Methods of Research Lecture covering research methods, including: survey methods, naturalistic observation, the experimental method, and the correlational method. Also includes a brief introduction to statistics.
Methods of Research
Consists of a set of written questions that are used to determine people’s attitudes, beliefs or
Advantages Subject: participant in a study
Really efficient, and relatively cheap.
Anonymous Pilot Study: a smaller, trial study
Disadvantages Biased sample: opposite of a
Not as accurate representative population
Can be interpreted differently by people
In order to generalize from the sample to a population, the sample must be representative of the
population. (Must be a “mini-version”).
Random Sampling: Where each person in the population has an equal chance of being chosen for the
Use this when you’re interested in describing or measuring people’s behaviour when they are
People act naturally
Time and money consuming
You can only observe
Might behave unnaturally if realizing you’re being watched
Might interpret things
In naturalistic observation, minimize subject reactivity is to use unobtrusive measures or to have
a participant observer. Researchers have expectations, and that might affect how they interpret
information. As a researcher you must prevent this from happening (inter-observer reliability). Experimental Method
Advantage: You have control over the variables, and can infer a cause + effect relationship.
Disadvantage: Subjects may not be behaving naturally.
Independent Variable: What the experimenter manipulates to see if it has an effect on behaviour.
Dependent Variable: The behaviour that is being measured to see if the independent variable had an
Control Group: Is a group that is used as a basis of comparison and is similar to the experimental groups
in every way except that it gets to “zero” level of the independent variable.
Is a special type of control group that’s used to control for subjects’ expectations that may in
turn affect results. If the control group is given a placebo then it’s assumed that all groups are equal in
terms of their expectations and differences are due to the independent variable.
Is a variable that interferes with the results of the study. It affects the dependent variable so you
don’t know whether the effects are caused by the independent variable, the confounding variable or