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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.

Sampling 4. A health psychologist was interested in whether there was a relationship between nutrition and examination results. The psychologist predicted that, the more fat that a child consumed, the lower his or her average GCSE points score would be. The psychologist conducted the study over two years at a local secondary school. A stratified sample of 20 14-year-old pupils was selected to take part in the study. 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. For each pupil, the psychologist calculated the average fat consumption per day in grammes and the average GCSE points score. The psychologist selected the pupils for this study by stratified sampling. (i) Describe how a stratified sample might be obtained. (3 marks) (ii) State one strength and one limitation of stratified sampling. (2 marks) Jan 05 AO1 One mark for the researcher identifies the different strata or sub-groups. One mark for further outline, eg the researcher works out the proportions needed for the sample to be representative. (ii) Identify one strength and one limitation of stratified sampling. (2 marks) [2 marks: AO1 = 2] AO1 One mark for identification of the strength, eg it is likely to produce a more representative sample. One mark for identification of the limitation, eg rather a time-consuming method as detailed knowledge of the relevant characteristics of the population, and their relative proportions is needed. 5. The psychologist used opportunity sampling, rather than random sampling, to select the original 50 people for this study. (i) Outline what is meant by random sampling. (2 marks) (ii) Explain why random sampling might be a better technique to use than opportunity sampling. (2 marks) (June 06) & (Jan 04) Two marks for stating that random sampling means that every member of the target population (AO1, 1) has an equal chance of being selected (AO1, 1). (ii) One mark for explaining why the technique might be better, eg, ensures there is no bias in selection of participants. One further mark for relation to opportunity sampling, eg, where bias can occur in the selection of participants. Two psychologists observed a sample of children of three years of age. To save time, the sample was obtained from a nearby nursery. The aim was to investigate differences in play behaviour between same-sex pairs and boy-girl pairs. The children were observed playing together in a laboratory playroom containing a selection of toys. The psychologists assigned the children to pairs. There were ten boy-boy pairs, ten girl-girl pairs and ten boy-girl pairs. As the children played, both psychologists recorded the frequency of friendly behaviours for each pair. Friendly behaviours included sharing a toy, a positive verbal response to the other child and a positive behaviour to the other child, such as smiling. The frequency of friendly behaviours in same-sex and boy-girl pairs is shown in the bar chart (Figure 1). 6. Identify the sampling method used by the psychologists in this study. (1 mark) (June 04) Oportunity 7. Give one advantage and one disadvantage of random sampling. (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). No marks for description of how this is done, eg pulling names out of a hat. (ii) Give one advantage and one disadvantage of random sampling. (2 marks) AO1 One mark for an advantage and one mark for a disadvantage. Examples: Advantages: Eliminates the possibility of researcher bias in selection, increased chance of representative sample. Disadvantages: Very difficult to achieve due to having to identify all members of the target population, can result in an unrepresentative sample particularly if the sample is small in relation to the target population, skewed sample. Can be time consuming compared to other methods, eg opportunity sampling. At the end of the questionnaire the psychologist asked people if they would be willing to be contacted for a follow-up interview. Those who were willing gave their names and addresses. The psychologist interviewed 10% of the people who had agreed to a follow-up interview. 8. (i) Describe one sampling method the psychologist might have used to select interviewees. (2 marks) (ii) State one advantage of the method you identified in (i) above. (1 mark) (Jan 03) AO1 One mark for a brief description of an appropriate sampling technique eg random, quota, stratified, opportunity, and further mark for expansion. Example: Random sampling is a method where every member of the target population is given an equal chance of being chosen. (f) (ii) State one advantage of the method you identified in (i) above. (1 mark) [1 mark : AO1 = 1, AO2 = 0] AO1 Correct identification of the advantage. Must be related to sampling technique identified. Consider only the first advantage stated. Example: If random sampling has been chosen, 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. A group of psychology students decided to investigate possible reasons for unhealthy behaviours: they chose to focus on smoking. The students designed a questionnaire and gave it to other students at their university. 9. Identify one sampling method that could have been used and explain one limitation of this method. (3 marks) (ii) In the context of this investigation, explain one reason for using the sampling method you have identified in your answer to (d) (i). (2 marks) (AQA A June 08) AO1 The sampling methods identified on the specification are: random, opportunity and stratified, systematic. However, other sampling methods are also creditworthy, e.g. volunteer sampling, snowball sampling.

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

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

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

Explain one problem that might have arisen if the psychologist had chosen to use a repeated measures design in this study. (3 marks) Jan 05 AO1 One mark for identification, eg participants would take part in both conditions of the experiment. AO2 Two marks for explanation, eg there may be order effects. Participants in the second condition might perform better in solving mathematical problems because they now know what to do. This would then cast doubt on the effects of sleep deprivation.

3. (i) Outline the type of experimental design used in this study. (2 marks) Jan 04 AO1 One mark for stating the type of experimental design. Independent groups/ measures/between subjects/unrelated. Any other appropriate term may be credited. One mark for further outline, eg that different participants take part in each experimental condition. (ii) With reference to the study, state one advantage of using the design you have identified in (i). (2 marks) AO1 One mark for there are no order effects, the same task can be used in both conditions, or similar response. AO2 One mark for reference to the study, eg for order effects, performance of the sensori-motor task is unaffected by practice as participants only take part in one condition. Experiments 4. Explain one difference between a laboratory experiment and a field experiment. (2 marks) Jan 09 AO1 One mark for identification of a feature of a laboratory experiment, eg low ecological validity; controlled environment, or similar response. AO2 One mark for comparison of the feature identified in AO1 to a field experiment, eg high ecological validity; less controlled environment, or similar response. 5. Identify one strength and one limitation of the experimental method in psychology. (2 marks) Jan 05 AO1 One mark for identification of the strength, eg control of many extraneous variables so that reliability is high and alternative explanations of events is eliminated. Enables inference about cause and effect. One mark for identification of the weakness, eg can produce quite artificial conditions and measures of variables. 6. Explain one difference between an experiment and a correlation study. (4 marks) June 03 AO1 One mark each for a correct reference to a feature of the experimental method and correlational design. Example: Experiment, isolates and manipulates the independent variable to observe its effect on the dependent variable, controls the environment in order that extraneous variables may be eliminated, predicts cause and effect. Correlation identifies variables and looks for a relationship between them. AO2 Marks awarded for explanation of the difference which has been identified. Some of this explanation may involve reference to features identified in AO1 but used as an explanation. 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. This means that the experiment can predict cause and effect (causation) but a correlation can only predict a relationship. Questionnaires

7. Explain why the item in Figure 1 is an example of a closed question. (2 marks) AO2 Possible answers: with a restricted range of responses, the options are fixed, that the data can be quantified, does not allow for elaboration. One mark each for any two of these ideas, or two marks for one done well. 8. State three advantages of the use of questionnaires in psychological research. (3 marks) Jan 03 AO1 One mark for a correct identification of each advantage. Examples: able to get a large sample, generate numerical data easier to analyse, reduces interviewer bias, gather information which cannot easily be obtained by other methods, relative ease of gathering information, anonymity, ease of scoring. 9. A psychologist wanted to investigate whether mood had an effect on the recall of information. She expected that participants who rated themselves as happy would recall more words from a list than participants who rated themselves as unhappy. Fifty people, selected by opportunity sampling, were asked to complete a mood state questionnaire. From these 50 people, the psychologist selected ten participants who had rated themselves as happy and ten participants who had rated themselves as unhappy. The questionnaire used to measure mood state contained both closed and open questions. (i) Write one closed question that might be used to obtain information about a persons mood state. (1 mark) (ii) Write one open question that might be used to obtain information about a persons mood state. (1 mark) (iii) Outline one disadvantage of using questionnaires in psychological research. (2 marks) June 06 i) AO2 One mark for an appropriate example of a closed question. Possible answer: Are you unhappy? (Yes/No) iii) AO2 One mark for an appropriate example of an open question. Possible answer: Describe how happy you feel right now.

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

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

Possible answer: A structured interview contains fixed predetermined questions and ways of replying (AO1, 1). An unstructured interview may contain a topic area for discussion but no fixed questions or ways of replying (AO1, 1). AO2 One mark for the difference identified. This may be implicit in AO1. Likely answers: ease of analysis of data; data that are irrelevant to purpose of interview; control of data; formality versus informality; quantitative versus qualitative data. control of data, ie questions are phrased in order to elicit particular type of data; ease of analysis of data; data that are irrelevant to purpose of interview. Up to three marks may be credited for candidates who provide valid distinction points. 28. The psychologist interviewed PE teachers at the school in order to assess pupils attitudes towards exercise. (i) Write one open question that might be used to obtain information about a pupils attitude towards exercise. (1 mark) Jan 08 AO2 One mark for an appropriate example of an open question. 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 pupils attitude towards exercise. (1 mark) AO2 One mark for an appropriate example of a closed question. Possible answer: Does Sally always refuse to participate in the P.E lesson? (Yes/No) Jan 08 AO1 One mark for the identification of the strength, eg participant can expand on areas they see as important; gives rich and in-depth information; interviewer can explore emerging issues. One mark for the identification of the limitation, eg objectivity is difficult to achieve; difficult to analyse the data; not generalisable. Correlations

29. 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. A further mark for the strength, ie strong correlation (1), alternatively an accurate description of the relationship should also be credited, eg suggests that people who are good at driving skills are also good at solving mathematical tests (1), people who are poor at driving skills are also poor at mathematical tests (1).

30. Identify the type of correlation shown in Figure 1 and state what it shows about the relationship between fat consumption and GCSE results. (2 marks) Jan 08 AO1 One mark for type of correlation shown a negative correlation. AO2 One mark for the interpretation of data, eg the more fat that pupils consumed in their diets, the lower their average GCSE points score. Credit appropriate alternative answers. 31. Explain the difference between an experiment and a correlational study. (4 marks) AO1 One mark each for correct reference to a feature of the experimental method and correlational design. AO2 Two marks for explanation of the difference identified in AO1. Possible answer: An experiment tests the effect which an IV has upon a DV (AO1, 1), whereas a correlation looks for a relationship between two variables (AO1, 1). Therefore, an experiment can establish cause and effect (AO2, 1) but a correlation can only predict the relation between variables (AO2, 1). Credit appropriate alternative answers, eg control versus no control; manipulation versus no manipulation; relationship versus no relationship. 32. A newspaper report claimed that the study showed a relationship between fat consumption and GCSE results. Suggest one other possible explanation for the relationship shown in the scattergram (Figure 1). Justify your answer. (2 marks) Jan 08 AO2 One mark for an appropriate explanation e.g. a third variable/another variable (named or unnamed), eg socio-economic status. One mark for justification of the explanation suggested, eg a pupils low socio-economic status could have accounted for the fat consumption and the GCSE results. Credit any variable that could explain the negative relationship (high fat consumption and poor GCSE results). Jan 08 Case Study 33. What is meant by a case study? (1 mark) June 07

AO1 One mark for correct definition of the method. Possible answer: A case study is an in-depth study of an individual/group/small institution (AO1, 1). 34. Explain one limitation of the case study method. (2 marks) June 08 AO1 One mark for an appropriate limitation of the case study method. AO2 One mark for elaboration of the limitation. Likely answers: generalisability; researcher bias; difficulties in replication; data usually retrospective; lacks reliability. Possible answer: A limitation of the case study method is the problem of generalisability (AO1, 1). What may be true of one person, may not reflect the rest of the population (AO2, 1). 35. Explain one strength of the case study method. (2 marks) June 07 AO1 One mark for an appropriate strength of the case study method. AO2 One mark for elaboration of the strength. Likely strengths: describe changes which happen over time; study of unique individuals; used to contradict a theory; qualitative rather than quantitative data. Possible answer: A strength of the case study method is that it provides greater detail of an individuals behaviour (AO1, 1) unlike an experiment, which tends to provide a snapshot of an individuals behaviour (AO2, 1). General Question 36. A psychologist was interested in conducting a case study of an individual who had been convicted of a criminal offence. To investigate why the offender committed the crime, the psychologist used various methods of data collection, including: nterviews with the offender and the offenders family i observations of the offenders behaviour in prison analysis of the offenders school reports and medical notes psychometric tests on the offender. The psychologist used the offenders family as a source of information about the offenders childhood. Apart from ethical issues, identify and explain one problem of using this source of information. (3 marks) June 07 AO1 One mark for identification of an appropriate problem. Likely answers: The information provided is biased; retrospective or similar; socially desirable answers; validity; reliability, etc. AO2 Two marks for explanation in relation to this study. Possible answer: In terms of retrospection, the offenders family have to recall past events and experiences which they may alter (AO2, 1). This might therefore reduce reliability in the information provided (AO2, 1).

Data Analysis

Bar Charts

1. What might be the psychologists interpretation of the data shown in the bar chart (Figure 1)? (2 marks) AO1 Two marks for interpretation of the data. The level of anxiety is reduced in those participants who received relaxation therapy compared with participants who sat in silence (AO1, 1). The mean heart rate is lower for participants who received relaxation therapy compared with participants who sat in silence (AO1, 1). Credit appropriate alternative answer. 2. An alternative way of displaying the data is in the form of a table. In your answer book, draw a table of the data presented in the bar chart (Figure 1). Correctly label your table. (3 marks) Jan 07

To gain the maximum three marks, 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.

3. A psychologist wanted to investigate differences between the language development of five-year-old girls and boys. Ten girls and ten boys were selected from a local primary school. To assess each childs language development, the psychologist administered a test. A high score on the test indicated good language development and a low score indicated poor language development. The results are given in Table 1 below.

In your answer book, sketch a bar chart of the mean scores presented in Table 1. Provide a suitable title and correctly label your bar chart. (3 marks) Jan 06

To gain the maximum three marks, candidates must provide the following: A title for the bar chart Accuracy of bars on the bar chart Appropriate axes and labelled 4.

In your answer book, sketch a bar chart of the data given in Table 1. Correctly label your bar chart. (3 marks) June 08

To gain the maximum three marks, 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.

What do the mean scores indicate about performance of a sensori-motor task in the sample? Justify your answer. (2 marks) Jan 04

AO1 Description of results for either or both conditions - presence and absence of an audience. More errors were made in the presence of an audience. AO2 Analysis of data, the mean is considerably higher (6.0) in the presence of an audience compared to (4.5) without an audience.

2. Using the values given in Table 1, (i) calculate the mean score for the sleep deprivation condition and for the control condition; (ii) give the mode for the sleep deprivation condition and for the control condition.

Label your answers clearly. (4 marks) Jan 05 AO2 One mark for each correct calculation: (i) Sleep deprivation condition: mean = 2.0 Control condition: mean = 4.8 (ii) Sleep deprivation condition: mode = 1 Control condition: mode = 6

3. What do the mean scores indicate about language development in these girls and boys? Justify your answer. (2 marks) Jan 06 AO2 Girls performed better on this test of language development than boys (AO2, 1). The mean is higher (64.9) for girls compared to (55.5) for boys (AO2, 1). 4. State one limitation of using the mean as a measure of central tendency. (1 mark) Jan 07 AO1 One mark for an appropriate limitation. Possible answers: If one of the values in a set of data is extremely high or low, then the overall mean can be biased. Time-consuming to calculate if there are a large number of scores. 5. Apart from the mean, name one other measure of central tendency. (1 mark) Jan 09

AO1 One mark for the correct identification of a measure of central tendency median; mode.

Standard Deviation 6. What is meant by the term standard deviation? (1 mark) Jan 09 AO1 One mark for correct identification of the term, eg standard deviation is a measure of the variation in a set of scores (AO1, 1). Credit appropriate alternative answer. 7. Outline what is meant by the term standard deviation. (2 marks) Jan 06 Standard deviation is a measure of the variation in a set of scores (AO1, 1). It provides an idea of how spread-out a set of scores is around the mean value (AO1, 1).

8. What do the standard deviations indicate about the language development of these girls and boys? Justify your answer. (2 marks) Jan 06 (See table above)

AO2 The standard deviation for girls (18.0) is higher than boys (15.5) (AO2, 1), indicating a greater spread of scores round the mean for girls than boys (AO2, 1).

Ethics

Psychologist wanted to investigate whether or not relaxation therapy would reduce anxiety in people who suffered from phobias. Fifty participants, who suffered from a phobia of spiders, were selected to take part in this study. In Stage One of the experiment, the psychologist presented each participant with a large spider in a glass box. Each participants heart rate (number of beats per minute) was recorded as a measure of anxiety. In Stage Two of the experiment, twenty-five of the participants each received thirty minutes of relaxation therapy. The remaining twenty-five participants, who did not receive relaxation therapy, were required to sit in silence for thirty minutes. In Stage Three of the experiment, the psychologist presented each participant with the same large spider in a glass box. Each participants heart rate was again recorded as a measure of anxiety. 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. Identify and briefly discuss one ethical issue raised by this study. (3 marks) Jan 07 AO1 One mark for identification of an ethical issue, eg protection of participants. AO2 Two marks for discussion, eg participants may have experienced mental distress/increased anxiety from exposure to the large spider in the glass box (AO2, 1). However, if participants were not exposed to the large spider, then the research is largely pointless as the psychologist would not be able to measure the effect of relaxation therapy on anxiety levels (AO2, 1). A health psychologist was interested in whether there was a relationship between nutrition and examination results. The psychologist predicted that, the more fat that a child consumed, the lower his or her average GCSE points score would be.

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