Research Issues

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  • Research Issues
    • Extraneous variables
      • Additional, unwanted variables that might potentially interfere with the IV (or the DV).
      • Should be controlled or removed and, where possible, are identified at the start of the study by the researcher who then takes steps to minimise their influence.
    • Confounding variables
      • Change systematically with the IV, which means we can’t be sure of the true cause of the change in the DV.
    • Demand characteristics
      • Participant reactivity is when participants from the start of the experiment are trying to figure out what’s going on in this new situation they find themselves in.
      • Refer to any cue the researcher or the research situation may give which makes the participant feel like they can guess the aim of the situation.
        • This can cause the participant to act differently within the research situation from how they would usually act.
          • ‘Please-U’ effect
            • They may act in a way they think the researcher wants them to.
          • ‘Screw-U’ effect
            • They may intentionally underperform to sabotage the study’s results.
          • This unnatural behaviour then affects the validity of the results.
    • Investigator effects
      • Refers to any unwanted influence from the researcher’s behaviour, either conscious or unconscious, on the DV measured (the research’s results).
      • Includes a variety of factors - the design of the study, the selection of participants and the interaction with each participants during the research investigation.
    • Randomisation
      • The use of chance to reduce the effects of bias from investigator effects.
      • Can be done for the design of materials, deciding the order of conditions, the selection of participants etc.
    • Standardisation
      • Using the exact same formalised procedures and instructions for every single participant involved in the research process.
      • Eliminates non-standardised instructions as being possible extraneous variables.


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