AQA AS-level Psychology Unit 1- Research Methods
Revision flash cards for unit 1 AS Psychology. Includes: research methods, sampling methods, types of data collection, experiment designs, reliability and validity, and other key terms.
Terms in this set (50)
Independent Variable (IV)
The variable which is manipulated by an experimenter.
Dependent Variable (DV)
The variable which is measured by the experimenter.
Variables other than the DV which should be controlled.
A extraneous variable that has not been controlled that could invalidate results.
Putting variables into measurable forms. (e.g. if investigating memory of participants this could be operationalized by measuring the number of words correctly recalled in 5 minutes)
The independent variable is manipulated by the experimenter in attempt to produce a change in the dependent variable. All other extraneous variables are controlled. There is high validity as all extraneous variables are controlled so it's easy to infer cause and effect, however low ecological validity as conditions are very artificial.
The independent variable is manipulated by the experimenter. Takes place in the participants natural environment. Higher ecological validity (than lab experiment) lower control of extraneous variables- less likely for low internal validity.
Quasi/ Natural Experiment
The independent variable is naturally occurring and takes place in a natural environment. High ecological validity as more relative to the real world and realistic behaviours but low internal validity as low control of extraneous variables makes it hard to determine cause and effect.
A specific type of external validity. Refers to whether results can be generalised outside of the study to different environments and situations.
When participants pick up on cues to the aim of the study and subsequently subconsciously alter their behaviour to fit the aim.
The consistency of results.
Social desirability bias
Participants desirability that they want to be seen in the best light so may answer the question how they think it should be answered. (not necessarily true to them)
The total group of individuals from which the sample might be drawn.
A small selection of a group of people from a larger population.
When every member of the target population has an equal chance of being selected. e.g. picking names out of a hat.
Unbiased and representative however time consuming and impractical.
Selecting participants due to the fact they're available and in the right place at the right time. This sampling method is quick, economical and convenient however often unrepresentative and bias.
Individuals (volunteers) who have determined their involvement in the study. This sampling method is convenient and ethical, however unrepresentative as volunteers are often different from the rest of the population. i.e. more helpful, intelligent, and outgoing.
If the sample isn't representative of the rest of the population.
Single blind proceedure
When participants are unaware of the condition they're in. This helps to reduce demand characteristics.
Double blind proceedure
When both participants and the experimenter are unaware of the conditions each participant is assigned to. Helps reduce researcher effects and demand characteristics.
Independent groups design
When different participants are used in two different conditions.
Repeated measures design
When the same participants are used in both the two different conditions.
Matched pairs design
When different but similar participants are used in the two conditions. Participants are matched on individual characteristics e.g. intelligence.
How the order of tasks (particularly in a repeated measures design) may influence the outcome due to practice or boredom.
Researchers may have expectations of how the results may go. They could give away their ideas through body language or leading questions which participants may pick up on and change their behaviour as a result. (demand characteristics of 'screw-you effect') They may also be subjective in their interpretation of data.
The measure of a relationship between 2 co-variables.
Variables in a correlation. (neither are manipulated all are naturally occurring).
Observation of behaviour in it's natural setting.
When participants are aware/ informed they're being observed.
When participants aren't aware/ informed that they are being observed.
An operationalised list of specific behaviours that can be ticked each time they occur. (used to help inter-observer reliability to make clear behaviours so observers record the same things).
The extent to which 2 researchers agree.
When you record what behaviours are occurring at time intervals e.g. every 5 minutes.
When you record behaviours each time that behaviour occurs in a given time period. e.g. each time a child bites something within an hour you record it.
Refers to how the presence of the observer effects the behaviour of participant because they are being watched.
High internal validity if it measures what it is supposed to measure so if there is high control of extraneous variables.
If results can be generalised outside of the study to different populations, time periods, and situations/ environments.
BPS ethical guidelines
A set of guidelines set out by the BPS which an psychological study must follow. (Protection from harm, informed consent, avoid deception, debriefing, right to withdraw, confidentiality, privacy, and what use is made of the research).
Participants must agree to take part and have their data used. As well as knowing as much as possible about the study.
Participants must be fully informed after the study of what it was about. This is particularly important if participants have been deceived or there is a lack of informed consent.
The right for participants to be kept anonymous.
Protection from harm
Researchers must protect and not inflict any form of mental of physical harm. e.g. physical pain, embarrassment, offence etc.
The ability that participants should have to be able to seclude themselves or their personal information from others.
Involves diving the target population into important subcategories and then selecting members of these subcategories in the correct proportions.
Individual differences (researcher)
No two researchers are the same differing in age, ethnicity, gender etc. their personal and social characteristics could effect how the participant responds. e.g. a male participant may give slightly different answers about sexism to a male researcher than to a female researcher.
Refers to the concern felt by participants that they are being judged meaning they may alter their behaviour due to social desirability bias and hide certain aspects sense of unease.
Refers to a situation where an independent variable appears to have an effect on behaviour simply because the participants are being watched.
A small scale trial run of a study. Used to identify any problems with procedures before large amounts of time and money are invested.
Instructions to participants should be in a written format that can be read out to all participants. This ensures everyone receives the same instructions which is important when using different groups of participants in each condition as it eliminates the potential reason that behaviour may differ due to differences in instructions.
Individual differences (participants)
Participants vary in terms of personal and social characteristics which can effect behaviour. Some may like to be helpful and please the researcher and some may want to do the opposite -'screw you effect'.
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