I did a content analysis for my child practical and a summary of two articles for the criminological one and am totally happy to share my notes
The questions my teacher gave us were on an actual paper a few years ago for both
sections of the exam, so it's important to remember which method you use for which application. There is a lot of overlap between them and the mark schemes award marks for certain phrases that you can use for both investigations. I've copied my answers the questions for both child and crime, which my teacher gave me full marks for. Hope this is useful & helpful!
What was the aim/purpose of your practical investigation? (2 marks)
- To conduct a conduct a content analysis of several newspaper articles to determine the positive and negative effects of daycare, to see if it is harmful or beneficial for children.
- To summarise two news articles examining eye witness testimony to determine whether or not it is reliable.
Describe how you went about gathering and/or analysing the data for your practical investigation. (3 marks)
- I searched the internet for appropriate secondary resources such as newspaper articles and research papers. I read the transcript several times in order to identify emergent themes in order to determine whether they are positive or negative. I ordered produced a tally of themes, such as 'benefits of daycare'. I then made a tally for each statement that was positive or negative to form clusters for each point. I then looked for comparisons in the secondary data and ordered the most significant ones to come to a conclusion.
- I searched the internet for appropriate articles as secondary sources of data and selected the most suitable two from a range of articles. I read each article several times in order to identify emergent themes, and recorded specific sentences from each into a table, determining whether the sentence suggested eye witness testimony was reliable or not. I chose only the most significant points of the articles to produce two short paragraphs summarising the overall conclusion of each article about eye witness testimony.
Outline the findings you have drawn from your practical investigations. (3 marks)
- I found that overall, newspaper articles (the media) present daycare as being beneficial for children. For example, in the article "unemployed mothers need free child care" demonstrated similar conclusions to that of Sylva et al., as it stated that children who need and benefit from daycare the most are disadvantaged and from poor socio-economic backgrounds. However, some of the negative conclusions I found were that the best way to aid the development of children is not to "take them away from their parents" - as shown in Belsky and Rovine's study as children in higher hours of daycare were more likely insecurely attached.
- I found that overall, eye witness testimony is presented as unreliable in the context of news articles. For example, in "The problem with eyewitnesses" by the BBC, similar conclusions to that of Pickel were revealed, as it stated that an eyewitness wrongly accused a man of a crime because he appeared to be holding a weapon. This suggests that (as Pickel discovered) weapon focus is an issue in the reliability of eye witness testimony, as witnesses are likely to forget more important details about the individual, and instead place more significance in the weapon. However, the second article suggested that eye witness testimony is useful and should be seen as reliable in cases of sexual abuse where often testimony is the only evidence available in retrospective cases. This can be seen in Yuille and Cutshall's study of eye witness testimony, who found reliability in a cases even when witnesses were interviewed 5 months after the incident.