Active Investigations

During the year we have to conduct investigations as part of the course to enhance student’s understanding of research methods and how different areas of psychology are investigated.

We look at both experimental and non-experimental methods and take the students through a range of statistics, some describing data and others analysing it to see whether it is significant or not (whether we can say with any certainty if “something is the case”).

Each “Evidence of practice” (EOP) is different both in the methods employed and the area of Psychology, the table below gives an indication of the kinds of things that we have to look at and how we have put our own ‘Simon Balle Spin’ on the investigations.

Approach
Required area of research
Required research method
Previous Student titles
Social Approach
Prejudice between 2 groups
Survey (Questionnaire or interview)
Are Sixth formers prejudice towards the lower school?
Are Year 13 and Year 12 prejudice towards each other?
Cognitive Approach
Levels of processing
Lab or Field experiment
Are words learnt through meaning easier to recall than words learnt through their sound?
Psychodynamic Approach
Freud’s theory of psychosexual development
Correlation study
Spearman’s rank
Is parental strictness related to child messiness?
Is a positive parental relationship related to child overconfidence?
Biological Approach
Gender differences
Natural experiment or Lab experiment
Mann-Whitney U
Are males or females better at spatial reasoning?
Do males or females work better under distraction?
Are females really better at multitasking than males?
Learning Approach
Social learning theory (learning from role models)
Observation
Chi Squared test
Are men and women influenced differently by adverts when buying cars?
Have the Coke zero and Diet coke adverts affected how likely men and women are to buy them?
Criminological Application
Are criminals born or made?
Content analysis or article summary
N/A
Child development Application
Daycare: Good or bad?
Content analysis or article summary
N/A
Clinical Application
Understanding Schizophrenia – A guide
Produce a healthcare leaflet
N/A