• 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

    Animal Testing

    4 star(s)

    If it was possible to put pig heart valves in a dog then it would have been possible to do the same with a human. Another way to save human lives by using animals is by xenotransplantation. This is the transplant of cells, tissues or organs from one species to another such as pigs to humans.

  2. 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.

  1. Evolution, Natural selection and Darwinism

    Amongst the birds Darwin collected on the Galapagos were the 13 species of finches that although quite similar, seemed to be different species. Most striking difference was their beaks, which are adopted for specific diets. Some were unique to individual islands, while other species were distributed on two or more islands that were close together.

  2. Extended Experimental Investigation - Natural Antibiotics

    This made it clear that for a solution to work effectively for both bacteria the formula needed to be reconsidered. A dilution involving lemon, lime and water was also investigated but this decreased effectiveness to a point where the solution was less effective than the lemon alone for both types of bacteria.

  1. How Do Fishing Methods Harm The Environment?

    We will soon see if they make any improvements for figures of bycatch. Which types of fish are most under threat? -Cod, Haddock and whiting Cod is now and endangered species because its numbers are very low and in the next few years will die out if we don't stop fishing them before they can breed.

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

    Animal trainers use this type of conditioning. When training an animal it is given rewards for when it executes the correct action and punishment for when it doesn't. Soon the animal learns the correct action which yields a reward. The 'action' can be anything from pressing a button to jumping through a hoop.

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