AS Psychology Research Methods- Observational Techniques and Self-report techniques

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: sbrown67
  • Created on: 16-10-16 21:58
What is an observation?
A non-experimental method that provides psychologists with a way of seeing what people do without having to ask them
1 of 96
What do observations allow the researcher?
More flexibility to study the complex interactions between variables in a more natural way
2 of 96
How are observations often used within an experiment?
As a way of e.g assessing the dependent variable
3 of 96
What are the different types of observation?
Covert, overt, naturalistic, controlled, participant, non-participant
4 of 96
What is a naturalistic observation?
The behaviour of participants is watched and recorded in the setting in which it would normally occur. All aspects of the environment are free to vary. Better for the study of interaction between participants in their natural environment
5 of 96
What are the advantages of naturalistic observations?
They have high external validity so findings can be generalised to the wider audience. This is due to the behaviour occurring naturally so it is more likely to represent everyday life
6 of 96
What are the disadvantages of naturalistic observations?
The lack of control over extraneous variables makes it more difficult to judge any patterns of behaviour an makes replication more difficult
7 of 96
What is a controlled observation?
The participant's behaviour is watched and recorded in a structured environment- there is some control over variables, including manipulating variables to observe effects and control of extraneous variables
8 of 96
What are the advantages of controlled observations?
The high level of control makes replication easier as extraneous variables are more controlled- makes it easier to see what is affecting the dependent variable
9 of 96
What are the disadvantages of controlled observations?
Participants are likely to know they are being observed- demand characteristics, high control means it doesn't represent everyday life very well so low external validity but high internal validity
10 of 96
What is a covert observation?
The participant's behaviour is watched and recorded without their knowledge or consent. The behaviour must be public and happening anyway if the observation is to be ethical
11 of 96
What are the advantages of covert observations?
The participants are unaware of their being observed so behaviour is more likely to be natural and can generalise to the wider population (high external validity). Participant reactivity is less of a problem
12 of 96
What are the disadvantages of covert observations?
There are ethical issues, people may not want their behaviour being observed and could be seen as an invasion of privacy
13 of 96
What is an overt observation?
The participant's behaviour is watched and recorded with their knowledge and consent
14 of 96
What are the advantages of overt observation?
Fewer ethical issues as informed consent has been given
15 of 96
What are the disadvantages of overt observations?
The participants' knowledge of being observed may lead to significant changes in behaviour
16 of 96
What is a participant observation?
The researcher becomes a part of the group whom they are studying
17 of 96
What are the advantages of participant observations?
The researcher gains a valuable insight into the group's behaviour whom they are studying. This may increase the validity of the findings
18 of 96
What are the disadvantages of participant observations?
There is a danger of the researcher 'going native', where they identify with the participants too much and lose objectivity
19 of 96
What is non-participant observation?
The researcher remains outside of the group whose behaviour they are watching and recording in a more objective manner. It may be impractical or even impossible for them to participate in the group's behaviour
20 of 96
What are the advantages of non-participant observations?
The researcher remains an objective distance from the group so there is less chance of 'going native'
21 of 96
What are the disadvantages of non-participant observations?
The researcher loses out on the valuable insight of being in the group as they are too far removed from the people whom they are studying
22 of 96
What is observational design?
How a researcher plans an observational study
23 of 96
What are the different subcategories within observational design?
1. Structured vs unstructured 2. Behavioural categories 3. Sampling methods 4. Inter-observer reliability
24 of 96
What is an unstructured observational design?
The researcher writes down everything they see, producing rich detail of the observations
25 of 96
When is unstructured observational design suitable?
When the observation is small in scale and involves few participants e.g. the interaction between a therapist and client
26 of 96
What are the advantages of unstructured observational design?
Creates rich detail- produces qualitative data
27 of 96
What are the disadvantages of unstructured observational design?
1. Risk of observer bias- only recording the behaviour that catches their eye- may not be important or useful 2. The qualitative data produced may be harder to analyse and record
28 of 96
What is a structured observational design?
Allow the researcher to quantify their findings using a pre-determined list of behaviours and sampling methods
29 of 96
What are the advantages of a structured observational design?
1. Produces quantitative data, which is easier to analyse 2. The recording of data is easier as it is more systematic 3. Less of a risk of observer bias
30 of 96
What are the disadvantages of structured observational design?
Lacks the richness of detail that unstructured produces
31 of 96
What are behavioural categories?
When a target behaviour is broken up into components that are observable and measurable
32 of 96
What is required in order to carry out a structured observation?
A behavioural checklist, including all of the behaviours that are to be observed. They must be precisely defines, observable and measurable
33 of 96
Give some examples of observable categories that the target behaviour 'affection' might be broken down into
Kissing, hugging, smiling, holding hands
34 of 96
What must a researcher do before an observation begins?
Ensure, as far as possible, that they have included all of the ways that a target behaviour might be broken down in the behavioural checklist
35 of 96
What must researchers ensure when writing a behavioural checklist?
That all behaviours are included and none of them overlap (could be perceived as the same thing)
36 of 96
What is important when writing a behavioural checklist?
The observable behaviours are clear and unambiguous. They must be clear, measurable and self-evident i.e. not require further interpretation
37 of 96
What are the three types of sampling methods in observational design?
Continuous recording, event sampling, time sampling
38 of 96
What is continuous recording?
All instances of a target behaviour are recorded
39 of 96
Why is continuous recording not used for very complex behaviours?
It is not practical or feasible
40 of 96
What is event sampling?
A target behaviour is first established and then counted every time it occurs in a target individual or group
41 of 96
What is time sampling?
A target group or individual is first established then the researcher records their behaviour in a fixed time frame, e.g. every 60 seconds
42 of 96
What is enter-observer reliability?
Observations are carried out by two or more observers to make data recording more objective and unbiased
43 of 96
What is vital in inter-observer reliability?
The pairs of observers are consistent in their judgements and that any data they record is very similar
44 of 96
How is inter-observer established?
Observers must be trained
45 of 96
What is the process of an observation using inter-observer reliability?
1. Observers familiarise themselves with behavioural categories to be used 2. Pairs observe same behaviour at same time, maybe as part of pilot study 3. Observers compare data and discuss differences in interpretations 4. Analysis of data
46 of 96
How is inter-observer reliability calculated?
Correlating each pair of observations and an overall figure is produced
47 of 96
What are the advantages of event sampling?
Useful when the specified target behaviour or event occurs infrequently and could be missed if time sampling was used
48 of 96
What are the disadvantages of event sampling?
If the specified event or target behaviour is complex and the observer may overlook important details
49 of 96
What are the advantages of time sampling?
Effective in reducing the number of observations that have to be made
50 of 96
What are the disadvantages of time sampling?
The instances in which the samples are made may not be representative of the observation as a whole
51 of 96
What are observational techniques often used for?
Assessing the dependent variable in an experiment e.g. observing the behaviour of males in the study of behaviour in same-sex or opposite-sex pairs
52 of 96
What is a self-report technique?
Any method in which a person is asked to state or explain their own feelings, opinions, behaviours and/or experiences related to a given topic
53 of 96
What is a questionnaire?
A set of written questions (items) used to assess a person's thoughts or experiences
54 of 96
Why might questionnaires be used in experiments?
To assess the dependent variable
55 of 96
What are the two styles of questions in an interview?
Open and closed
56 of 96
What is an open question?
A question that does not have a fixed set of responses and tends to produce qualitative data, which is rich in detail and depth
57 of 96
What is a closed question?
A question that offers a fixed number of responses and tends to produce quantitative data which is easier to analyse, but lacks depth
58 of 96
What are the advantages of using questionnaires?
1. Cost effective- can be distributed to large amounts of people quickly so gather lots of data 2.Can be completed without the researcher being present e.g. a postal questionnaire so reduces the effort required 3. Data usually easy to analyse
59 of 96
What does the data from questionnaires lend itself towards?
Statistical analysis and comparisons between groups can be made using graphs and charts
60 of 96
What are the disadvantages of using questionnaires?
1. Responses may not be truthful 2. Demand characteristic- social desirability bias- the participant presents themselves in a positive light 3. Often produce a response bias- responding in similar way on all questions 4. Answering q's too quickly
61 of 96
What is an interview?
A live encounter (face to face or over the phone) where one person asks a set of questions to assess the interviewee's thoughts and experiences
62 of 96
What are the three types of interview?
1. Structured 2. Unstructured 3. Semi-structured
63 of 96
What is a structured interview?
Made up of a pre-determined set of questions that are asked in a fixed order. Like a questionnaire but is conducted face to face in real time
64 of 96
What are the advantages of a structured interview?
1. Straightforward to replicate due to their structure 2. Structured format reduces differences between interviewers
65 of 96
What are the disadvantages of a structured interview?
1. Interviewers are not able elaborate or deviate due to the structure, which may cause frustration for some
66 of 96
What is an unstructured interview?
Works a lot like a conversation. There are no set questions. A general aim or topic will be discussed and interaction tends to be free-flowing. The interviewee is prompted by the interviewer to elaborate and expand their answers in some places
67 of 96
What are the advantages of an unstructured interview?
1. A lot more flexibility 2. An interviewer can follow up points as they arise and is much more likely to gain a bigger insight into the world of the interviewee
68 of 96
What are the disadvantages of an unstructured interview?
1. Analysis of data is more difficult- may have to go through lots of information and find it difficult to draw conclusions 2. Risk that interviewees lie for social desirability
69 of 96
What must a skilled interviewer be able to do?
Establish sufficient rapport with the participants so that even when sensitive and personal topics are discussed, the truth is told
70 of 96
What is a semi-structured interview?
An interviewer works through an established list of questions but are also free to ask follow- up questions when they feel is appropriate
71 of 96
What is a very common example of a semi-structured interview?
Job interviews
72 of 96
Which type of question can be further divided in different ways?
A closed question
73 of 96
What are the different ways in which a closed question can be further divided?
1. Likert scales 2. Rating scales 3. Fixed choice option
74 of 96
What is a likert scale?
The respondent indicates their agreement or otherwise with a statement using a scale of usually 5 points. The scale ranges from strongly agree to strongly disagree
75 of 96
What is a rating scale?
Gets respondents to identify a value that represents their strength of feeling about a particular topic e.g. very entertaining (5) and not very entertaining (1)
76 of 96
What is a fixed choice option?
An item that includes a list of options which respondents are required to indicate those that apply to them
77 of 96
Wat is an interview schedule?
The list of questions that an interviewer plans to cover
78 of 96
Why must interview schedules be standardised for all participants?
To reduce the effect of the contaminating effect of interviewer bias
79 of 96
Why does standardisation not completely remove interviewer bias?
In structured interviews, the interviewer controls the way the discussion develops and the lines of enquiry that follows
80 of 96
What are the different ways that an interviewer may remember what is discussed in an interview?
Note takin or recording the interview and analysing it later
81 of 96
When might a group interview occur?
In clinical settings
82 of 96
What is the most common form of interview?
A single participant with the interviewer
83 of 96
In a one-to-one interview, where must the interview be conducted?
In a quiet room, away from other people in order to increase the likelihood of them opening up
84 of 96
Why is beginning an interview with some neutral questions a good thing?
It allows the interviewer to build a rapport with the interviewee by making them feel relaxed and comfortable
85 of 96
What is important to remind participants during an interview?
That their information will be kept confidential, particularly if it personal or sensitive information
86 of 96
What is very important in the design of questionnaires and interviews?
CLARITY- This allows for a clear understanding of what is being asked so respondents are not confused or misinterpret the information and so this does not have a negative impact on the quality of information received by the researchers
87 of 96
What are some common mistakes made when designing interviews and questionnaires?
1. Overuse of jargon 2. Emotive language/leading questions 3. Double-barrelled questions and double-negatives
88 of 96
What is overuse of jargon?
It arises when technical terms that are only familiar to those within a specialised field or area are used
89 of 96
Why is the use of emotive language an issue?
It becomes clear the author's attitudes towards a particular topic
90 of 96
What is a leading question?
A question that guides the respondent towards a particular response
91 of 96
What is a double-barrelled question?
A question that contains two questions in one
92 of 96
What is the issue with a double-barrelled question?
The respondent may agree with half of the question, but not the other half
93 of 96
What is the issue with using a double negative?
It may be very difficult for the respondent to decipher the questions
94 of 96
What must happen to all interviews and questionnaires before they are put to use?
They must be piloted in order to spot and modify any problems that could skew the results of the investigation
95 of 96
What must happen to all interviews and questionnaires before they are put to use?
They must be piloted in order to spot and modify any problems that could skew the results of the investigation
96 of 96

Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What do observations allow the researcher?

Back

More flexibility to study the complex interactions between variables in a more natural way

Card 3

Front

How are observations often used within an experiment?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are the different types of observation?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is a naturalistic observation?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
View more cards

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Research methods and techniques resources »