Advantages and Disadvantages of research methods.

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Introduction

Advantages and Disadvantages of research methods Laboratory experiments, the features of this research method is that the IV is usually manipulated to cause an effect on the DV, advantages of laboratory experiments is that variables can be controlled easily, the experiment is taken place in a highly controlled environment, choice of participants could be random. With laboratory experiments they can be replicated easily, they also establish a cause and effect, but the disadvantages are that they are low in ecological validity; they are set in artificial environments so therefore effected by mundane realism. The opposing experiment is field; this is set in a natural setting, either familiar surroundings, field experiments are similar to laboratory experiments as they involve control of IV, the use of participants and surroundings, field experiments can also be replicated. Example of Field experiment Abernethy(1940) showed that students performed better if they were tested in the same room where they were taught and tested by the same person. The context same room, same teacher must have been a recall trigger. The main advantage of laboratory experiments is that it is easier to control confounding variables; also another advantage of laboratory is that they can collect a large amount of data that is detailed.

Middle

in behaviour (DV), this means you have to take into account social factors the lack of control also takes away internal validity, it isn't easy to replicate. Correlation is a type of experiment; it involves looking for a correlation or association with co-variables, for example, smoking and lung cancer. In this method a numerical value is calculated to represent the degree to which two sets of data are correlated. The term IV and DV are not used because no cause and effect can be calculated. Perfect positive correlation is +1.00, perfect negative correlation is -1.00. Advantages is that it can be used where experimental manipulation would be unethical or impossible, it can be followed be many other correlation experiments to reduce amount of possible relationships, it can rule out casual relationships such as if two variables are not correlated than one cannot cause the other. Disadvantages are that it cannot conclude a cause and effect which means relationships may be due to other extraneous variables. Naturalistic observations is another method, this is when behaviour is observed in a natural environment.

Conclusion

Unstructured interviews have fewer questions, and let the interviewee's guide the conversation. Freudian psychologists use this method with patients. There are fewer advantages but importantly quantity of data can be richer and with more quality. The disadvantages, it can be expensive to produce reliable trained interviewers. Interviews may not be comparable because different questions used for different patients, it is also more affected by interviewer bia's. The last method is question survey, this is when participants record there own answers in different ways, there is the option of postal questionnaires which they can do in there own home, or on the street questionnaires. Advantages is that there is a large quantity of data recorded, but disadvantages are that answers may be affected by social desirability bias, also designing questionnaires require considerable skill, so cost time and money. Overall there is a wide selection of different methods of collecting data, some which accelerate in quality and others in quantity. Different experiments are specific for different investigations. Therefore I conclude with a large selection of experimental methods most psychological studies can be carried out! Katherine Harvey 133

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