Appendix B BEH/225 Version 4


Associate Level Material Appendix B

Research Methods Matrix

A psychologist is planning to conduct a study that would examine pathological liars and the quality of their romantic relationships. You have been asked to provide the psychologist with a recommendation for which research method should be used to gather data on the pathological liars and their spouses.

Using the table below list each research method and its advantages and disadvantages for use in this study.

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Research Method Naturalistic Observation

Advantages Subject’s actions and behavior can be observed on a daily basis. Such observation can identify patterns of behavior and whether the presence of a romantic partner acts as a modifier.

Disadvantages The immediate disadvantage in my belief is that a romantic partners greatest influence would happen in privacy, and would therefore be difficult to observe and record for purposes of study. The vast amount of data generated by surveys usually requires a large amount of careful scrutiny in order to be useful. Such data can help to identify correlations between certain data points that result in personal actions, but do not identify the triggers


The amount of information generated by surveys can help researchers utilize private, law enforcement, and federal data to identify triggers for pathological liars, and could help correlate the effect of romantic relationships with actions.

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Case Studies

Case studies provide a controlled environment within which subjects can be observed so that correlations between environment and behavior can be measured. It can also help build usable data to include several subjects.

There are a few drawbacks from the Case Study method. It is hard to draw truly accurate observations from a limited number of subjects.

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Experimental Research

Such research attempts to bridge the gap between data collection and treatment. It can identify key triggers for certain behaviors and help develop methods for clinical application.

Experimental research is quite simply what its name implies, experimental. It is a method of trying various oblique solutions based on limited data. In addition, because various data is collected, and may not be applied to multiple study subjects, the conclusions are prone to personal interpretation by the observers.

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Correlation Research

Correlational research allows the observer to gather behavioral information, environmental information, and then begin to plot and determine connections or correlations between all the factors.

Correlation research is limited in that it only allows for the observation of how one factor affects another.

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Make your recommendation to the psychologist and explain the rationale behind your choice. Your response should be 100-200 words.

In my belief, a Survey would be the most effective tool to develop a data set for further analysis. Because the scenario involves private aspects of daily life, it seems unlikely that subjects would accurately reflect their true nature if they knew they were being monitored. However, given the opportunity to participate in an anonymous survey, both the pathological liar and the romantic partner could participate and provide valuable data without social consequence. It is my belief that the Survey method of research would be the most efficient way for the observer to gather a large amount of data that could be truly useful in the treatment of patients.