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1. G542Your guide to Section B in the exam.. 2. This section has questions which focus on methodology and/or issues.Methods ã Experimental (laboratory and field) Jan 09…
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  • 1. G542Your guide to Section B in the exam..
  • 2. This section has questions which focus on methodology and/or issues.Methods • Experimental (laboratory and field) Jan 09 • Case study June 10 What has come up already? • Self-report ?? Worth thinking about what • Observation Jan 12 could come up in this exam… • Reliability ?? • Validity ??Issues • Ethics June 09 • Ecological validity ?? This could be a good bet!! Or reliability or validity – none • Longitudinal ?? of these have come up yet. • Snapshot Jan 11 • Qualitative data June 11 • Quantitative data Jan 10There will be a choice of 3 studies from which you need to choose ONE.There will always be SIX parts to the question which will always be progressive in the demandswith each part being compulsory.Total for Section = 36 though allocation of marks within the section may vary.All parts (a-f) should be answered in relation to the study selected from the 3 offered.Therefore if, for example, a candidate is asked to give advantages and disadvantages ofobservation, any advantage and disadvantage can be identified but should be supported byevidence from the selected study.
  • 3. Section B: Top tipsREMEMBER: Context matters!!The key to achieving a high mark in section B is to contextualize your answer usingevidence from the core study you have chosen. Explain why your chosen study can be considered a snapshot study. (4)This hasn‟t got it…A snapshot study is a study where participants from different groups are studiedsimultaneously, often only once, and their behaviour is compared.This has it…A snapshot study is a design where participants from different groups are studiedsimultaneously, often only once, and their behaviour is compared. Loftus & Palmerstudied students who were split into different experimental groups and they tested themonly once with different verbs to see the effect of leading questions on the accuracy ofeyewitness testimony. The performance of each group was then compared. Have you got it? “What study is it about?”Read every answer and think… ‘what study is it about?’Check, check and check again that you have linked your answer to your chosencore study.Read all the questions in section B before you get started particularly (e) and (f).Sometimes changes and implications are asked separately and sometimes as onequestion. Check before you get started.
  • 4. Let’s have a look at a Section B question from June2011…Choose one of the core studies below and answer parts (a) – (f) on your chosen study: • Rosenhan: ‘On being sane in insane places’ • Reicher and Haslam : ‘BBC prison study’ • Dement and Kleitman: ‘sleep and dreaming’ (a) Briefly outline how qualitative data was gathered in your chosen study. (2) (b) Describe two examples of qualitative data recorded in your chosen study. (4) (c) With reference to your chosen study, suggest one strength and one weakness of qualitative data. (d) Describe how your chosen study was conducted. (8) (e) Suggest how your chosen study could be improved. (8) (f) Outline the implications of the improvements suggested for your chosen study. (8)A candidates answer…REICHER & HASLAM MARK?16(a) In Reicher and Haslam‟s study, qualitative data was collected throughobservations using video recordings and also standardised self-reports asquestionnaires, but mainly through observation.16(b) Reicher and Haslam recorded the behaviour of the guards and prisonersin their setting using video recordings throughout the whole study. Forexample, they recorded a group of three prisoners planning to rebel againstthe guards. Another example of qualitative data recorded was from thequestionnaires that were carried out by the participants on more than oneoccasion to gather qualitative data about how they were feeling.16(c) One strength of qualitative data is that it provides rich data forresearchers to analyse. For example, in the study by Reicher and Haslam,they had lots of rich data from the hours of video recordings of what went on inthe mock prison. However a weakness of qualitative data could be that itcannot be quantified and so one cannot make comparisons. For example,Reicher and Haslam may have wished to compare their results to the Stanfordprison experiment as it was based on that but they could not do this.
  • 5. 16(d) Reicher and Haslam got their male sample through advertising in anewspaper. The applicants then went through tests to check they wereapplicable mentally and physically. Then the study began and all participantsarrived separately, these were the prisoners. The guards had previouslyarrived the day before and been briefed on how to treat the prisoners. Theguards were given uniforms to assert authority on them and they already in thesetting and in their roles when the prisoners arrived. The prisoners were alsogiven a uniform but they were all identical and had a number, not a name on,to provide deinvidualisation. They were then left to live in the prison for twoweeks and were observed through video recordings the whole time. Dailyquestionnaires were carried out and saliva swab tests to inform theresearchers of the feelings, thoughts and health of their participants. It was alaboratory experiment where the a BBC studio had been designed to look likea prison.16(e) Reicher and Haslam was a very ethical study, however it had lowecological validity because the setting was artificial and it was actually alaboratory experiment. This study could be improved by changing the locationof the study. For example, part of a prison or an old prison could be where thestudy takes place to reduce demand characteristics of the participantsbecause the setting would be less artificial. Another improvement that could bemade is to repeat the experiment with another group of people twice more,with a mixed gender group too. This could make the sample larger andtherefore more representative of the rest of the population. Also a mixedgender group could develop the study to see what differences gender makesin socialising and group membership. These improvements would mainlyreduce demand characteristics and increase the reliability and validity of thedata collected. A final improvement could be to not televise the data becausethen participants may behave more naturally and again it may provide morevalid findings and reduce demand characteristics.16(f) Changing the location to a real prison may raise ethical issues, such asprotection from harm, especially if it was a running prison with real criminalspresent. Associating innocent people with criminals whilst they are in prisoncould be very dangerous and perhaps not worth reducing demandcharacteristics for. Repeating the experiment with two more groups ofparticipants would take time to recruit and test the participants again and costa lot of money if it was all being recorded and televised again. A mixed gendergroup may raise ethical issues because some may say there is a higher risk ofharm to the women involved and it would take longer to analyse the results.However it would develop the research in a positive way, but could be arguedthat it would not be valid because it would not be measuring whatReicher and Haslam set out to measure. Also, not televising the experimentmay make it more difficult to find the sample because many applicants mayhave applied because the idea of being on television appealed to them.However this means the participants who did apply would provide Reicher andHaslam with more valid data because the people involved will be less likely torespond to demand characteristics.
  • 6. Mark Scheme (a) No marks for referring to ‘interview’ in Reicher & Haslam. Reicher and Haslam: Qualitative data was gathered through observations made by the researchers via the audio and video recordings made by the BBC which allowed them to gather information both about the guards‟ and prisoners‟ thoughts, feelings and behaviours. 0 marks – No or irrelevant answer. 1 mark – Partial or vague answer eg Reicher and Haslam: observed participants, no link to the chosen study eg qualitative data was gathered through observations. 2 marks – The outline of how qualitative data was gathered is accurate and clearly related to the chosen study, as outlined above. (b) This answer requires examples of qualitative data taken from the original study. - That the guards failed to identify with each other as a group and to cohere collectively. - That after the promotion on day 3 the prisoners increasingly identified as a group and worked collectively to challenge the guards. - That once participants had decided to work as a self-governing „commune‟ they were unable to deal with internal dissent and lost confidence in the communal system. - That before promotion two prisoners worked conscientiously to improve their position by displaying behaviour required to become a guard. - That several guards were wary of assuming and exerting their authority. - Other appropriate answer, eg extra food was given to the prisoners. 0 marks – No or irrelevant answer. 1 mark – Partial or vague answer eg Reicher and Haslam: guards didn‟t form a group, prisoners became a group 2 marks – A clear description of an example of qualitative data drawn explicitly from the chosen study, as outlined above (2 + 2) (c) If there is no obvious generic strength/weakness the ceiling is 2 marks. Strength: Most likely answers should have a generic introduction and then include details specific to the chosen study eg: - Generic strength: qualitative data allows the researcher to gather rich, in-depth detail about an individual or small, organised group. - Then linked to chosen study: Reicher and Haslam: were able to found out that one prisoner said “I‟d like to be a guard because they get all the luxuries and we are not.” - Other appropriate generic strength supported by relevant example from chosen study.
  • 7. 0 marks – No or irrelevant answer. 1 mark – Peripherally relevant strength is identified, not linked to the chosen study and with little or no elaboration eg gives great understanding/insight of how and why people behave the way they do. 2 marks – An appropriate strength is explained but is basic and lacks detail. A vague/weak link is made to the chosen study showing some understanding, 3 marks – An appropriate strength is explained and is accurate and elaborated. There is a clear, developed link eg example/evidence to the chosen study showing good understanding, as outlined above. Weakness: Most likely answers should have a generic introduction and then include details specific to the chosen study eg: - Generic weakness: qualitative data is frequently unique making it difficult to analyse. - Then linked to chosen study: Reicher and Haslam: found that some of the guards identified with the high-status and positive values associated with the role within a prison whereas several were wary of assuming and exerting their authority. - Other appropriate generic weakness supported by relevant example from chosen study. 0 marks – No or irrelevant answer. 1 mark – Peripherally relevant weakness is identified, not linked to chosen study and with little or no elaboration eg participant variables may influence results rather the independent variable. 2 marks – An appropriate weakness is explained but is basic and lacks detail. A vague/weak link is made to the chosen study showing some understanding. 3 marks – An appropriate weakness is explained and is accurate and elaborated. There is a clear, developed link to the chosen study showing good understanding, as outlined above. (3 + 3) (d) Likely answers may cover the following content:Reicher and Haslam: worked with the BBC who built a simulated prison environment at ElstreeStudios in London, filmed and broadcast the study. Over 8 days Reicher and Haslam examinedthe behaviour of 15 men who were sought through national newspapers and leaflets. The initialpool of 332 applicants was reduced to 27 through screening using psychometric tests,assessments by clinical psychologists, and medical and character references. The final 15 werechosen to ensure a diversity of age, social class and ethnic origin. They were then divided into 5groups of 3 people, matched on personality variables. From each group of 3, one individual wasrandomly selected to be a guard and the other 2 prisoners, one of whom was not involved at thebeginning of the study. The 5 guards were invited to a hotel the evening before the study began.They were shown the prison timetable and were told their responsibility was to ensure the prisonran as smoothly as possible, and that the prisoners performed all their tasks. They were thenasked to draw up a series of prison rules and punishments. No other guidance was given exceptthat they had to abide by the predetermined ethical rules and that no physical violence could beused. On the morning of the study they were taken in a blacked-out van to the prison and thenbriefed on the prison layout and the resources available to them. They then changed into swell-made „guards‟ uniforms. The 9 prisoners then arrived one at a time and on arrival had their hairshaved off. They were given no information apart from the prison rules, a list of prisoner rightsand a prisoner‟s uniform. They were assigned 3 to a cell after which an announcement was madewhich introduced the permeability intervention. This was created by telling the prisoners that the
  • 8. guards had been selected because of certain personality characteristics but that if they showedsimilar traits they might be promoted to guards. One prisoner was promoted but after that theywere told no more promotions were possible. After 3 days participants were told there were noactual differences between guards and prisoners but it would be impractical to re-assignparticipants. The groups were therefore not legitimate. On day 4, prisoner 10 was introduced toprovide cognitive alternatives. Being a trade union official it was thought he might provide theskills to negotiate and organise collectivist action. By Day 8 an authoritarian system of inequalitywas about to be initiated but because of ethical constraints this could not be imposed so thestudy was stopped. 0 marks – No or irrelevant answer. 1-3 marks – Description of how the chosen study was conducted is very basic and lacks detail and accuracy (eg two or three general statements are identified). Some understanding may be evident. Expression is generally poor with few, if any, psychological terms and few, if any, links to the chosen study. 4-6 marks – Description of how the study was conducted is accurate though there will be some omissions. Fine details are occasionally present and understanding is evident. Expression and use of psychological terminology is reasonable and there are some clear, appropriate links to the chosen study. 7-8 marks – Description of how the chosen study was conducted is accurate and detailed with few or no omissions. The detail is appropriate to the level and time allowed. Understanding, expression and use of psychological terminology are very good. There are many, clear and appropriate links to the chosen study. (e) This question part requires candidates to describe what they would improve and how they would do it. Suggestions here may not be practical or ethical but they should still receive credit. Implications mentioned in this question part do not gain credit. EACH ISSUE RAISED, REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF IMPROVEMENTS SUGGESTED SHOULD ONLY BE CONSIDERED AS ONE CHANGE EG REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY ETHICAL IMPROVEMENTS ARE SUGGESTED THIS COULD ONLY COUNT AS 1 CHANGE SO CANNOT GAIN MORE THAN 6 MARKS WITHOUT ANOTHER ISSUE BEING CONSIDERED EG IMPROVEMENT TO METHODOLOGYAnswers are likely to refer to ways of:- Improving ecological validity.- Reducing the chance that demand characteristics/social desirability will influence results.- Making the study longitudinal rather than snapshot- Improving any ethical issues.- Other appropriate suggestions should be considered and accepted. 0 marks – No or irrelevant answer. 1-3 marks – Some improvements are suggested which are very basic and lack detail (one or two general statements are identified eg do the study in a natural environment). There are few, if any, suggestions as to how the improvements could be implemented. Some understanding may be evident. The answer is unstructured, muddled, and grammatical structure is poor. There are few, if any, links to the chosen study. The answer is very list- like. NB: A maximum of 3 marks can be gained if the answer is not linked to the chosen study.
  • 9. 4-6 marks – Description of one or more appropriate changes is accurate. Detail is good and basic suggestions are made as to how the improvements could be implemented. Understanding is evident. Expression and use of psychological terminology is reasonable. The answer has some structure and organisation, is mostly grammatically correct and has few spelling errors. There are some clear, appropriate links to the chosen study. 7-8 marks – Description of at least two appropriate changes is accurate and clear links to the chosen study are evident throughout. Sound suggestions are made as to how the improvements could be implemented. Detail is appropriate to level and time allowed. Understanding, expression, literacy and use of psychological terminology are good. The answer is competently structured and organised and is grammatically correct with only occasional spelling errors.(f) Answers are likely to refer to:- More natural/realistic behaviour will be recorded.- Improved reliability.- Improved generalisability.- Improved usefulness.- Changes in findings/results.- Advantages/disadvantages of improving possible ethical issues.- Sampling problems.- Cost and time implications.- Other appropriate suggestions should be considered and accepted. 0 marks – No or irrelevant answer eg repetition of suggestions made in part (e). 1-3 marks – Implications are very basic and lack detail (eg one or two general statements are identified such as increased EV, no demand characteristics). Some understanding may be evident. Expression is generally poor. The answer is unstructured, lacks organisation, grammatical structure is poor and there are many spelling errors. There are few, if any, links to the chosen study. NB: A maximum of 3 marks can be gained if the answer is not linked to the chosen study or relate to only one implication. 4-6 marks – Description of implications is accurate. Detail is good and some understanding is evident. Expression and use of psychological terminology is reasonable. The answer has some structure and organisation. The answer is mostly grammatically correct with some spelling errors. There are some clear, appropriate links to the chosen study. 7-8 marks – Description of implications is accurate and clear links to the chosen study are evident throughout. Detail is appropriate to level and time allowed. Understanding is very good. Expression and use of psychological terminology is good. The answer is competently structured and organised. The answer is grammatically correct with occasional spelling errors
  • 10. Ecological ValidityThis type of validity refers to how well a study can be related to or reflectsreal life. It can be argued that a piece of research conducted in an artificialenvironment such as a lab, where everyone knows that they are taking partin an experiment is not going to produce the same results as a studyconducted in a more realistic environment. Psychologists would say that suchresearch is low in ecological validity. Strengths and weaknesses of ecological validity?ReliabilityReliability refers to how consistent a measuring device is. A measurement issaid to be reliable or consistent if the measurement can produce similarresults if used again in similar circumstances. That means that only reallycontrolled laboratory experiments are really reliable as they have contr
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