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Research Methods.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Methods."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Methods

2 Formulating hypotheses
Most research starts with an idea about something that might be happening. Hypothesis – a testable statement about the relationship between two variables. Variable – a factor or thing that can change Independent variable – the IV is the variable that the researcher manipulates. Dependent variable - the variable that the researcher measures Condition – An experiment is usually organised so there are two trials, after which the performances of the participants are compared. The experiment is looking at the effect of _______________ (IV) on the _______________ (DV)

3 Design Independent groups – All the people are randomly assigned to two or more conditions. One group is exposed to the IV and the others are not. The results from the two groups are compared Repeated measures – The participants remain in one group and go through two conditions one with the IV and one without. The results between the two conditions are compared Matched pairs - The people are tested before the experiment and matched for certain characteristics. Within each pair one of the participants is tested with the IV and the others without and the results are compared.  

4 Standardised procedures - a set order of carrying out the experiment that is applied to all the participants when necessary Random Allocation – when PPs are randomly assigned to the conditions by chance Order effects – this occurs when PPs performance in the second part of the study is better because they have practiced in the fits condition. Counterbalancing – a procedure for balancing out the order in which PP complete both conditions in a study. Extraneous Variable – a variable that is not the IV and may affect the DV Control - Making sure the procedure is the same, to prevent EV’s affecting the results. Randomisation – using chance to produce an order for a procedure. This removes any biases. For example deciding which order 20 words should be presented. Randomisation would mean that the words were pulled out of a hat to decide which order they go.

5 Instructions given to the participants in the experiment should be as follows:
Briefing - introduce yourself to the participants and explain what is going to be happening, gain consent and ensure they are happy to commence. Care should be taken to avoid giving too much away, however all ethical considerations must be addressed. Standard instructions – the clear instructions about exactly what is required in the experiment, with demonstrations of needed. Debriefing - Explain in detail what the study was about and discuss the results with PPs. Ensure they are still happy that they took part and address any other ethical issues such as deception.

6 Research in natural and experimental settings
Research is scientific and takes place in a controlled environment, this has a number of advantages and disadvantages.

7 Control of EVs means it is easier to see cause and effect.
Experiments are controlled and can be replicated - by repeating a study it can checked that it was the real result and not a fluke Experiments are objective because many are set up in such a way that the researcher is not present. The setting can be very artificial and tasks can be unrealistic - there can be a lack of ecological validity. It is possible to overcome this by using a more natural setting PPs usually know they are in the experiment and this could affect the behaviour they produce.

8 Sampling  Participant – a person who is selected to take part in the study Sample – a small group of people who represent the target population Target population - the larger group of people the psychologists wishes to study Representative – the sample of PPs is made up of people who have the same characteristics and abilities of the target population. Generalised – the results from the study can be said to apply to the target populations Random sample – every member of the target population as equal chance of being selected for the experiment (can be hard to do properly) Opportunity sample – people who are members of the target population and who are willing and able to take part in the study

9 Sampling methods Random sample- pulling names out of a hat where each person has an equal chance of being selected. If the target population is small then this can be done fairly easily, however once the target population gets too large to handle this method is no good Opportunity sample – means choosing people who are willing and able to take part. Often these people are friend or students at university and so they do not always represent the target populations. Systematic sample – involves selecting every nth person. e.g. from a year list every 8th person is selected. This is not a random method as all PPs do not have equal chance of selection. It is unbiased as the researcher does not select the people. Stratified sample – the population is sorted and then people randomly selected from the groups e.g. divide students into year groups and then randomly select from year 7, 8 9 and so on. This is good as the sample will have students from all year groups.

10 Data Analysis

11 How do you deal with data?
Data analysis Raw data - scores collected from the study Anomalous data – an extremely high or low score that does not match the other results in a set of scores. Calculating Averages Mean - a statistic calculated by adding them all up and divide by the number there are Calculate the mean for these frequencies: 25,29,24,26,20,25,20,24,21 Answer___________________

12 How do you deal with data?
Mode -the most frequently occurring value This is the number which occurs MOST OFTEN 22,25,26,22,62,42,66,22,21,23,22 Answer_____________________ Median – the middle value when all the numbers are placed in order, from the lowest to the highest. 21,25,24,26,21,21,25,25,26,28,29 Answer _____________________

13 How do you deal with data?
The Range -Take the highest from the lowest 22,24,26,21,28,29,24,2,25 Answer _____________________ Percentages – a proportion expressed as a fraction of 100 Running hopping skipping standing Boys Total ___ Girls Total ____ Add up the totals and then divide each figure into the total and multiple by 100 to gain a % Answer ______________________

14 Graphs Data can be presented graphically to enable conclusions to be made. There are two main types of graph Bar Charts Each bar represents separate categories and the frequency or amount can be easily seen. Ensure you are able to read data from a bar chart, take your time to work out what the axis measure. Line Graphs This is often used to display data that are connected to each other. Joining points show a relationship between the points.

15 Ethics Ethical issues are points of concern about what is morally right The code of ethics and conduct of the British Psychological Society (2006) underpin the activities of practicing psychologists. Any coursework or research that you conduct should also adhere to this guidance. Respect Psychologists should respect people as individuals and avoid unfair or prejudice practice. Data should be confidential so people cannot be identified in research. PPs should give informed consent – this means they should know what they are taking part in. There are special issues for PPs under 16. Privacy of the PPs should also be respected. Psychologists should avoid deception which means they should not be misled about research. However in some cases deception may be required to gain valid data and so this should be dealt with in Finally all PPs should be given the right to withdraw before, during and after the study has taken place.

16 Ethics Competence Psychologist should only give advice they are qualified to give. Responsibility Researchers must protect the participants from harm. The risks in research should be no greater than the risks in everyday life. All PPs should be debriefed at the end of the study Integrity Psychologist should behave with honesty and fairness in all their interactions with people. They should consider whether the benefits of research outweigh the cost to those involved.

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