• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critically Evaluate the Experimental Methods of Research in Psychology

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jenna Wilkinson Critically Evaluate the Experimental Methods of Research in Psychology There are three main experimental methods of research that are used in psychology. These are laboratory experiments, field experiments and natural experiments. An experiment involves the independent variable (IV) being manipulated by the experimenter or researcher to see what effect it has on the dependent variable (DV) while controlling possible confounding variables. The DV is the measured outcome of the experiment. A variable is anything that can vary or be changed. For example, the IV of the time of day could be manipulated to see what effect it had on the DV of the productivity of workers by testing in two conditions, one in the morning between 8 and 9 am and the other in the evening between 5 and 6 pm on a certain day. ...read more.

Middle

Also, technical equipment can be used to make the experiment more accurate. Another advantage of this method is that it can be easily structured to provide quantitative data. This would be more difficult in a natural environment as the researcher would have very little control over confounding variables. However, laboratory experiments do not provide total control over all variables. Another disadvantage is that the conditions of the laboratory are artificial and lack ecological validity i.e. they do not generalise to the characteristics of a real-life situation. Demand characteristics are also a problem. This is when the participants are aware that they are taking part in an experiment and therefore act in the way they think the researcher would want them to act. ...read more.

Conclusion

However it is more bias from confounding variables as it is harder to control all areas of the experiment. It is also more difficult to replicate the experiments exactly and to record data accurately. There are also problems because the researcher is not asking the participants for their consent and could be invading their privacy. The experiment would therefore be unethical. The third method of research is natural experiments. In these experiments the independent variable is changed by natural occurrence. Natural experiments have high ecological validity as 'natural' changes occur in natural environments. There is also very little bias from demand characteristics. However, there is no direct manipulation of the independent variable and the researcher has very little control over confounding variables which makes it virtually impossible to replicate an experiment exactly. It is also unethical because the researcher will not have the participants consent as they are unaware that they are being studied. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Living Things in their Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Living Things in their Environment essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    biology instinctive behaviour

    3 star(s)

    For example, a child may be told they will lose pocket money if they don't do their homework. Humans can make use of both types of conditioning when training captive animals, but is this right or wrong? Humans can make use of conditioning when training captive animals for a specific purpose.

  2. How Do Fishing Methods Harm The Environment?

    The European Union's fishing fleet is trying to phase out driftnet fishing. Figures have been released showing that the numbers of boats from France, Ireland and the United Kingdom have shrunk from 76 vessels in 1995 to 65 in 1999.

  1. Evolution, Natural selection and Darwinism

    Out breeding frequently produces tougher individuals with a better chance of survival, especially where many generations of inbreeding have taken place. This is called the hybrid vigour. Two individuals of different species can be crossed also, but this is rarely successful, if successful, sterile.

  2. Animal behaviour and research into attitudes on animal testing.

    He became intrigued when he noticed that the dogs were producing saliva even when there wasn't any sight or smell of food. What was actually happening was that they were drooling over a person in a lab coat, since whenever they got their food it was from someone wearing a lab coat.

  1. Dog Behaviour

    the breed, other times a habit of doing something or trick learnt early in life. For this I will look at the dog's ancestor the wolf. Basic instinct that dogs perform in our homes can be attributed to this animal.

  2. Extended Experimental Investigation - Natural Antibiotics

    while lawning - Loose hair tied up - Check 'ChemWatch' for risks of substances used (find attached) - Sterilize inoculating loops and forceps immediately - Immediately dispose of agar plates when finished observations Method 1. Sterilize bench or other working area with methylated spirits.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work