Research Methods: Past Exam Questions

Quantitative Qualitative data

1. State whether the data given in Table 1 are quantitative or qualitative. (1 mark) (June 08) Quantitative 2. The type of data gathered in this study was quantitative. Distinguish between quantitative data and qualitative data. (3 marks) (Jan 07) AO1 One mark each for reference to a feature of quantitative and qualitative data. Possible answer: Quantitative data is concerned with the collection of numerical data (AO1, 1). Qualitative data is concerned with meanings people attach to events and experiences (AO1, 1). AO2 One mark for the difference identified. This may be implicit in AO1. Likely answers: ease of analysis; replication; ease of summarising; level of detail. Up to three marks may be credited for candidates who provide valid distinction points.

3. (i) Identify one question in the extract above that would give quantitative data. (1 mark) (ii) Identify one question in the extract above that would give qualitative data. (1 mark) (iii) With reference to the question you have selected in your answer to (c) (ii), explain why it would provide qualitative data. (2 marks) (AQA A June 08) AO3 (i) Questions 1, 2 and 3 would produce quantitative data. (ii) Questions 4, 5 and 6 would all produce qualitative data. AO3 (iii) Qualitative data is any information that is not in numerical form. In the case of Questions 4, 5 and 6 the respondents are required to write their answers using their own words. For example, Question 4 because the respondent would have to describe their reasons why they started smoking and it would be in their own words, their own feelings about why they began this behaviour.

A health psychologist was interested in whether there was a relationship between nutrition and examination results. eg. There were ten boy-boy pairs. For each pupil. e. eg pulling names out of a hat.g. can result in an unrepresentative sample particularly if the sample is small in relation to the target population. ensures there is no bias in selection of participants. 9. to select the original 50 people for this study. stratified. Friendly behaviours included sharing a toy. (1 mark) [1 mark : AO1 = 1. The aim was to investigate differences in play behaviour between same-sex pairs and boy-girl pairs. increased chance of representative sample. The children were observed playing together in a laboratory playroom containing a selection of toys. However. AO2 = 0] AO1 Correct identification of the advantage. the sample was obtained from a nearby nursery. The psychologists assigned the children to pairs. Those who were willing gave their names and addresses. (f) (ii) State one advantage of the method you identified in (i) above. A stratified sample of 20 14-year-old pupils was selected to take part in the study. Two psychologists observed a sample of children of three years of age. To save time. (2 marks) AO1 One mark for an advantage and one mark for a disadvantage. The psychologist conducted the study over two years at a local secondary school. 1). eg the researcher works out the proportions needed for the sample to be representative. (2 marks) (June 03) AO1 A sampling method in which each member of the target population (1) has an equal chance of being selected (1). the candidate might state that this means that the sample will not be subject to any inherent bias on the part of the researcher selecting it. (i) Describe one sampling method the psychologist might have used to select interviewees. (3 marks) (ii) In the context of this investigation. No marks for description of how this is done.Sampling 4. (ii) Identify one strength and one limitation of stratified sampling. One further mark for relation to opportunity sampling. the psychologist calculated the average fat consumption per day in grammes and the average GCSE points score. snowball sampling. skewed sample. 1) has an equal chance of being selected (AO1. the lower his or her average GCSE points score would be. Give one advantage and one disadvantage of random sampling. One mark for further outline. (2 marks) (AQA A June 08) AO1 The sampling methods identified on the specification are: random. (2 marks) (ii) State one advantage of the method you identified in (i) above. (ii) One mark for explaining why the technique might be better. Identify the sampling method used by the psychologists in this study. 6. 8. As the children played. (3 marks) (ii) State one strength and one limitation of stratified sampling. a positive verbal response to the other child and a positive behaviour to the other child. (2 marks) (June 06) & (Jan 04) Two marks for stating that random sampling means that every member of the target population (AO1. The psychologist selected the pupils for this study by stratified sampling. both psychologists recorded the frequency of friendly behaviours for each pair. Can be time consuming compared to other methods. systematic. explain one reason for using the sampling method you have identified in your answer to (d) (i). (2 marks) Jan 05 AO1 One mark for the researcher identifies the different strata or sub-groups. Example: If random sampling has been chosen. other sampling methods are also creditworthy. The frequency of friendly behaviours in same-sex and boy-girl pairs is shown in the bar chart (Figure 1). (i) Describe how a stratified sample might be obtained. The psychologist used opportunity sampling. such as smiling. volunteer sampling. (1 mark) (June 04) Oportunity 7. eg rather a time-consuming method as detailed knowledge of the relevant characteristics of the population. Must be related to sampling technique identified. A group of psychology students decided to investigate possible reasons for unhealthy behaviours: they chose to focus on smoking. Identify one sampling method that could have been used and explain one limitation of this method. The psychologist interviewed 10% of the people who had agreed to a follow-up interview. and their relative proportions is needed. Consider only the first advantage stated. where bias can occur in the selection of participants. The students designed a questionnaire and gave it to other students at their university. The psychologist predicted that. eg. the more fat that a child consumed. opportunity and stratified. Disadvantages: Very difficult to achieve due to having to identify all members of the target population. . (1 mark) (Jan 03) AO1 One mark for a brief description of an appropriate sampling technique eg random. (2 marks) (ii) Explain why random sampling might be a better technique to use than opportunity sampling. Example: Random sampling is a method where every member of the target population is given an equal chance of being chosen. ten girl-girl pairs and ten boy-girl pairs. (i) Outline what is meant by random sampling. eg it is likely to produce a more representative sample. Examples: Advantages: Eliminates the possibility of researcher bias in selection. rather than random sampling. and further mark for expansion. At the end of the questionnaire the psychologist asked people if they would be willing to be contacted for a follow-up interview. The psychologist obtained data from the following sources: • records of daily fat consumption in grammes • interviews with teachers and parents • observations of behaviour in the classroom and the school canteen • GCSE results. eg opportunity sampling. quota. One mark for identification of the limitation. (2 marks) [2 marks: AO1 = 2] AO1 One mark for identification of the strength. 5. opportunity. (ii) Give one advantage and one disadvantage of random sampling.

In one condition of the experiment. (2 marks) (June 03) AO2 The candidate should predict that there will be no relationship/correlation (1) (responses referring to differences/effect should not be credited) between the two variables identified – mathematical ability and driving skill (1). were selected to take part in this study. both psychologists recorded the frequency of friendly behaviours for each pair. who suffered from a phobia of spiders. The psychologist took a random sample of twenty students from the population of sixth form students enrolled in a school. such as smiling. 1). The cage contained only food and water (Group 2). Fifty participants. ten girl-girl pairs and ten boy-girl pairs. a positive verbal response to the other child and a positive behaviour to the other child. A psychologist conducted an experiment to investigate the effect of the environment on learning. for example. Null: there will be no difference in the mean heart rate between participants who receive relaxation therapy (AO2. but need not be fully operationalised. The children were observed playing together in a laboratory playroom containing a selection of toys. In the other condition of the experiment. Researcher bias  A psychologist conducted a survey to discover the factors that motivate people to be blood donors. more representative sample. One tailed: participants who receive relaxation therapy will show a lower mean heart rate (AO2. To save time. twenty-five of the participants each received thirty minutes of relaxation therapy. (2 marks) Jan 03 AO1 Reason given. 1) and boy-girl pairs (AO2. In Stage One of the experiment. but need not be fully operationalised. Suggest one advantage of using two locations to distribute the questionnaires. 13. For each student. The remaining twenty-five participants. the psychologist recorded the number of correct answers on the mental arithmetic test and the score on the rally-driving computer game. 12. Aims & Hypotheses A psychologist wanted to investigate whether or not relaxation therapy would reduce anxiety in people who suffered from phobias. to allow for comparison between two groups. 1). they can include:  ay not generate a representative sample M Can be time consuming  Might not get sufficient people  Only a certain sort of person volunteers and they might not be typical  of the target population. were required to sit in silence for thirty minutes. who did not receive relaxation therapy. The frequency of friendly behaviours in same-sex and boy-girl pairs is shown in the bar chart (Figure 1). 1). 1). 1) and participants who do not receive relaxation therapy (AO2. . There were ten boy-boy pairs. As the children played. he distributed his questionnaires at two locations. State an appropriate hypothesis for this study. Two psychologists observed a sample of children of three years of age. Null: There will be no difference in the frequency of friendly behaviour within same-sex pairs (AO2. AO2 Linking the reason to this study. the sample was obtained from a nearby nursery. Each participant’s heart rate was again recorded as a measure of anxiety. the psychologist raised ten rats in a stimulating environment. The psychologists assigned the children to pairs. 11. 1) than participants who do not receive relaxation therapy (AO2. The psychologist designed a questionnaire. the psychologist raised ten rats in an impoverished environment. After carrying out a pilot study. Two marks for both variables identified. Each participant’s heart rate (number of beats per minute) was recorded as a measure of anxiety. A psychologist wanted to investigate the relationship between mathematical ability and the driving skill of sixth form students. Friendly behaviours included sharing a toy. 1) than children assigned to boy-girl pairs (AO2. One-tailed: Children who are assigned in same-sex pairs will direct a higher frequency of friendly behaviour towards their playmate (AO2. Two tailed: there will be a difference between the mean heart rate of participants who receive relaxation therapy (AO2. In Stage Two of the experiment. ensure that the sample has respondents with a broad range of views. In Stage Three of the experiment. 1). The mean heart rates recorded for participants at Stage One and Stage Three of the experiment are shown in the bar chart (Figure 1). 1) and participants who do not receive relaxation therapy (AO2. 1) and boy-girl pairs (AO2. The cage contained lots of toys and ramps (Group 1). State a null hypothesis for this study. 10. the psychologist presented each participant with the same large spider in a glass box. the psychologist presented each participant with a large spider in a glass box. State an appropriate hypothesis for this study. Two marks for both variables identified. (2 marks) (June 04) AO2 One mark if one variable present or response is partially correct. The aim was to investigate differences in play behaviour between same-sex pairs and boy-girl pairs. He used a mental arithmetic test to measure mathematical ability and a rally-driving computer game to measure driving skills. (2 marks) (Jan 07) AO1 One mark if one variable present or response is partially correct. Two-tailed: There will be a difference in the frequency of friendly behaviour within samesex pairs (AO2.AO2 Limitations will depend on the sampling method given. ensuring that his sample included people who had been asked to and may have given blood before as well as those considering giving blood for the first time. for example. 1).

There were ten boy-boy pairs. 1). (2 marks) • to check for any problems in the design. the psychologist raised ten rats in an impoverished environment. The cage contained lots of toys and ramps (Group 1). the psychologist timed how long (in seconds) it took each rat to find its way through a maze (a series of tunnels) from start to finish. the psychologist raised ten rats in an impoverished environment. In one condition of the experiment. Two marks for both variables identified. the sample was obtained from a nearby nursery. Null: There will be no difference in the time taken (in seconds) to negotiate a maze for rats raised in a stimulating environment (AO2. such as smiling. 1) and rats raised in an impoverished environment (AO2. State an appropriate hypothesis for this study. As the children played. (1 mark) (ii) Identify the dependent variable (DV) in this study. but need not be fully operationalised. Each rat was timed on five separate trials. (i) What is meant by a pilot study? (1 mark) • Small scale study conducted before an investigation (ii) Outline one advantage of conducting a pilot study. Outline what is meant by the term extraneous variable. ten girl-girl pairs and ten boy-girl pairs. After six weeks. 1). In the other condition of the experiment. The aim was to investigate differences in play behaviour between same-sex pairs and boy-girl pairs. 19 . The frequency of friendly behaviours in same-sex and boy-girl pairs is shown in the bar chart (Figure 1). 18. Pilot Studies A psychologist conducted an experiment to investigate the effect of the environment on learning. AO1 One mark for the frequency of friendly behaviour. 16. (1 mark) (ii) Identify the dependent variable in this study. a variable which is not the independent variable (AO1. The children were observed playing together in a laboratory playroom containing a selection of toys. a positive verbal response to the other child and a positive behaviour to the other child. both psychologists recorded the frequency of friendly behaviours for each pair. Two tailed: There will be a difference in the time taken (in seconds) to negotiate a maze for rats raised in a stimulating environment (AO2. For example. (i) Identify the independent variable (IV) in this study. Each rat was timed on five separate trials. Two psychologists observed a sample of children of three years of age. To save time. In one condition of the experiment. the psychologist timed how long (in seconds) it took each rat to find its way through a maze (a series of tunnels) from start to finish. • Also allows the researcher to become practiced with the techniques of the research. After six weeks. (i) Identify the independent variable in this study. the psychologist raised ten rats in a stimulating environment. 1) than rats raised in an impoverished environment (AO2. 14. (2 marks) (June 06) AO1 Two marks for an outline of the term. One tailed: Rats raised in a stimulating environment will take less time (in seconds) to negotiate a maze (AO2. Friendly behaviours included sharing a toy. The cage contained only food and water (Group 2). 17. 1) and rats raised in an impoverished environment (AO2. In the other condition of the experiment. Variables 15. The psychologists assigned the children to pairs.After six weeks. (2 marks) Jan 09 AO2 One mark if one variable present or response is partially correct. The cage contained lots of toys and ramps (Group 1). the psychologist raised ten rats in a stimulating environment. A psychologist conducted an experiment to investigate the effect of the environment on learning. 1). 1) but which might have an effect on the dependent variable (AO1. (1 mark) Jan 09 AO2 One mark for correct identification of the independent variable – the stimulating and impoverished environments in which the rats were raised. the psychologist timed how long (in seconds) it took each rat to find its way through a maze (a series of tunnels) from start to finish. Each rat was timed on five separate trials. AO2 One mark for correct identification of the dependent variable – the time taken (in seconds) to negotiate a maze. 1). (1 mark) (June 04) AO1 One mark for the sex/gender composition of the pairs of children or types of pairing. The cage contained only food and water (Group 2). The psychologist conducted a pilot study for this experiment.

Any other appropriate disadvantage may be credited. participants were required to move a metal ring along a curved wire from “start” to “finish”. the psychologist raised ten rats in a stimulating environment. (i) What type of experimental design did the psychologist use in this study? (1 mark) (ii) Explain one advantage and one disadvantage of using the experimental design that you have identified in your answer to (e)(i). Any other appropriate term can be credited. the psychologist timed how long (in seconds) it took each rat to find its way through a maze (a series of tunnels) from start to finish. one at a time. eg participant variables. the psychologist raised ten rats in an impoverished environment. A psychologist conducted an experiment to investigate whether participants performed a sensorimotor task better or worse in the presence of an audience. The audience consisted of sixth form students from the same school who were instructed to remain silent throughout the experiment. same task can be used in both conditions. In the experiment. 2. AO1 One mark for appropriate identification of an advantage. The cage contained only food and water (Group 2). • in the control condition. more participants required for the investigation. eg no order effects. Any other appropriate advantage may be credited. The results are given in Table 1. the remaining twenty participants were asked to perform the same task. in the presence of the audience. The psychologist observed each participant’s performance and recorded the number of errors.21 Research Method Questions Experimental Design 1. twenty participants were asked to perform the sensori-motor task. An opportunity sample of forty 16-year-old participants was selected from a school sixth form. Each rat was timed on five separate trials. The psychologist conducted the experiment in two different ways: • in one condition. (4 marks) AO1 One mark for correct identification of the type of experimental design. A psychologist conducted an experiment to investigate the effect of the environment on learning. The cage contained lots of toys and ramps (Group 1). In one condition of the experiment. Likely answers: independent groups/measures/between participants/unrelated. AO2 One mark each for elaboration of the advantage and disadvantage identified in AO1. If they touched the wire. but without the audience. In the other condition of the experiment. . One mark for appropriate identification of a disadvantage. a buzzer sounded and an error was recorded by an electronic counter attached to the wire and loop. one at a time. After six weeks.

eg there may be order effects. AO2 Two marks for explanation. One mark each for any two of these ideas. does not allow for elaboration. (ii) With reference to the study. AO2 One mark for reference to the study. 5. (2 marks) AO2 Possible answers: with a restricted range of responses. Identify one strength and one limitation of the experimental method in psychology. 6. eg low ecological validity. (2 marks) Jan 04 AO1 One mark for stating the type of experimental design. or similar response. (1 mark) (ii) Write one open question that might be used to obtain information about a person’s mood state. or two marks for one done well. A psychologist wanted to investigate whether mood had an effect on the recall of information. Participants in the second condition might perform better in solving mathematical problems because they now know what to do. eg control of many extraneous variables so that reliability is high and alternative explanations of events is eliminated. relative ease of gathering information. The questionnaire used to measure mood state contained both closed and open questions. gather information which cannot easily be obtained by other methods. (2 marks) AO1 One mark for there are no order effects. AO2 One mark for comparison of the feature identified in AO1 to a field experiment. or similar response. Any other appropriate term may be credited. Explain one difference between a laboratory experiment and a field experiment. were asked to complete a mood state questionnaire. She expected that participants who rated themselves as ‘happy’ would recall more words from a list than participants who rated themselves as ‘unhappy’. (2 marks) Jan 05 AO1 One mark for identification of the strength. Example: Experiment. One mark for identification of the weakness.Explain one problem that might have arisen if the psychologist had chosen to use a repeated measures design in this study. eg participants would take part in both conditions of the experiment. controlled environment. Possible answer: Describe how happy you feel right now. . the same task can be used in both conditions. Enables inference about cause and effect. generate numerical data – easier to analyse. (3 marks) Jan 05 AO1 One mark for identification. the psychologist selected ten participants who had rated themselves as ‘happy’ and ten participants who had rated themselves as ‘unhappy’. eg that different participants take part in each experimental condition. Possible answer: Are you unhappy? (Yes/No) iii) AO2 One mark for an appropriate example of an open question. This would then cast doubt on the effects of sleep deprivation. Explain one difference between an experiment and a correlation study. that the data can be quantified. 9. (4 marks) June 03 AO1 One mark each for a correct reference to a feature of the experimental method and correlational design. or similar response. One mark for further outline. State three advantages of the use of questionnaires in psychological research. (i) Write one closed question that might be used to obtain information about a person’s mood state. 3. eg can produce quite artificial conditions and measures of variables. selected by opportunity sampling. (1 mark) (iii) Outline one disadvantage of using questionnaires in psychological research. This means that the experiment can predict cause and effect (causation) but a correlation can only predict a relationship. eg high ecological validity. (i) Outline the type of experimental design used in this study. state one advantage of using the design you have identified in (i). Explain why the item in Figure 1 is an example of a closed question. Example An experiment tests the effect which an independent variable has upon a dependent variable but a correlation looks for a relationship between two variables. reduces interviewer bias. isolates and manipulates the independent variable to observe its effect on the dependent variable. Some of this explanation may involve reference to features identified in AO1 but used as an explanation. predicts cause and effect. anonymity. the options are fixed. Examples: able to get a large sample. (2 marks) Jan 09 AO1 One mark for identification of a feature of a laboratory experiment. less controlled environment. (3 marks) Jan 03 AO1 One mark for a correct identification of each advantage. Experiments 4. 8. Correlation identifies variables and looks for a relationship between them. (2 marks) June 06 i) AO2 One mark for an appropriate example of a closed question. performance of the sensori-motor task is unaffected by practice as participants only take part in one condition. From these 50 people. Independent groups/ measures/between subjects/unrelated. controls the environment in order that extraneous variables may be eliminated. eg for order effects. AO2 Marks awarded for explanation of the difference which has been identified. Questionnaires 7. ease of scoring. Fifty people.

eg the psychologist was able to ensure none of the participants cheated during the experiment. Likely answers: high ecological validity if carried out in a natural environment/less artificial than experimental method/provide hypotheses for future research. (1 mark) AO2 One mark for an appropriate example of a closed question. eg in the media (AO1. 1). 1). 15. 1). (i) Explain why the psychologist did not want to be seen by the participants. . 1) therefore reducing validity (AO2. (2 marks) Jan 05 AO1 Two marks for recognition of the term. (1 mark) June 08 AO2 One mark for an appropriate example of an open question. One further mark for an outline of the problem raised. Possible answer: Do you sometimes panic if you are prevented from taking a shower? Yes/No. State one advantage and one disadvantage of participant observation. films. of the pupils’ behaviour in the classroom. (2 marks) Jan 05 AO1 One mark for identification. 1). The psychologist conducted a number of overt observations of the offender’s behaviour in various prison situations. Note: Candidates should be credited on their ability to write a closed question. hard to score if open questions are used. Observations 13 The psychologist decided to conduct a case study by observing and interviewing one of the participants who reported a very high level of stress. Content analysis 11. Alternatively. essays or cartoons. (3 marks) June 05 Possible answer: Content analysis is a method used to analyse communication. State one advantage of observational studies.iii) AO1 One mark for identification of the disadvantage eg. June 07 17. (2 marks) AO2 Two marks for explanation of how the problem can be overcome. Possible answer: A disadvantage of using questionnaires in psychological research is that they are based on selfreport data (AO1. One further mark for an outline of the disadvantage identified. An opportunity sample of forty 16-year-old participants was selected from a school sixth form. 1). The frequency of sex-role stereotypes observed may explain whether or not the media may influence gender-typed behaviour (AO1. 14. Psychologists use this method to investigate sex-role stereotyping in cartoons for example (AO1. eg researcher understands context in which behaviour is taking place. reliability of observations or similar. introduce another psychologist to observe the same behaviour (AO2. A psychologist conducted an experiment to investigate whether participants performed a sensorimotor task better or worse in the presence of an audience. The psychologist carried out a participant observation. Overt / Covert 16. 12. then this would have confounded the results. 1). This may be one-way as in books. bias due to self-report data and/or social desirability. a buzzer sounded and an error was recorded by an electronic counter attached to the wire and loop. Example: Content analysis is a method used to analyse communication. (3 marks) June 08 AO1 One mark for identification of a problem. participants were required to move a metal ring along a curved wire from “start” to “finish”. candidates may explain that if the psychologist had been present in the same room during the experiment. (2 marks) Jan 08 AO1 One mark for identification of the advantage. 1). 1). 15.a) Outline one methodological problem that might arise when just one psychologist observes a person’s behaviour. Identify and briefly explain one methodological problem that might have arisen because only one psychologist observed Janet’s behaviour. The psychologist may have looked for a particular behaviour which fitted with his expectations (AO2. b) Explain how the problem you have identified in (a) can be overcome. 1). If they touched the wire. What is meant by overt observation? (1 mark) June 07 AO1 One mark for correct definition of the method. Comparison of both observation records will check for reliability in the behaviour observed (AO2. or interpersonal as in a conversation (AO1. AO2 Up to two marks for explanation of the problem identified. (1 mark) June 05 AO1 One mark for correct identification of the advantage. Possible answer: One methodological problem might be observer bias (AO1. Possible answer: An overt observation is where the observers themselves. rather than a non-participant observation. AO2 One mark for explanation. In the experiment. or their purpose are disclosed to the participant(s) (AO1. The data may therefore be biased by the motivation levels of the respondents (AO1. The questionnaire used to measure Janet’s anxiety contained both open and closed questions. 10. (2 marks) June 07 AO1 One mark for identification of a relevant problem. Note: Candidates should be credited on their ability to write an open question. Outline what is meant by the term content analysis. Likely answers: observer bias. What is meant by the term content analysis? Outline how this method is used by psychologists to study gender. Possible answer: Describe how you feel before you wash your hands. high in ecological validity. eg elimination of confounding variables. For example. 1). 1). eg observer bias. The psychologist used a one-way mirror to observe each participant’s performance without him or her knowing. The audience consisted of sixth form students from the same school who were instructed to remain silent throughout the experiment. (i) Write one open question that might have been used to obtain information about Janet’s anxiety. eg in the media (AO1. reliability of observations. No credit for repetition of the stem. 18. (ii) Write one closed question that might have been used to obtain information about Janet’s anxiety. eg the researcher may look for a particular behaviour which fits with his/her expectations. 1).

if covert should have no effect on the behaviour being observed. Two marks for elaboration of the advantage. the remaining twenty participants were asked to perform the same task. bias on the part of the researcher. AO2 One mark for comparison of the advantage identified in AO1 to conducting an observation in a laboratory setting. the researcher might affect behaviour/outcome. (2 marks) Jan 03 AO2 One mark for brief explanation of an advantage. participants respond naturally. To discover what the participants thought about their performance in the presence or absence of an audience. Interview 24 (i) What is meant by the term unstructured interview? (1 mark) Jan 03 AO1 One mark for recognising that it is an interview in which the issues for discussion are not predetermined by the researcher. (3 marks) Jan 04 AO1 One mark for identification of ethical issue. high in ecological validity. further mark for expansion.) (g) (ii) Explain one advantage of an unstructured interview. One mark for identification of the disadvantage. Outline what is meant by non-participant observation. twenty participants were asked to perform the sensori-motor task. The psychologist decided to conduct an interview with one of the participants who showed a high level of anxiety. • in the control condition. Maximum 1 mark for an ethical issue not specifically related to this method of observation. (3 marks) June 07 AO1 One mark for identification of an appropriate advantage. Explain one advantage of conducting an observation in a natural setting compared with an observation in a laboratory setting. a buzzer sounded and an error was recorded by an electronic counter attached to the wire and loop. 23. As a result. observations are more holistic. the opportunity to ask additional questions. etc. 19. AO2 Two marks for discussion. eg deception. the researcher does not intrude into the situation being observed. eg participants are misled into believing they are performing the sensori-motor task in the absence of an audience. One further mark for description of the strength. eg researcher becomes too involved with the group and loses objectivity. the psychologist conducted an interview with each of them. However. (2 marks) Jan 06 & June 08 AO1 Two marks for correct outline of the term. (2 marks) Jan 06 AO1 One mark for the identification of the strength. 25. eg researcher becomes too involved with the group and loses objectivity. observes from a distance. (2 marks) Jan 08 AO1 One mark for identification of the advantage. participants were required to move a metal ring along a curved wire from “start” to “finish”. or because the issues have not been predetermined by the investigator it allows for the possibility of new ideas to be generated – not previously known to the investigator. The psychologist decided to conduct an unstructured interview with one child who achieved a high score on the language test. (3 marks) Jan 04 AO1 One mark for advantage. possibly can detect validity of responses through asking people to expand or reiterate what they have said which may show ambiguity or difference to what has been previously stated. If they touched the wire. one at a time. An opportunity sample of forty 16-year-old participants was selected from a school sixth form. eg objectivity is difficult to achieve. Naturalistic / Laboratory 22. eg it allows the psychologist to easily analyse the data. Identify and briefly discuss one ethical issue raised by this method of observation. However. one at a time. therefore easier to obtain valid data. Distinguish between a structured and an unstructured interview. The psychologist conducted the experiment in two different ways: • in one condition. in the presence of the audience. 27. eg the method is standardised. gives rich and in-depth information. the psychologist conducted a non-participant observation at the primary school. Less formal than a structured interview. (2 marks) June 08 AO1 One mark for identification of an appropriate strength. if participants were aware they were being observed then the research is largely pointless because both conditions would have an audience. the researcher might affect behaviour/outcome. A psychologist conducted an experiment to investigate whether participants performed a sensorimotor task better or worse in the presence of an audience. The audience consisted of sixth form students from the same school who were instructed to remain silent throughout the experiment. (3 marks) Jan 07 & June 07 AO1 One mark each for reference to a feature of a structured and unstructured interview. difficult to record behaviour promptly. it does not allow for spontaneity of responses from participants. . eg participant can expand on areas they see as important. The psychologist carried out a participant observation. Likely advantages: high ecological validity. invasion of privacy. One mark for the identification of the limitation. bias on the part of the researcher. difficult to analyse the data. (Any other appropriate definition is acceptable. Discuss one advantage of the structured interview technique. eg non-participant observation is where the researcher dissociates him/herself from the group being observed. State one advantage and one disadvantage of participant observation. rather than a non-participant observation. 26. Explanations might be in terms of greater detail as to why people hold the opinions which they do or the strength of the opinion. State one strength and one limitation of an unstructured interview. interviewer can explore emerging issues. In the experiment. lack of informed consent. not generalisable. but without the audience. Briefly describe one strength of conducting an observation in a natural setting. eg researcher understands context in which behaviour is taking place. Participant / Non-participant 20. Likely answers: high ecological validity. difficult to record behaviour promptly. they are restricted in the answers they can provide. 21.One mark for identification of the disadvantage. The psychologist observed each participant’s performance and recorded the number of errors. AO2 Two marks for discussion. She decided to use a structured interview rather than an unstructured interview. participants respond naturally. of the pupils’ behaviour in the classroom. Following the investigation. etc.

(1 mark) Jan 08 AO2 One mark for an appropriate example of an open question. ie strong correlation (1). control of data. 28. One mark for the identification of the limitation. eg the more fat that pupils consumed in their diets. 1). data that are irrelevant to purpose of interview. interviewer can explore emerging issues. eg suggests that people who are good at driving skills are also good at solving mathematical tests (1). An unstructured interview may contain a topic area for discussion but no fixed questions or ways of replying (AO1. Up to three marks may be credited for candidates who provide valid distinction points. Suggest one other possible explanation for the relationship shown in the scattergram (Figure 1). difficult to analyse the data. ie questions are phrased in order to elicit particular type of data. the lower their average GCSE points score. 30. (1 mark) AO2 One mark for an appropriate example of a closed question. 1). Credit appropriate alternative answers. eg objectivity is difficult to achieve. (2 marks) Jan 08 AO2 One mark for an appropriate explanation e. One mark for justification of the explanation suggested. The psychologist interviewed PE teachers at the school in order to assess pupils’ attitudes towards exercise. Possible answer: An experiment tests the effect which an IV has upon a DV (AO1. eg socio-economic status. not generalisable. alternatively an accurate description of the relationship should also be credited. manipulation versus no manipulation. Identify the type of correlation shown in Figure 1 and state what it shows about the relationship between fat consumption and GCSE results. This may be implicit in AO1. formality versus informality. AO2 One mark for the difference identified. A newspaper report claimed that the study showed a relationship between fat consumption and GCSE results. 1) but a correlation can only predict the relation between variables (AO2. relationship versus no relationship. Possible answer: Does Sally always refuse to participate in the P. Credit appropriate alternative answers. Therefore.Possible answer: A structured interview contains fixed predetermined questions and ways of replying (AO1. people who are poor at driving skills are also poor at mathematical tests (1).g.E lesson? (Yes/No) Jan 08 AO1 One mark for the identification of the strength. 32. eg a pupil’s low socio-economic status could have accounted for the fat consumption and the GCSE results. eg participant can expand on areas they see as important. 1). Likely answers: ease of analysis of data. AO2 Two marks for explanation of the difference identified in AO1. control of data. ease of analysis of data. Jan 08 Case Study 33. (i) Write one open question that might be used to obtain information about a pupil’s attitude towards exercise. (4 marks) AO1 One mark each for correct reference to a feature of the experimental method and correlational design. AO2 One mark for the interpretation of data. (2 marks) Jan 08 AO1 One mark for type of correlation shown – a negative correlation. Justify your answer. What does the scattergram suggest about the relationship between the two abilities tested by the psychologist? (2 marks) June 03 AO2 One mark for identifying that it is a positive correlation. whereas a correlation looks for a relationship between two variables (AO1. Correlations 29. A further mark for the strength. 1). Possible answer: Why do you think Jack finds exercise boring? Jan 08 (ii) Write one closed question that might be used to obtain information about a pupil’s attitude towards exercise. a third variable/another variable (named or unnamed). 31. an experiment can establish cause and effect (AO2. quantitative versus qualitative data. Explain the difference between an experiment and a correlational study. data that are irrelevant to purpose of interview. Credit any variable that could explain the negative relationship (high fat consumption and poor GCSE results). eg control versus no control. What is meant by a case study? (1 mark) June 07 . gives rich and in-depth information. 1).

which tends to provide a ‘snapshot’ of an individual’s behaviour (AO2. The mean heart rate is lower for participants who received relaxation therapy compared with participants who sat in silence (AO1. Likely answers: The information provided is biased. AO2 One mark for elaboration of the strength. 1). 2. qualitative rather than quantitative data. draw a table of the data presented in the bar chart (Figure 1). AO2 One mark for elaboration of the limitation. including:  nterviews with the offender and the offender’s family i observations of the offender’s behaviour in prison analysis of the offender’s school reports and medical notes psychometric tests on the offender. the psychologist used various methods of data collection. reliability. (2 marks) June 07 AO1 One mark for an appropriate strength of the case study method. An alternative way of displaying the data is in the form of a table. The level of anxiety is reduced in those participants who received relaxation therapy compared with participants who sat in silence (AO1. Data Analysis Bar Charts 1. Explain one strength of the case study method. General Question 36. (3 marks) Jan 07 . To investigate why the offender committed the crime. Correctly label your table. (2 marks) June 08 AO1 One mark for an appropriate limitation of the case study method. Explain one limitation of the case study method. • Credit appropriate alternative answer. 1). Possible answer: In terms of retrospection. the offender’s family have to recall past events and experiences which they may ‘alter’ (AO2. 34. study of unique individuals. Possible answer: A limitation of the case study method is the problem of generalisability (AO1. 1). Likely strengths: describe changes which happen over time. 35. data usually retrospective. 1) unlike an experiment. etc. validity. The psychologist used the offender’s family as a source of information about the offender’s childhood. (3 marks) June 07 AO1 One mark for identification of an appropriate problem. 1). difficulties in replication. In your answer book. 1). 1). researcher bias. lacks reliability. used to contradict a theory. Apart from ethical issues. Possible answer: A strength of the case study method is that it provides greater detail of an individual’s behaviour (AO1.AO1 One mark for correct definition of the method. This might therefore reduce reliability in the information provided (AO2. may not reflect the rest of the population (AO2. Possible answer: A case study is an in-depth study of an individual/group/small institution (AO1. AO2 Two marks for explanation in relation to this study. 1). socially desirable answers. A psychologist was interested in conducting a case study of an individual who had been convicted of a criminal offence. identify and explain one problem of using this source of information. Likely answers: generalisability. What may be true of one person. What might be the psychologist’s interpretation of the data shown in the bar chart (Figure 1)? (2 marks) AO1 Two marks for interpretation of the data. retrospective or similar. 1).

• • • • • To gain the maximum three marks. . In your answer book. The results are given in Table 1 below. candidates must provide the following: A title for the bar chart  Accuracy of bars on the bar chart  Appropriate axes and labelled  4. Provide a suitable title and correctly label your bar chart. 3. (3 marks) Jan 06 To gain the maximum three marks. A high score on the test indicated good language development and a low score indicated poor language development. Ten girls and ten boys were selected from a local primary school. A psychologist wanted to investigate differences between the language development of five-year-old girls and boys. the psychologist administered a test. To assess each child’s language development. candidates must provide three of the following: • appropriate title • appropriate labelling of columns on the table • appropriate labelling of rows on the table • correct mean heart rate scores and correct position in relation to labels. sketch a bar chart of the mean scores presented in Table 1.

AO2 Analysis of data. (i) calculate the mean score for the sleep deprivation condition and for the control condition. What do the mean scores indicate about performance of a sensori-motor task in the sample? Justify your answer. sketch a bar chart of the data given in Table 1. (ii) give the mode for the sleep deprivation condition and for the control condition. Correctly label your bar chart. 2. candidates must provide the following: A title for the bar chart  Accuracy of bars on the bar chart  Appropriate axes and labelled  Measures of central tendency 1.0) in the presence of an audience compared to (4. More errors were made in the presence of an audience. (2 marks) Jan 04 AO1 Description of results for either or both conditions . .5) without an audience. the mean is considerably higher (6. Using the values given in Table 1.In your answer book.presence and absence of an audience. (3 marks) June 08 To gain the maximum three marks.

1). Outline what is meant by the term standard deviation. 7. The psychologist predicted that. Each participant’s heart rate (number of beats per minute) was recorded as a measure of anxiety. eg standard deviation is a measure of the variation in a set of scores (AO1. then the overall mean can be biased. Standard Deviation 6. indicating a greater spread of scores round the mean for girls than boys (AO2. In Stage One of the experiment. 1). Ethics Psychologist wanted to investigate whether or not relaxation therapy would reduce anxiety in people who suffered from phobias. . the more fat that a child consumed. What do the standard deviations indicate about the language development of these girls and boys? Justify your answer. 1). (2 marks) Jan 06 • Standard deviation is a measure of the variation in a set of scores (AO1. However. who suffered from a phobia of spiders. It provides an idea of how spread-out a set of scores is around the mean value (AO1. 1). 1).8 (ii) Sleep deprivation condition: mode = 1 Control condition: mode = 6 3. 4. 1). if participants were not exposed to the large spider. (2 marks) Jan 06 AO2 Girls performed better on this test of language development than boys (AO2. Possible answers: • If one of the values in a set of data is extremely high or low.5) (AO2. 1). eg participants may have experienced mental distress/increased anxiety from exposure to the large spider in the glass box (AO2. the psychologist presented each participant with a large spider in a glass box. Credit appropriate alternative answer. Fifty participants. (2 marks) Jan 06 (See table above) • AO2 The standard deviation for girls (18. eg protection of participants. twenty-five of the participants each received thirty minutes of relaxation therapy. What is meant by the term standard deviation? (1 mark) Jan 09 AO1 One mark for correct identification of the term. • Time-consuming to calculate if there are a large number of scores. the psychologist presented each participant with the same large spider in a glass box. were required to sit in silence for thirty minutes. (1 mark) Jan 07 AO1 One mark for an appropriate limitation. who did not receive relaxation therapy. Identify and briefly discuss one ethical issue raised by this study. The mean is higher (64. State one limitation of using the mean as a measure of central tendency. The mean heart rates recorded for participants at Stage One and Stage Three of the experiment are shown in the bar chart (Figure 1). (1 mark) Jan 09 • AO1 One mark for the correct identification of a measure of central tendency – median. In Stage Two of the experiment. mode. Apart from the mean. AO2 Two marks for discussion. name one other measure of central tendency. 1. were selected to take part in this study. A health psychologist was interested in whether there was a relationship between nutrition and examination results. (3 marks) Jan 07 AO1 One mark for identification of an ethical issue. In Stage Three of the experiment. 8.0) is higher than boys (15. 1). (4 marks) Jan 05 AO2 One mark for each correct calculation: (i) Sleep deprivation condition: mean = 2. then the research is largely pointless as the psychologist would not be able to measure the effect of relaxation therapy on anxiety levels (AO2. Each participant’s heart rate was again recorded as a measure of anxiety. The remaining twenty-five participants.5) for boys (AO2.9) for girls compared to (55. What do the mean scores indicate about language development in these girls and boys? Justify your answer. 1). the lower his or her average GCSE points score would be.Label your answers clearly.0 Control condition: mean = 4. 5.

1). b. 1). Possible answer: Consent (AO1. Identify and explain one ethical issue the psychologist should have considered before conducting this study. Up to two marks for explanation of the ethical issue. The psychologist obtained data from the following sources: • records of daily fat consumption in grammes • interviews with teachers and parents 2.The psychologist conducted the study over two years at a local secondary school. the psychologist used various methods of data collection. Identify and explain one ethical issue that the psychologist should have considered in this study. AO2 Two marks for explanation of the ethical issue identified. confidentiality. A stratified sample of 20 14-year-old pupils was selected to take part in the study. Janet is 43 years old. Credit old or revised ethical issues (BPS) eg respect. (2 marks) a. 1). He made observations of Janet’s behaviour at her home for two hours per day for one week 3 a. One mark for identification of an appropriate ethical issue. 1) in the form of a signed agreement (AO2. She has received therapy for an obsessive-compulsive disorder. 4. Likely answers: consent. The psychologist should therefore have obtained consent from the offender. confidentiality. confidentiality. integrity etc. eg consent. The children in this study are under 16 years of age (AO2. (3 marks) One mark for identification of an appropriate ethical issue. eg in the form of a signed letter (AO2. AO2 Two marks for explanation of the ethical issue identified in AO1 in relation to this study. Her symptoms include excessive hand-washing. invasion of privacy. (1 mark) 3 b. 1). 1) therefore parental consent is needed (AO2. 1). eg consent. protection of participants. (3 marks) June 07 AO1 One mark for identification of an appropriate ethical issue. taking numerous showers and repeatedly cleaning the toilet. For example. right to withdraw. integrity etc. He used a questionnaire to measure the levels of anxiety associated with Janet’s disorder. Possible answer: In terms of consent (AO1. A psychologist was interested in conducting a case study of an individual who had been convicted of a criminal offence.Identify one ethical issue raised by this study. in terms of consent. respect. To investigate why the offender committed the crime. . A psychologist conducted a case study of Janet before and after she received therapy. protection of participants. including:  interviews with the offender and the offender’s family  observations of the offender’s behaviour in prison  analysis of the offender’s school reports and medical notes  psychometric tests on the offender. Explain how the psychologist might have overcome the ethical issue you have identified in your answer. etc. 1). the psychologist should have obtained consent from Janet (AO2. the psychologist wanted to access the offender’s school reports and medical notes (AO2.

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