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University Degree: Psychometrics

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  1. Results form surveys are often taken at face value. Show, by discussing the construction and administration of postal questionnaires, where errors could occur in the data collection process.

    (de Vaus 1996.) Another major problem of postal questionnaires is the low response rates. Some postal questionnaires do not achieve more than a 20% rate of return. (Simmons, 2001). However a higher response rate can be obtained by methods such as sending personalized letters written on official headed paper, sending written reminders, including a stamped addressed envelope, subtly suggesting a deadline and by offering incentives such as free gifts or entry in a prize draw. (Burns, 2000). The response rate also depends on the sample of the population used, the construction and layout of the questionnaire, and the topic of the questionnaire.

    • Word count: 1585
  2. Judgements of numerosity.

    accurately until 8 beans, after which there would be errors in judgement. This ability to observe the correct amount of objects until about eight has been defined as 'subutizing'. (Folk et al (1988).) Accuracy is still reasonable above eight, according to Woodworth and Schlosburg, who found that there were different factors that could affect the accuracy of object estimation. These processes would predict the amount of objects presented without counting them. So even though amount of objects could be large or small, the processes can perceive to make a rough estimation. Other factors do affect the accuracy of the estimation.

    • Word count: 1727
  3. Gender differences in self estimation of IQ.

    to find out whether this was factual or not. He originated a study asking over 1800 high school & college students, as well as non-student adults, 'by the comparison with the national average score of 100, what do you estimate your IQ would be...' What he found was females underestimated their IQ while men overestimated their IQ. In the experiment Higgins (1987 cited from The Guardian, 10th February, 1987) conducted at Chester College, women's average IQ estimations were 111 while the average of men's remained 118. Five years later, Beloff (1992)

    • Word count: 1502
  4. Discuss the significance of reliability and validity in relation to qualitative methods.

    The debate is often more about getting researchers to convert to one side or the other not about finding an equal balance. It is somewhat similar to a pendulum swinging back and forth but hardly ever resting in the middle. Qualitative methods are clinging on to psychology as a science by reliability and validity and a very thin thread! Reliability and validity seem to be the only way of keeping qualitative research methods from dissolving. This shows that they do in fact play a significant role in qualitative methods.

    • Word count: 1768
  5. Effects of distractors on target identification and feature integration theory.

    This could be due to the presence of irrelevant objects or distractor items. An example of this could be looking for a child amongst a group of school children all wearing the same coloured uniform. In this case the distractor item could be the colour aspect which makes it harder to immediately spot that one child than if all the children were dressed differently. Thus it is apparent that a target with certain, distinct features, is easier to find than a target that blends in or has similarities with the distractor items surrounding it.

    • Word count: 1780
  6. Investigating the effect of using pairs of either similar or dissimilar stimuli during a dual-task experiment.

    Method Design The experiment employed a between-participants design. Participants were asked to carry out two tasks at the same time (dual-task) - the tasks were selecting a particular type of word from a list, while answering mathematical questions verbally. The independent variable was the type of words that the participant had to select (by placing a tick) from a list. There were two conditions - in the first, participants were asked to place a tick next to words which were the name of a colour.

    • Word count: 1785
  7. The influence of adaptation duration to our perception of a spatial pattern.

    They suggested that adapting to one spatial frequency changes our perception of others. The spatial frequency is the frequency with which a periodic pattern changes over time. The methodology has been improved for this experiment and instead of using a method of adjustment, a method of constant stimuli was used. The experiment will systematically measure the effect of adapting to one spatial frequency on our perception of other frequencies. Systematically measuring the Motion Aftereffects, will enable us to understand how the brain processes motion. By studying the effects of adaptation, psychologists can find out exactly how the brain processes information and in this case, spatial information.

    • Word count: 2553
  8. The Effect of Colour Clothing and Skin Colour on Impression Formation.

    People often express themselves through their clothing. The main ideologies behind the Punk Revolution in 1976, originated by Malcolm Maclaren, were to dress in a stereotypical way to illustrate their disagreement with the ways of the then government and society and their narrow-minded views. The revolution began as a fight against conformity yet Punk has turned into one of the largest stereotypes of the twentieth century because the pre-requisites for being classed as a punk have evolved to become a stereotype in itself.

    • Word count: 2555
  9. Implicit Ageism and Age-Related Stereotypes Between the Old and Young.

    In 1998, Anthony Greenwald, McGhee and Jordan L.K. Schwartz created an Implicit Association Test, which provides a "flexible measure of the automatic associations, underlying implicit prejudices based on age." University - aged subjects completed the IAT age test by visualizing a photo of either a young or old subject and corresponding that photo to the most appropriate word that describes them. There were two words to chose from, one was positive such as joy, happy, friend and the other word was negative for instance evil, failure, awful.

    • Word count: 1676
  10. Classical Conditioning and Response.

    This repetition of patterns and the proper response is known as classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is a major phenomenon which has been the topic of experimental procedures for several decades. From animals, to babies, to adults, conditioning has been shown to be evident in several forms of life. Although there are several types of classical conditioning, this experimental report focuses mainly on the phenomenon of extinction. The main focus of extinction is how one is conditioned to respond distinctly to a certain indicator, but then the associated response diminishes over time as the certain indicator is removed (Nairne, 245).

    • Word count: 703
  11. Psychological research on identity has used both an 'insider viewpoint' and an 'outsider viewpoint'.

    As we will see later it is also possible to take an individual's inner experiences and look at them in a more distant way - using an outsider viewpoint. Taking an outsider viewpoint means looking at the subject from 'outside' - this approach is not concerned with the inner experiences of a particular individual. When taking this approach the aim is to be objective. This viewpoint favours data obtained from experiments (termed material data) and observations of behaviour. The outsider viewpoint is seen from the researcher's point of view, rather than that of the participant (Phoenix and Thomas, 2002).

    • Word count: 1771
  12. The purpose of this study was to construct a simplified model of previous experiments in which pinnae convolutions were demonstrated to affect the accuracy of sound localisation in the vertical plane.

    Notwithstanding, recent research studies into sound localisation have established that the pinnae play an important role in the localisation of sound (Batteau, 1967; Butler, 1969; Gardner & Gardner, 1973). The pinnae are considered by many to be especially important when determining the location of a sound source in the vertical plane (Butler, 1969; Gardner & Gardner, 1973). Batteau (1967) was one of the first to demonstrate the effects of the pinnae on localisation accuracy. This was illustrated by recording sounds, received by small microphones inserted into casts of pinnae (either normal pinnae or occluded pinnae, e.g.

    • Word count: 2538
  13. Memory is the vital part of the brain we need to live a normal life. Without it we would wake up each morning forgetting everything we know and have learnt over our lives.

    discovered this method does increase the capacity of the STM along with many other things, Brown and Peterson (1958-59) discovered prevention of rehearsal will interfere with remembering certain information such as a phone numbers. These methods and theory's created by people give us more understanding on how our brain works and why we are the way we are. The aim of the experiment is to investigate the capacity of the short-term memory, using the process of chunking. The experimental hypothesis is the participants in Condition 1 (chunked numbers)

    • Word count: 1893
  14. What does an understanding of biological processes offer to psychological explanations? Support your argument with research evidence from Chapter 4 and/or Chapter 5 of Book 1.

    For example, psychological processes can be explained as caused by actions of genes, hormones or any other low-level entities. There exists, however, an opposing view that this kind of analysis is not sufficient to fully explore the true nature of all psychological matters. This is where the principle of emergent property comes into use (Toates, 2002). This principle refers to a characteristic of a system that derives from the interaction of its parts and is not apparent or inherent in the parts considered in isolation.

    • Word count: 2387
  15. The aim of the study is to find out if males score higher than females when asked to estimate their IQ.

    In 1905, Binet and Simon produced a test that measured comprehension, memory and other cognitive abilities. Later on in 1916, the Stanford-Binet test was devised to measure several aspects of intelligence, mainly in children. Intelligence was measured in vocabulary, maths and grammar. This test was standardised by being given to a large group of representative people of whom the test was intended for. This allows specific and general comparisons to be made. It was and still is used in many countries today. The general measurement of intelligence found from the test was intelligence quotient, also known as IQ.

    • Word count: 2125
  16. A Correlation investigation conducted to analyse self ratings and peer ratings on extraversion.

    The Q-sort method was generally used to examine an individual's self-concept, it involved giving the participant cards which contained statements on the personality, such as ' I find it hard to get over things'. The participant works through the cards dividing them into three separate sets: one which best describes the participant; one for the less applicable statements and one for those statements which are not consistent with their ideas about their self. The participant then rates his/her self, using the grouped statements.

    • Word count: 2271
  17. The attention demands of lexical retrieval.

    There is some evidence for this view from analyses of pauses, hesitations and speech errors, but there is hardly any relevant experimental evidence. When speakers are asked to name two or more objects in noun phrase conjunctions such as 'the cat and the chair' (Meyer, Sleiderink, & Levelt, 1998) two types of attention seem to be operating. One of which is an automatic type of attention, which precedes saccades and is called visual attention. The other type of attention is more general and is responsible for higher order processes.

    • Word count: 4297
  18. The validity and accuracy in analysing personality traits using interobserver reliability.

    Funder has outlined the moderators of accuracy as the 'good judge' 'the good target or person being judged' 'the good trait' and 'good information'. In considering 'the judge', both narcissists (individuals with grandly inflated opinions of themselves) and self-diminishers (who view their contribution as less valuable than they appeared to others) are prone to render inaccurate judgements. Therefore, the 'good judge' is somewhere between these two extremes. In terms of the 'good target', some individuals are more easily judged than others.

    • Word count: 1727
  19. What is it about superstition as measured by your scale that means it is negatively correlated in attitudes to organ donation?

    AWARENESS OF ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION It is evident that card carrying is more common amongst young people and professionals (5). This is due to the introduction of donor cards with driving licence applications (in 1999, 50% of new registrations were from driving licence applications), and the unequal distribution of card displays. Lewis (???) found that those in manual occupations are frequently unaware of donor card campaigns. Lack of thought and information is the reason for this, for when those in manual occupations were made aware, 87% of them agreed that organ donation is a good idea.

    • Word count: 5727
  20. Do Milgram's experiment's tell us anything about why people obey authority outside the laboratory?

    Later cross-cultural research in many ither countries also found similar results with obedience levels reaching 92% in Holland (Smith and Bond 1993). This would suggest that Milgrams findings tell us a lot about why people obey authority outside of the lab, however, research has had some contradicting findings and it would be wrong to generalise laboratory results to all settings. This essay will look at research into obedience to authority outside of the laboratory, and compare findings with Milgrams to see if his research really does tell us anything about why people obey authority outside of the laboratory and will

    • Word count: 3385
  21. Describe Milgram's studies of obedience and discuss the ethical problems associated with them.

    The participants were paid for their involvement in the experiment prior to completing it. All of the participants were male from various backgrounds and ages. This fact reflected on Milgram's original interest in the n**i war crimes as most of the war criminals were male. Highly prestigious Yale University was the location for Milgram's original experiment. The participants were deceived into thinking that the experiment was about effects of punishment on learning. The volunteer participants drew lots for teacher or learner roles but unknown to them the draw was actually fixed so as they were always the teacher.

    • Word count: 1049
  22. A correlational study into the effects of locus of control and perceived life stress regarding gender differences.

    Those with an external locus of control feel that outside forces such as, luck or fate, exert considerable control over the outcomes in their lives (Brehm & Kassin 1999). Whereas individuals who have a strong belief that they can control their own destinies are likely to: (a) be more aware of environmental factors that may influence future behaviour, (b) take steps to improve environmental conditions, (c) place greater value on skill or achievement reinforcement, and (d) be resistive to conformity and other subtle attempts to influence their behaviour (McLaughlin, & Saccuzzo, 1997).

    • Word count: 1369
  23. An investigation to study the number of words recalled from a list of categorised words in contrast to a list of non-categorised words?

    In 1953 Bousfield carried out an investigation on organisation in the memory allowing free recall. He gave participants a list of sixty items to learn, within the list were fifteen names of animals, fifteen names of people, fifteen professions and fifteen vegetables all mixed up together. Participants were asked to recall as many of the words as possible in any order. Despite the categories being all mixed together participants presented them in clusters of words belonging to the same category. Bousfield concluded that such categorical clusters are indicative of semantic organisation in memory. The aim of this experiment is to test the affect of memorising words from a list of categorised words in comparison to a list of non-categorised words.

    • Word count: 2825
  24. 'Compare and contrast the ethical issues raised by Milgram's experiments on obedience and Zimbardo's prison experiment'.

    All of the participants gave shocks of at least 300 volts to the learners. The 'teachers' could hear pre-recorded screams of pain from the 'learner'. Both experiments revealed the dark potential in human behaviour and were both topical. n**i war crime tribunals were underway when Milgram started his study in which n**i officials used the defence that they were simply following orders. After Zimbardo's experiment there was rioting and escapes from U.S prisons. Both studies have been criticised for their treatment of their human research subjects and raise important ethical issues concerned with research.

    • Word count: 1831
  25. Discuss theories of impression formation.

    This showed that the people watching the act had built up schemata on black people and saw them to be more aggressive than white people. As every person is different we have no way of telling exactly what a person or situation is like just from the framework we have in our minds. However the use of schemata helps us to simplify situations in every day life and help us make judgement on the correct way to behave with certain types of people and situations.

    • Word count: 819

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