G541 EXAM PRACTICE AND GUIDANCE Experiments

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G541 EXAM PRACTICE AND GUIDANCE
Experiments
Example Qs
June 2014
Yawn Yawn Yawn. When we see someone yawn we often yawn ourselves. But can just thinking
about yawning have the same effect? Psychologists conducted a laboratory experiment to
investigate this. First the participants watched a short film of a teacher yawning part way through
giving instructions to her students. Next the same participants were given an extract from a book to
read that included the word ‘yawn.’ The psychologists recorded how many times the participants
yawned whilst watching the film and whilst reading the passage.
1. Suggest an appropriate null hypothesis for this experiment. (4)
2. A. Identify the experiment design used in this study. (2)
B. Describe and evaluate how an alternative experimental design could be used in this study.
(6)
3. A. How has the independent variable been operationalised in this study? (2)
B. Evaluate how the independent variable has been operationalised. (6)
January 2013
Psychologists wanted to investigate if the colour of food influenced how it tasted. To do this they
made two bowls of mashed potato. One was normal creamy white in appearance, whereas the other
had a green tasteless and odourless food colouring added. Each participant had to taste both the
normal and green potato and rate how much they liked each one using a scale of 1 (don’t like it at all)
to 10 (like it a lot).
1 a) Identify the experimental design used in this study.
(2)
b) Outline one strength and one weakness of using the experimental design in this study. (6)
3. A) Identify the IV and DV in this study. (2)
B) Describe and evaluate one other way to measure the DV in this study. (10)
G541 EXAM PRACTICE AND GUIDANCE
June 2012
1. Describe and evaluate one way of measuring the participants’ aggression in this study. (10)
2. Explain the difference between an independent measures design and a repeated measures
design. (4)
3. Oultine one strength and one weakness of using a repeated measures design in this study.
(6)
In the G541 paper you will be tested on 3 out of the 4 research methods: Correlation, Experiment,
Self-Report and Observation. The exam consists of three sections, where each section contains a
series of questions on one research method in relation to a research scenario that you will be given.
1. All short answer question that ask the following must use the format of PEC (all in
context):
Strengths/weaknesses
Evaluate
How would you......
For example: (_________ indicates context)
Point: One strength of the reliability of my self –report on why people believe in aliens is that
it is contains all the same set of closed ended questions for each participant.
Evidence: For example, all participants will have to answer the question, ‘Do you believe in
aliens? Yes/No.’
Comment: This is strength as by using a consistent set of questions on why people believe in
aliens I should produce similar result, which will enable me to draw valid conclusions on why
people believe in aliens.
Point: One way to improve the ethics of my experiment on memory and stress is to debrief
the participants after the experiment is over.
Example: For example, an independent researcher would speak to each participant after they
completed the memory task under stressful conditions and ask them a series of questions
G541 EXAM PRACTICE AND GUIDANCE
about their mental state. Then the researcher would offer extra help to those participants
who are still exhibiting stress.
Comment: This will improve the ethics of my study on memory and stress as those
participants who experienced harm as a result of the stressful tasks can get help to ensure
they do not leave the study with higher stress levels than they had when they entered the
study.
2. If you are asked how you would measure a variable you need to ensure you not only
describe but also operationalise.
For Example,
To find out how much an individual fears snakes I would give the participants a self-report.
The self-report would consist of a 5 point rating scale, which would ask the participants to rate
their fear of snakes on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being not at all and 5 being extremely). Therefore,
fear of snakes will be indicated by the higher the rating the higher the fear of snakes.
January 2012
1. Outline one strength and one weakness of using and independent measures design
in this study. (6)
2. A. What is the IV in this study and how has it been operationalised. (2)
B. What is the DV in this study and how has it been operationalised. (2)
3. Evaluate the reliability and validity of the way the DV has been measure in this study.
(10)
+++ Extra practice Q: Describe and evaluate another way of measuring the DV in this
experiment.+++
1. Outline one strength and one weakness of using and independent measures design in this
study. (6)
2. A. What is the IV in this study and how has it been operationalised. (2)
B. What is the DV in this study and how has it been operationalised. (2)
G541 EXAM PRACTICE AND GUIDANCE
1. Outline one
strength and one
weakness of
using and
independent
measures design
in this study. (6)
Use PEC and make sure that you state the strength/weakness, use an example from
the study or contextualise it to the study and then link back, using KEY
TERMINOLOGY.
2. A) What is the IV
in this study and
how has it been
operationalised.
(2)
State what is being manipulated and how
PE
B) What is the DV in
this study and how
has it been
operationalised. (2)
State what is being measure and HOW
PE
A strength is… for example…this is a strength because… + key term.
3) Evaluate the
reliability and
validity of the
way the DV has
been measure in
this study. (10)
Extra practice Q:
Describe and
evaluate another
way of
measuring the
DV in this
experiment.
Think about: consistency, replicability and standardisation for reliability
Accuracy, depth, demand characteristics, social desirability, interpretation
Describe what you would change and HOW – this should be replicable
Then, evaluate (give two points) – what are the implications of this change? Use key
terms e.g. reliability (is it more consistent, standardised, free from bias) or valid (is it
more accurate, are more extraneous variables controlled, is it a genuine picture of
the participants experience?)
Don’t use generic or random points here that you cannot fully PEC and explain.
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