Week 1 - Psychology Independent Learning
1. Define the following research methods and outline their strengths and limitations:
DEFINITION: Case studies are in-depth investigations of a single person, group, event or community. Typically data are gathered from a variety of sources and by using several different methods (e.g. observations & interviews).
1. Provides detailed (rich qualitative) information.
2. Provides insight for further research.
3. Permitting investigation of otherwise impractical (or unethical) situations.
Case studies give psychological researchers the possibility to investigate cases, which could not possibly be engineered in research laboratories. For example, the Money Case Study.
Case studies are often used in exploratory research. They can help us generate new ideas (that might be tested by other methods). They are an important way of illustrating theories and can help show how different aspects of a person's life are related to each other. The method is therefore important for psychologists who adopt a holistic point of view (i.e. humanistic psychologists)
1. Can’t generalize the results to the wider population.
2. Researchers own subjective feeling may influence the case study (researcher bias).
3. Difficult to replicate.
4. Time consuming.
DEFINITION: Is a research method that involves observing subjects in their natural environment. It allows the researcher to directly observe the subject in a natural setting
1. It allows researchers to study things that cannot be manipulated in a lab due to ethical concerns. For example, while it would be unethical to study the effects of imprisonment by actually confining subjects, researchers can gather information by using naturalistic observation in real prison settings.
2. It can help support the external validity of research. It is one thing to say that the findings of a...