Paper 2: Advanced Research Methods

4.2.3  Research methods

  • Content analysis.
  • Case studies.

4.2.3.1  Scientific processes

  • Reliability across all methods of investigation. Ways of assessing reliability: test-retest and inter-observer; improving reliability.
  • Types of validity across all methods of investigation: face validity, concurrent validity, ecological validity and temporal validity. Assessment of validity. Improving validity.
  • Features of science: objectivity and the empirical method; replicability and falsifiability; theory construction and hypothesis testing; paradigms and paradigm shifts.
  • Reporting psychological investigations. Sections of a scientific report: abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion and referencing.

4.2.3.2  Data handling and analysis

  • Analysis and interpretation of correlation, including correlation coefficients.
  • Levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal and interval.
  • Content analysis and coding. Thematic analysis.

4.2.3.3  Inferential testing

  • Probability and significance: use of statistical tables and critical values in interpretation of significance; Type I and Type II errors.
  • Factors affecting the choice of statistical test, including level of measurement and experimental design.
  • When to use the following tests: Spearman’s rho, Pearson’s r, Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney, related t-test, unrelated t-test and Chi-Squared test.