Methods of Research
Consists of a set of written questions that are used to determine people’s beliefs, attitudes, and
Anonymous so responses are truthful (?)
Sometimes questionnaires are too long and people quickly make up responses
Misinterpretation of questions
Large sample required
o Must be representative of the population
Random sampling: Every person in the population has the same probability to be randomly picked as
part of the sample.
Often pilot studies are conducted to ensure enough responses are sent.
Act of recording peoples’ behaviour naturally in a natural setting.
Lack of control
Not very efficient
Bias in observer (tendency to want to “prove” hypothesis)
Cannot infer cause and effect
o You are only observing, it would be fallacious to say one thing leads to another because
you don’t know the entire picture
Researchers must aim to minimize subject reactivity so that they continue acting naturally.
Participant observer: The researcher adopts a cover and blends in with the subject(s)
Unobtrusive measures: Methods of attaining information without the subject’s knowledge
Inter-observer reliability: No variation in observer interpretation, indication of good data
The act of changing conditions to elicit a response. Must have at least one:
o Independent variable
The condition that is changed to see if it has an effect on behaviour
o Dependent variable
The behaviour that is measured to see if there is a change after manipulating
the independent variable
Control Group: Used as a basis for comparison. No change in independent variable over the
experimental period. Control and experimental group must be equal in every other way.