheses and/or theories. If the evidence does not support the theory, then the theory needs to be changed. It is important to note, that we can disprove a theory, but not prove it. Jenny Turner 3
  • 4. How can we objectively measure whether people learn better with music or silence? You might have some expectation about what you might find – what would this be? What method would you use, and where would you do this? What materials would you use, for the investigation of learning? How would you measure the learning? Who would you pick for this investigation? How would you recruit them? Would you need one group, or more? How would you use your Ps? What method might you use to analyse your data? Can you think of any problems that might occur, that could affect your findings? Jenny Turner 4
  • 5. You might have some You might be thinking eg: expectation about what you ‘People would remember more of what might find – what would this they have learnt if music is playing’ be? This is a hypothesis What method would you use, You could use an experiment, as this is the and where would you do this? only method to show cause and effect. You could do this in the classroom. What materials would you You would need some music, as this is your use, for the investigation of IV (independent variable) – the thing you learning? manipulate. You could provide eg a sheet of new information for everyone to learn, this is your stimulus material. How would you measure the You could give everyone a written test, learning? and the score in this test would show how much learning has taken place. This is operationalising, and the score would be the DV (dependent variable). Who would you pick for this Your target population could be students investigation? How would you of the College, you could use an recruit them? opportunity sample (whoever is available at the time) Would you need one group, or You would need one group to learn with more? How would you use music ( the music condition) and one in your Ps? silence (the no music condition). This means your experimental design is independent groups. What method might you use You could find out the mean score for the to analyse your data? ‘music’ and ‘no music’ groups. Can you think of any Individual differences – you might pick problems that might occur, someone who is unusually bright, or has a that could affect your learning disability, and this might bias findings? your findings. People might not take you seriously, or may just try to do what they think you want (demand characteristics). They may love or hate the music you choose, or it might have some meaning for them (our song) that might be distracting… (extraneous variables) Jenny Turner 5
  • 6. Use these pages to record definitions of key terms you need to know, sometimes you will need to add details such as strengths and limitations (+ and - ) e.g. of a research method. Methods and techcniques Experiment (laboratory) What is it? Nature of use? e.g………………………………………………………………………………………….. + + - - Ethical issues Experiment (field) What is it? e.g………………………………………………………………………………………….. + + - - Jenny Turner 6
  • 7. Experiment (natural) What is it? e.g………………………………………………………………………………………….. + + - - Correlational analysis What is it? e.g………………………………………………………………………………………….. + + - - Jenny Turner 7
  • 8. Observational techniques What is it? • Naturalistic • Controlled • Content analysis e.g………………………………………………………………………………………….. + + - - Jenny Turner 8
  • 9. Self-report techniques including questionnaire and interview What is it? e.g………………………………………………………………………………………….. + + - - Case studies What is it? e.g………………………………………………………………………………………….. + + - - Jenny Turner 9
  • 10. Investigation design Aims Hypothesis Directional hypothesis Non-directional hypothesis Jenny Turner 10
  • 11. Experimental Why do we need this? design Repeated measures: + + - - Independent measures: + + - - Matched pairs + + - - Operationalisatio n Independent variable Jenny Turner 11
  • 12. Dependent variable Pilot study Extraneous variables Control of extraneous variables Reliability Validity BPS Ethics Ethical guidelines Jenny Turner 12
  • 13. Ethical issues Explain each issue How would you deal with the issue? 1. Deception 2. Informed consent 3. Protection of Ps from harm 4. Confidentiality 5. Privacy 6. Right to withdraw Jenny Turner 13
  • 14. Selection of Target population participants Random sampling + + - - Opportunity sampling + + - - Volunteer sampling + + - - Demand characteristics Jenny Turner 14
  • 15. Investigator effects Correlation coefficient Validity Internal validity External validity Jenny Turner 15
  • 16. Hypotheses One-tailed means the same as directional. Which of the following is a directional hypothesis? (i.e. predicts what type of change will occur) Two-tailed means the same as non-directional. (i.e. predicts a change, but not what type or direction of change) Exercise Identify whether each of the following is a directional or non- directional hypothesis  People who are given an organized list of words, will recall a greater number of words than people given a random list. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  Coffee affects learning ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  Blondes have more fun ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  People who use imagery will recall a greater number of words than those who use rehearsal. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  People who smoke will score more highly in intelligence tests than people who don’t smoke. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  Attendance affects exam results. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. WHY psychologists use directional or non-directional hypotheses. Psychologists us a directional hypothesis when past research (theory or study) suggests that the findings will go in a particular direction. Psychologists use a non-directional hypothesis when past research is unclear or contradictory. Jenny Turner 16
  • 17. Exercise Now re-write each hypothesis – if it was directional/one tailed re-write it as a non-directional/two-tailed hypothesis, but if it was non- directional/two-tailed, re-write it as a directional/one tailed hypothesis.  People given a word list in which categories can be found, will recall a greater number of words than people given a random word list. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………  Coffee affects learning ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………  Blondes have more fun than people with other hair colours. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………  People who use imagery will recall a greater number of words than those who use rehearsal. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………  People who smoke will score more highly in intelligence tests than those who who don’t smoke.. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………  Attendance affects exam results. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Jenny Turner 17
  • 18. Research Methods exercise A researcher had recruited 100 students by putting up posters around college. Half the students were given fish oil capsules (Omega-3) for a month. The other half were given capsules that looked the same but contained only sugar. The students all took an IQ (intelligence) test at the start of the experiment, and another one at the end of a month. What were the aims of the experiment? What is the IV? What is the DV? Was the hypothesis: a) People who take Omega-3 will look like a fish. b) People who take Omega-3 will score more highly on IQ tests than people who don’t take Omega-3. c) People who are more intelligent take Omega-3 capsules. An experimenter wanted to test two memory techniques. He made up a word list and some instructions. He planned to get a group of students to try both methods; rehearsing the words, and making up a story. He tried out his experiment but his Ps didn’t understand what to do, so he changed the instructions before doing the experiment properly. The experimenter counted how many words Ps remembered using each technique. What were the aims of the experiment? What is the IV? What is the DV? What happened when the pilot study was done? What was the hypothesis for this experiment (remember he thought the story method would work better)? People who ..……………………………………………………………………. will ………………….……………………………………………………….. Research Methods exercise 2 People who do clog dancing will be happier than people who go fishing. Jenny Turner 18
  • 19. This was studied by asking people who happened to be around if they would try one or other of these activities, then rating their emotional response on a scale of 1 – 10. • Is the hypothesis one-tailed or two-tailed? • What is the IV? • What is the DV? • What is the research design: independent groups or repeated measures? • What is the sampling method? Drinking coffee affects memory This was tested by using people who responded to a poster and a newspaper advertisement. They were all given a memory test, then a large cup of strong coffee, followed by a second memory test. • Is the hypothesis one-tailed or two-tailed? • What is the IV? • What is the DV? • What is the research design: independent groups or repeated measures? • What is the sampling method? Smiling makes you happy, This was tested with a class of A level students. All of their names were put in a hat and a sample drawn out. One group were instructed to spend 5 minutes adopting a wide smile, the other group were instructed to spend 5 minutes looking sad. Then each p was asked to rate their feeling of sadness or happiness on a 10-point scale. • Is the hypothesis one-tailed or two-tailed? • What is the IV? • What is the DV? • What is the research design: independent groups or repeated measures? • What is the sampling method? Correlation Jenny Turner 19
  • 20. A correlation coefficient shows the relationships between two sets of data: + or – shows the correlation is positive or negative, and the value shows the strength of the relationship e.g. -.79 would be a strong negative correlation, but +.3 would be a weak positive correlation Jenny Turner 20
  • 21. Correlations questions 1. Complete the statements: (use ‘increases’ or ‘decreases’) a) Positive correlations: as one variable ………………… , the other …………….……… b) Negative correlations: as one variable ………………… , the other …………….……… 2. Identify whether the following statements indicate a positive or a negative correlation: a) The more classes a student attends, the higher the score in the exam. (positive /negative delete one) b) The quicker a parent responds to a crying baby, the less the baby will cry when older. (positive /negative delete one) 3. Describe the direction and strength of the correlations indicated by the following correlation coefficients: a) +0.95 b) +0.22 c) -0.33 d) -0.67 4. What relationship is shown by this graph: 5. Donald retired from a stressful job. The following week he died of a heart attack, but his doctor stated that his job had not caused this. What other explanation could there be? 6. What are the strengths and weaknesses of correlations? Research Methods Exercise Jenny Turner 21
  • 22. For each of the following (1 – 5), decide which research method would be appropriate, and write an outline plan of how the research could be carried out. If you finish these, you could also do the remaining ones. 1. Are boys more aggressive than girls? Without enquiring into the cause of aggressive behaviour, you’d like to know if there is a difference in the behaviour of boys and girls of primary school age. 2. People in the UK are now working longer hours than in many other European countries, and this may lead to stress and illness. You would like to know if there is a relationship between stress in the workplace and illness. 3. You have acquired the addresses of three holocaust survivors who live in your local area, and are interested in researching their experiences, in as much detail as possible. 4. A report in the press suggests that students learn less if music is playing. However, many students report finding music relaxing and conducive to study. How could you find out in a systematic way what effect music has on learning, making sure that other factors are not responsible? 5. Grimsby Institute is a rapidly-growing provider of educational services. Planning for the following year, the views of a large number of people in the surrounding area need to be sought, in order to ask them lots of questions about their needs for learning, training or personal development. 6. The little-known country Watno Corrie is going to have television for the first time next year. You would like to know what effect it may have on children who will be able to watch tv and film for the first time. 7. There is some evidence that noise and temperature affect aggression levels. You’d like to know if this will affect workers in a factory, perhaps with an impact on production levels. 8. You are interested in factors affecting memory. There is some evidence that imagery techniques (e.g. visualising an item to be recalled in an unusual, vivid nad possibly humorous way) work better than rehearsal (repeating over and over). How could you find out if this is true? Observational Techniques You have decided to observe your brother, sister, cousins and their friends. Jenny Turner 22
  • 23. 1. Decide on some research aims and a research hypothesis. 2. Explain how you could use event sampling in your observation. 3. Explain how you could use time sampling in your observation. 4. Design your coding system/ list of behavioural categories. 5. You plan to do the observation with two others – what issue might arise, and how could you plan for this? 6. Are there any ethical issues relating to this observation? How would you deal with these? 7. How effective would this method be, as a study of the children’s behaviour? Jenny Turner 23
  • 24. Content Analysis - VOCAB _______________________ Method of content analysis in which we count the number of times pairs of words or phrases appear together ________________________ Data that we gather which is made up of words or descriptions _______________________ Explaining or describing a complex idea with a simple single cause _______________________ Method of content analysis in which we count the number of times a word appears ________________________ The way in which we analyse qualitative data in order to draw conclusions ________________________ Data we gather which is made up of numbers ________________________ Method of Content Analysis in which we read through text looking for certain factors and then group examples of those factors into a grid. Terms: Qualitative Data, Quantitative Data, Content Analysis, Frequency Analysis, Concordance Analysis, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPS), and Reductionism. Jenny Turner 24
  • 25. Fill in the blanks What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Content Analysis and for each one can you think of an example (ideally from an area of environmental psychology, but otherwise from real life). I have given one as an example Advantages Disadvantages The first advantage is Individual Differences The first disadvantage is This is an advantage because using content This is a disadvantage because analysis allows us to show that each individual feels differently about an issue For example, in the study by Rogan on the For example, influence of environmental change on human experience, she found that different groups of people in the community felt differently about the impact of environmental degradation The second advantage is The second disadvantage is This is an advantage because This is a disadvantage because For example, For example, Content analysis material by Daniele Harford, Psychexchange Jenny Turner 25
  • 26. Healthy Lifestyle Questionnaire This questionnaire is not very good – please re-write an improved version. 1. Name ……………………………………………… 2. Age: 0 – 10 10 – 15 15 – 20 20 – 30 30+ 3. Is your weight: underweight normal overweight 4. Do you eat a healthy diet? Yes No 5. How would you rate your level of exercise, where 1 = good and 5 = bad 1 2 3 4 5 6. Do you enjoy the taste of healthy food or do you prefer chips? 7. Was it your parents’ fault? Jenny Turner 26
  • 27. Interviews You have heard that your psychology tutor has arranged for you to conduct interviews as a class. Classmates will research and act the role of either Loftus, Baddeley, Bowlby or Ainsworth. Decide who you will interview, and construct a structured interview. How could the data from these interviews be analysed? How would you evaluate the effectiveness of this method of gaining data, if you were able to interview the ‘real’ Loftus etc? Jenny Turner 27
  • 28. Descriptive statistics Definition: …………………………………………………………………………………………………….…........ ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….....
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