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Research methods for anti social behaviour

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Research Methods There are various methods that psychologists can use to research non-conformist behaviour among young people. Some of these methods will be more valuable to the psychologists as they provide reliability and validity within this setting, however some carry methodological issues which may cause problems. Observational studies are when the researcher observes a situation, and records what happens without manipulating an independent variable. Therefore they tend to be high in ecological validity, as there is no intervention and if the observer remains undetected, it avoids problems with demand characteristics. This type of research would work well for non-conformist behaviour as the situations they arise in are hard to replicate with validity, and the researcher can accurately record the young people's behaviour. However, by only observing the behaviour it is a subjective experience for the researcher, and what they believe to see may not be correct. This can cause unreliable data if interrupted incorrectly. Another problem that arises from observational studies are hard to replicate. At a given moment and place in time there are so many different factors contributing to the environment, it's near impossible to replicate a valid representation of this. ...read more.


In comparison snapshot studies are a lot less time consuming, cheaper and can include a lot more people. Yet they cannot provide data in terms of development as they are only a snapshot of human behaviour. Experimental research methods manipulate independent variables in order to discover correlations and cause and effect. Laboratory experiments are conducted under highly controlled conditions to minimise confounding variables. The experimental method allows us to draw conclusions with far more certainty than any non-experimental method. If the independent variable is the only thing that is changed, then it must be responsible for any change in the dependent variable. However there are variables that affect a person's behaviour which the researcher may not be aware of, thus concluding that the independent variables are the result of the behaviour causes huge complications and wrong assumptions. This type of research is often use by behaviourists who dismiss the 'black box' and solely rely on variables that can be recorded. This type of experiment wouldn't work well for non-conformist behaviour as putting young people in a situation which would show this behaviour reliably is near impossible. Another type of experimental research is a field, where they are conducted in real world situations. ...read more.


This is very difficult to do with illegal and non-conformist behaviour. There are many issues associated with research methods. Ethical considerations are highly valued within psychology research. For example informed consent and debriefing reduce ethical problems where the participants know they are being observed or experimented on, but do not know the reasons behind this. These reasons are then explained during the debriefing after the experiment has taken place. However informed consent can often cause demand characteristics, where by the participants know they are part of psychology research act differently to what they think is expected of them. Overall I would choose observation to research non-conformist behaviour, as even though it is not representative and can cause wrong assumptions. The behaviour that is being studied is so hard to observe in any other situation, for example as an experiment. Observational methods do have ethical issues because they cannot consent to being observed. However as the participants are only being observed and not experimented on, ethical consideration is not as important. I would use opportunity sampling by just recording who was there at the time. Although again it would not be representative, it would however reduce demand characteristics and save time. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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