Evaluation Checklist

Theories • • • • • • Consistent with other existing empirical data? The theory stimulates investigators to do further research? Variables in the study have been carefully and consistently defined? (construct validity) Can the theory be applied to a broad range of phenomena or is it limited in the range/variety of psych phenomena it can explain? Does the theory help psychologists understand everyday human behaviour? Are their other studies that appear to contradict the study or theory?

Studies • What are the advantages/disadvantages of the research method being used? • Are participants doing something that they would experience in everyday life? • Is the lab situation too controlled to allow understanding of behaviour outside the lab? • How good are the measures used to record the data? [e.g. was measure culturally sensitive? Was questionnaire used a widely accepted/validated one?] • Does the study consistently/accurately predict human behaviour? [predictive validity] e.g. Bandura SLT states we must identify with a model to imitate behaviour, but not everyone who identifies with a model imitates their behaviour • Could there be researcher bias? (e.g. lack of appropriate controls such as double blind?) • Could demand characteristics have affected the validity of the study? • Might participants have performed better simply because they were being watched? [social facilitation effect] • Might participants have said things to avoid looking foolish or inappropriate? [social desirability effect] • Could order effects have affected the validity of the study? (e.g. no counterbalancing) • Could contamination have occurred – where information gained from outside the study affects results? (e.g. in longitudinal, replication of wellknown studies) • Is there a chance the placebo effect occurred? • Was there inter-rater reliability where multiple people are carrying out the study? Were interviewers/experimenters adequately trained? • Has the study been replicated and supported by other studies? (i.e. reliable) • Are the findings of the study transferable? (e.g. can they be applied to

other situations?) • Are their other studies that appear to contradict the study or theory? • Is the sample representative? • How diverse is the sample? Gender bias? Class bias? • Is there cross-cultural support for the study? • Does the study take an emic [-danger of loss of objectivity] or etic [-danger of imposing concepts or methods from researchers’ own culture on to others] approach? • Is there bidirectional ambiguity [e.g. all correlational studies – we are unsure if x causes y; y causes x; or if there is no causal relationship at all]? • How do other levels of analysis look at the same problem? Do they support each other? • Is the study ethical? (i.e. informed consent, confidentiality, protection from harm, debriefing, right to withdraw)

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