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PSYC 201W (78)
Chapter 6

research methods - Chapter 6 summary.pdf

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A.George Alder

Case studies ▫ Casestudy An in-depth analysis of an individual, social unit, or event. Basic characteristics ▫ Direct observation and questioning = two most common methods for Unobtrusive measures andarchival records gathering case study data, but other measures may also be used ▫ Unobtrusivemeasure ▫ Reported in diverse ways → Assesses behaviour without making people aware that the behaviour is being measured → Examples Why conduct case studies?  Disguised naturalistic observation ▫ Can offer a unique window into the nature of a person's behaviour and  Physicaltracemeasures mental life. → Unobtrusively examine traces of behaviour that people create/leave behind ▫ Excel at describing behaviour  Some types of archivalrecords ▫ can provide supportfor the external validity of findings obtained in experiments/other types of research → Previously existing documents/other data that ▫ Enable data to be collected about rare events and people who have rare were produced independently of the current abilities/experiences research ▫ Concerns and limitations ▫ Can be used to test hypotheses and theories → Ethical issues ▫ Provide insight into possible causes of behaviour → Archival measures and physical trace measure may be ▫ Stimulate experimental research unobtrusive, it does not mean the original data collection was also unobtrusive Concerns about case studies 1. Difficulty of drawing clear causal conclusions 2. Generalizability of the findings 3. Potential for observerbias → Occurs when researchers have expectations/otherpredispositions that distort their observations Chapter 6 Observational research ▫ Observationalresearch Recording observations Encompasses different types of non-experimental studies in which behaviour is systematically watched and recorded ▫ Observations of behaviour can be recorded in many ways ▫ Narrativerecordsand field notes → Narrative records provide an ongoing description of Basic characteristics behaviour that is used for later analysis ▫ Measure the behaviour of multiple people/non-human animals, → Field notes are less comprehensive than narrative wither in real time as the behaviour unfolds/upon reviewing records; observers use them to record important electronic records of the behaviour impressions/instances of behaviour ▫ Behaviouralcodingsystems Why conduct observational research? → Involve classifying participants' responses into mutually exclusive categories ▫ Well suited to describing behaviour and examining associations between variables ▫ Rating scales, ranking scales, anddiaries ▫ Can be used to test hypotheses and theories → Observerratingandrankingscales  Used to evaluate participants' behaviour/other ▫ Suggest possible causal relations that are subsequently characteristics examined in experiments ▫ Examine the external validity of experimental findings
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