1 The Independent variable: The variable that the researcher
manipulates and which we assume has a direct affect on the IV.
2 The dependent variable: The variable that is
affected by changing the IV.
3 Aim: General statement about
the inspected outcome of an
4 Hypothesis: A precise,
testable statement of what
you expect or predict.
4.1 Directional: Specifically states the
direction of the results.
4.1.1 Usually used when previous research findings suggest
which way the results will go.
4.2 Non-directional: Direction of results
is not specified and could go either
4.2.1 When previous research
findings are inconclusive.
4.3 Null hypothesis: It makes a very precise prediction
(Nothing will happen).
5 Operationalised: Variables must be operationalised. This means
describing the process by which a variable is measured. (How are
you going to measure it).
6 A good Hypothesis is: PTM - Precise,
testable and measurable.
7 Extraneous variables: A variable other than the IV that produces
a change in the DV. If this happens then the results of the study
are said to be confounded.
7.1 Situational Variables: Connected to the
research situation e.g. temperature, noise,
7.1.1 Controlled by standardised procedures and
220.127.116.11 Standardisation is where all conditions are kept the
same in a study, to ensure that each participant has
the same overall experience.
7.2 Participant variables: Connected with the
research participant e.g. gender, age, IQ,
familiarity with task.
7.2.1 Controlled by repeated design (AGE), independent
measures (GENDER), matched pairs measures (IQ) and
random assigning to conditions.
7.3 Experimenter variables: related to the researcher e.g.
gender, personality, apperance.
7.3.1 Controlled by keeping the same researcher in all
7.4.1 Counterbalance conditions by
making one half to perform A first
and then B and the other half to
perform B first then A.
7.5 Distraction or confusion.
7.5.1 Standardised instructions should be given in a clear and
8 Demand Characteristics: Participants form an idea about the purpose
of the study which could have an effect on their responses and make
the conclusions drawn from the study inaccurate. They could also be
influences such as coffee, previous sleep etc.
8.1 Guessing purpose.
8.2 Annoy researcher by giving wrong answers.
8.3 Acting unnaturally due to nervousness or to look good.
8.4 Overcome demand characteristics by...
8.4.1 Single blind procedure - the
subject does not know which
condition of the experiment they
8.4.2 Deception - To hide the aim of the research but will
create ethical issues that will need to be overcome.
9 Investigator effects: Where the actions of a researcher
affect the outcome of a study in an undesirable way.
9.1 Physical characteristics.
9.2 Accent, tone, non-verbal communication.
9.3 The investigator could be bias to the interpretation of the data.
9.4 Double blind procedure means neither the participant or
the investigator knows which condition the participant is
10 Pilot Study: Aim is to check the method and to find solutions to
any issues. A small scale trial run procedure to identify any
flaws and areas for improvement before time and money are
10.1.1 Instructions are clear.
10.1.2 Dependent variable covers full range of scores to avoid
floor and ceiling effects.
10.1.3 Does it lead to demand characteristics.
10.2 Self reports (questionnaires/ intervies)
10.2.1 Understandable questions.
10.2.2 Closed questions offer suitable options.
10.2.3 Are open questions needed to allow for
10.3.1 Operational (working) definitions of behavioural categories.
10.3.2 Behavioural categories do not overlap.
10.3.3 Are participants effected by the observer?
11.1 Refers to the consistency of results.
11.2 Internal - How consistent a
text is within its self.
11.2.1 Split - Participants are split into two groups, if all
score similarly on both halves, the questions
measure the same thing. A high correlation
between scores shows a high reliablility.
11.2.2 Inter-observer reliability - when doing observations,
need to make sure behavioural categories are
understood. and should get a high correlation in
11.3 External - How consistent a test is over
time and location.
11.3.1 Test/retest - Test again at a
different TIME or LOCATION.
should get similar or same
results for high external reliability.
12.1 Means we are measuring what we
say we are measuring.
12.1.1 Face validity - quick
assessment to see if test
'appears' to test variable.
12.1.2 Content validity - a closer
look comparing with set
standards of measuring the
12.1.3 Concurrent validity: Compare stores on
test to an already established test - should
get similar scores if new test is valid.
12.2 More valid results if extraneous
variables are controlled.
12.3 Internal results: The test is measuring what we intend to
12.4 External (Ecological): The findings can be
applied to real life settings NOT just the
13 Experimental design
13.1 Repeated measures: Involves
using the same participants in
each condition of the experiment.
13.1.1 No participant variables.
13.1.2 More economical as fewer participants required.
13.1.3 Order effects.
13.1.4 Demand characteristics.
13.2 Independent group measures:
Involves using different participants
in each condition of the experiment.
13.2.1 Order effects do not influence second condition.
13.2.2 Demand characteristics are less of
13.2.3 Participant variables.
13.2.4 More subjects = less economical.
13.3 Matched pairs: Involves using different but
similar subjects in each condition of an
13.3.1 Reduced participant
13.3.2 Order effects do not occur.
13.3.3 More subjects = less economical.
13.3.4 Matching subjects is difficult and time consuming.
14.1 Random: Truly random sampling only
occurs when every member of a target
population has an equal chance of being
14.1.3 Very rare as impractical.
14.1.4 The larger the target population, the
more difficult to sample.
14.2 Opportunity: Selecting those available at the time.
14.2.1 Quick and convenient.
14.2.3 Could be biased on the part of the researcher.
14.2.4 Unrepresentative samples so
14.3 Volunteer (self-selecting): Those who have consciously or
14.3.1 Relatively convenient.
14.3.3 Subject could be biased
14.3.4 Volunteers are unlike non-volunteers in many ways.
15 Ethical Issues
15.1 CONSENT: Fully understand what
they are agreeing to.
15.1.1 Debriefing, signature at start, under 16 and
vulnerable people need consent from carer.
18.104.22.168 Debriefing: A way of
informing participants about
the nature of the study. It is
better to tae place after the
15.2 OBSERVATIONAL STUDIES: Avoid invading
privacy buy observing them in places they
would expect to be observed.
15.2.1 Only observe people
where they would expect to
15.3 WITHDRAW: To protect participants from
harm, give them the right to withdraw from
study at any point.
15.4 PROTECTION: Protect participants from
both physical and psychological harm.
15.4.1 Debriefing and withdraw
those in harm.
15.5 CONFIDENTIALITY: Unless agreed in
advance, their results and personal info
should be completely confidential.
15.5.1 Debriefing to reassure.
15.6 DECEPTION: Participants must be told
about the aim as soon as possible.