Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Science
  • Document length: 687 words

Critically Evaluate the Experimental Methods of Research in Psychology

Extracts from this essay...

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.

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.

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.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

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

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Living Things in their Environment essays

  1. Extended Experimental Investigation - Natural Antibiotics

    Dip inoculating loop in cultured bacteria solution (E. Coli) 3. Slightly lift lid of agar plate 4. Gently lawn the surface of the agar with inoculating loop in a curved zigzag pattern (as shown by the diagram below) 5. Turn agar plate 90 degrees 6. Repeat step 4 7.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    biology instinctive behaviour

    3 star(s)

    * Classical . . . To the right is an example of classical conditioning. 1. Food is the unconditioned stimulus or (UCS). This response occurred naturally. 2. The salivation to the food is an unconditioned response (UCR), which is a response which occurs naturally.

  1. Evolution, Natural selection and Darwinism

    are initially relatively rare individuals the deviate from average for that character. It is most common during periods of environmental change or when members of population migrate to some new habitat with different environmental conditions.

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

    Operant In operant conditioning the animal learns to associate certain actions to certain consequences. It is given a scenario with a choice of actions. If it completes the correct action, the animal will be rewarded, usually by food. Animal trainers use this type of conditioning.

  1. Dog Behaviour

    They are fixed action patterns and unlearned. For example sea turtles, hatched on a beach, automatically move toward the ocean; and honeybees communicate by dance the direction of a food source, all without any formal instruction. The characteristics of dogs can be inherited or it is the simple characteristics of

  2. How Do Fishing Methods Harm The Environment?

    -Driftnet Fishing Driftnet fishing is self-explanatory really, you just dump a large mass of net into the ocean with floats on the top and weights on the bottom to make it a vertical wall from the top to the

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.