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1. Langer and Rodin (1976) The effects of choice and enhanced personal responsibility for the aged. Exam questions There are 5 types of questions on PY2. This booklet…
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  • 1. Langer and Rodin (1976) The effects of choice and enhanced personal responsibility for the aged. Exam questions There are 5 types of questions on PY2. This booklet will take you through the different types and using Langer and Rodin’s study show you how to answer the questions. 1. Summarise the aims and context of…... This question is an AO1 question and is asking you to describe what happened before the actual study. It is the background that leads to the study in question. No study happens in a vacuum so you need to explain other studies that came before or things that were happening in the world that interested psychologists and sparked off the study in question. You also need to write down the aim of the study. 2. Outline the procedures of………. This is an AO1 question that wants you to describe what happened in the study itself. You write your answer like a set of instructions for doing the study. 3. Describe the findings and conclusions of…... This is an AO1 question that wants you to describe the findings and conclusion in the study itself. You might be including lots of data in your answer e.g.%s 4. Evaluate the methodology of….. This is an AO2 question asking you to evaluate the method used by the researchers. This is like the methodology question on PY1. 5. With reference to alternative evidence critically assess……. This is another AO2 question asking you to say how successful the original study was compared to other similar studies either before or after the original. Question type 4 or 5 is repeated once to make a total of 6 15minute/12 marks questions in the first section of the exam. So let’s see how this works with a real example- Langer and Rodin (1976) The effects of choice and enhanced personal responsibility for the aged. This is one of your 10 core studies.
  • 2. Langer and Rodin (1976) The effects of choice and enhanced personal responsibility for the aged. AIMS and context Write a paragraph on each of these ideas and then finish by stating the aim of Langer and Rodin’s study 1. Why study the elderly? Is behaviour seen here likely to be different to else where? What would researchers be able to do to help elderly people? How many people would be helped? Why is this more important now than in previous decades? What difficulties will researchers typically face when studying the elderly? Why might few people want to study old people? What negative stereotypes do people have of the elderly? What methods of research are likely to be successful? What have previous studies found about this area? You could mention studies about control or the elderly e.g. Ferrare (1962) found 17 elderly people in his sample of geriatric patients who said they had had to move into a residential home against their will; 16 of them were dead within 14 weeks! All these deaths had been unexpected. What is the aim of this study?
  • 3. Procedures questions Outline the procedures of………. This is an AO1 question that wants you to describe what happened in the study itself. You write your answer like a set of instructions for doing the study. Use these slides to help you. Langer and Rodin (1976) “The effect of choice and enhanced personal responsibility for the aged: a field experiment in an institutional setting” Procedure 1. Field experiment-nursing home 2. IV was extent of choice, DV questionnaire and observations of well being 3. Independent groups-condition A was responsibility induced group- condition B was comparison/control 4. Both groups received talks 5. Condition A received talk on their own responsibility-got a plant to look after and got to arrange furniture and choose films 6. Condition B-got talk on how it was the staff responsibility to look after them-arrange their rooms, given a plant and film rota. 7. Follow up visit 8. Questionnaires were conducted a week before and 3 weeks after talks 9. Self report questionnaires rated for happiness, activity level, control, 0-8 10. Nurses assessment 0-10 on happiness dependency, alertness, activity and sociability Langer and Rodin (1976) “The effect of choice and enhanced personal responsibility for the aged: a field experiment in an institutional setting” Procedure-controls Both groups got talk about same items Both got follow up visits Lived on 2 different floors-unaware of each other Nurses rating well being-not aware of aims of study Same level of attention was given to both groups Langer and Rodin (1976) “The effect of choice and enhanced personal responsibility for the aged: a field experiment in an institutional setting” Sample 91 residents Aged 65-90 39 females/8 male=condition A 4th floor 35 females/9 male condition B 2nd floor All been in home same length of time All mobile ( some in wheelchairs) None had given informed consent Findings and conclusions
  • 4. Describe the findings and conclusions of…... This is an AO1 question that wants you to describe the findings and conclusion in the study itself. You might be including lots of data in your answer e.g. %s Measure Change Change RIG CG Condition A Condition B Self report happiness 0.28 -0.12 Perceived control (have) 0.16 0.41 Alertness (observer rating) 0.29 -0.37 Visiting other patients 6.78 -3.3 Nurses rating General improvement 3.97 -2.39 Nurses rating Write a summary of the data in this table Write an additional 2 sentences of findings e.g. Who participated more in the film nights and competitions? Was there a difference in the amount of time spent chatting to staff in the two groups? Write a conclusion What do the findings clearly support? How big are the improvements? What are the implications of these findings for old people’s homes? Evaluate the methodology
  • 5. This is an AO2 question asking you to evaluate the method used by the researchers. This is like the methodology question on PY1. Langer and Rodin used a field experiment, a questionnaire and an observation as their methodology. Write down your ideas in this table. Feature strength weakness Sample size and type Control s- independent groups design Replicable- time and place External validity really measures happiness? (internal validity) Fits in with other research- concurrent validity ethical reductionist Population validity Observer bias Alternative evidence This is another AO2 question asking you to say how successful the original study was compared to other similar studies either before or after the original.
  • 6. Use your alternatives booklet to help you answer this. Example answer In 1977 Langer and Rodin did a follow up study and found that the mortality rates between the two groups were very striking. The experimental group had a mortality rate of 15% whereas the control group had a mortality rate of twice that- 30%. This seems to indicate that the enhanced responsibility and control set in motion in the original study had prolonged beneficial effects thus supporting Langer and Rodins conclusion in 1976. This is further supported by research investigating the relationship between control and stress and it’s influence on health- Cohen (1993) gave Ps a nasal spray containing the common cold virus and he found that those Ps who were stressed and felt they lacked control over their lives were the Ps who went on to develop colds. Schulz also looked at the effect of more control in old people’s homes. In his study residents in one group could control when and for how long they were visited by college students whereas in other groups the visits were not controlled, random or there were no visits. The group with control showed the biggest positive impact. This supports Langer and Rodins study as they also showed positive benefits to having control. It does seem to be the case that Langer and Rodins study has concurrent validity. Studies completed more recently such as the Berlin Ageing Study (2000) and the German Ageing Study (2007) have also supported the link between perceived control and emotional well being. 245 words - this would be at least one side of paper if written
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