reserarch methods+

Topics: Hypothesis, Null hypothesis, Scientific method Pages: 31 (4917 words) Published: March 19, 2014

AS Psychology (AQA, A)
Research Methods

Name …… Stella Akinwumi……………………………………...

Section 1 - Quantitative and qualitative research methods

Research methods are the ways that psychologists investigate a theory. Different methods will be appropriate for different topics/theories/situations.

Quantitative = Quantitative research gathers data in numerical form which can be put into categories, or in rank order, or measured in units of measurement.

Qualitative = Qualitative research gathers information that is not in numerical form.


Experiments are generally thought to be the most reliable and effective way of demonstrating that one variable causes another to change – that it has an effect on another, for example to demonstrate that alcohol causes reaction times to slow down.

In psychology we talk about these variables as the independent (IV) and dependent variables (DV).

IV = Variable the experimenter manipulates (i.e. changes) – assumed to have a direct effect on the dependent variable

DV = Variable the experimenter measures

Extraneous variables- these are all variables, which are not the independent variable, but could affect the results (e.g. DV) of the experiment. Extraneous variables should be controlled were possible.

Confounding variables are an extraneous variable whose presence affects the variables being studied so that the results you get do not reflect the actual relationship between the variables under investigation

How can extraneous variables be controlled?

Extraneous variables can be controlled in two ways. The first is to hold constant while the second is to allow random variation.

Identify the IV and DV for the following:

1. Severe punishment causes anxiety.

IV - Change the punishment

DV – Measure the level of anxiety

Directional or non-directional –

2. There is a difference in the ability of grey and white rats in learning to run a maze.

IV -

DV - Measure the time taken for grey and white rats to run a maze

Directional or non-directional –

3. People are more likely to make a risky decision when they are in a group than when they are alone.

IV - Change the amount of people, whether in a group or alone

DV -

Directional or non-directional –

4. Watching violent television is likely to give children nightmares.

IV - violent television

DV - measure the nightmares itself

Directional or non-directional –

5. First children learn to speak earlier than second and subsequent children.

IV – Change the group or amount of children

DV – measure the time it takes for the children to speak

Directional or non-directional –

6. Absence makes the heart grow fonder

IV -

DV - The heart

Directional or non-directional –

7. Stressful experiences increase the likelihood of headaches.

IV - change the type of stressful experience

DV - The likelihood of headaches

Directional or non-directional –

8. A baby under 9 months of age will not search for a hidden object.

IV -

DV -

Directional or non-directional –

9. Social class affects IQ scores.

IV – Different students within the social class

DV – the IQ scores

Directional or non-directional –

10. Men drive faster than women.

IV -

DV – the distance at which men and women drive and then compare

Directional or non-directional –

11. Bulls will charge more often when presented with a red rag than a blue rag.

IV - The type of rags used

DV -

Directional or non-directional –

Operationalising the variables

1. What does this mean?
It refers to how you plan to measure and thus define your variable

2. Go back and pick 2 of the IV/DV examples above and operationalise the variables.

‘Bulls will charge more often when presented with a red rag than a blue rag’-...
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