When it comes to researching information in Psychology there are different methods that are used. The methods can be experimental and non-experimental. In the experiment, an independent variable is manipulated and the dependant variable is measured. Any other variables are able to be controlled.
The positive of the experiment would be that the views and opinions researcher should not affect the result of the study, this makes the experiment more objective, more valid and less bias. The non- experimental methods are case studies, interviews, questionnaire. When it comes to non-experimental research is a study that the researcher cannot control or manipulate. However, it relies on interpretation, observation or interaction when trying to carry out the conclusion.
The researchers have to rely on surveys, interviews or case studies and cannot able to carry out the true cause of the study. Firstly, there are three types of experimental methods and the first one is Controlled experiment. This is carried in well- controlled environment.
The researchers is able to decide on when the experiment will take place, what time it will happen, what participates will take part, in what circumstances and using a standardized procedure. When it comes to participants, they are all randomly allocated to each of the independent group. For example, Migrants experiment (1963). Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University, conducted an experiment focusing on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience.
Stanley Milgram was interested in how easily ordinary people could be influenced into committing atrocities, for example, Germans in WWII. “Instead, Milgram wanted to investigate participants’ willingness to go along with the experimenter’s instructions. Would they deliver what appeared to be lethal shocks to a stranger, simply because this was what another stranger required them to do in the con- text of a mundane science experiment? “This shows that Milgram (1963) was interested in researching how far people would go in obeying an instruction if it involved harming another person. The Strength of the controlled experiment is much easier to replicate rather than non-experimental method. This is because the standardized procedure is used in the experiment. Also, they allow for precise control extraneous and independent variable. However, the limitations of the controlled experiment are that the setting may course unwanted behaviour thatwould not reflect to the real-life setting. This means that it would be much harder to generalized the findings.
The second method in the experiment would be field experiments, this is carried out in everyday life of the participants. When the experiment happens, the experimenter is still able to manipulate the independent variable, but in real life scenarios, however they are not really able to control the extraneous variable. For example, Hofling (1966) carried out study that was more obedience than Milgram’s this is because it was carried out in real life environment. The fiend study was carried out on nurses, they were unaware that they are taking part in the experiment. The nurses were asked to give the wrong dose to the patient, even though it said that the his dose was 10mg , the nurse was to give 20 mg instead by the doctor who phoned in. The dose was not actually real, but the nurses though that the medication was real. The nurses were watched to see how they would react.
The strength of this study was that the data was reliable because it took part in real life situation, however the limitation was that it not ethical as the doctor was not real. The strength of this experiment would be that the field experiment is more likely to reflect the real-life setting, this is because its happens in natural everyday setting. Another advantage would be that there would be less likelihood of demand characteristics affecting the field experimental results, this is because participants would notknow that they are being studied, also it would be much harder for another researcher to replicate this study exactly the same. This is because the setting would not be the same and the participants would most likely to react differently. The third methods would be natural experiments, this is carried out in everyday life setting of the participates that are taking part. However, the experimenter is not able to control any of the variables this is because as it is taking in natural environment there is no control over it. For example, Jill Hodges and Barbara Tizard (1989) followed the development of 65 children who had been in residential nurseries from only a few months old.
This is known as a longitudinal study. The study was also a field experiment. The independent variable (what happened to the children at age 4)occurred naturally. The care provided was of good quality, but carers were discouraged from forming attachments with the children. By age 4, 24 children were adopted, 15 returned to their natural home (restored), and the rest stayed in institutions. They were also compared with a control group, who had spent all their lives in their own families. The control group was closely matched to the children in the experimental group. The children were assessed for social and emotional competence at four, eight and sixteen years old.
The assessment comprised interviewing the children and their parents and teachers and a set of questionnaires. The advantage of this experiment is that the behaviour in the everyday environment would be able to reflect to the natural setting. Also, the behaviour would be less likely to affect the results as the participants might not know that they are studied. However, the limitation would be that it might be more expensive to carry out and more time consuming and the experimenter would have no control on the variable. When it comes to non-experimental research is a study that the researcher cannot control or manipulate. However, it relies on interpretation, observation or interaction when trying to carry out the conclusion.
The researchers have to rely on surveys, interviews or case studies and cannot able to carry out the true cause of the study. In addition, the non-experimental research most likely to have high level of external validity, this means that it can be based on larger populations of the participants. Non-experimental researchers are able to take the variables that cannot be manipulated and controlled. The non-experimental design can study and examine questions experimental researchers cannot. One of the research methods that are being used the non-experimental is case study.
Case study is in depth investigation, data is gathered from a variety of sources and by using several different methods. The research may also continue for an extended period of time, so processes and developments can be studied as they happen. For example, Hodges and Tizard’s attachment research (1989) was also carried out by questionnaire and interviews to be able toassess the children and to be able to analyse the data, and carry out the conclusion. The advantage of the case study is that is provides detailed information about the topic. It uses qualitative data to analyse the information.
Also, another advantage would be that it provides insight for any further research that can be developed. It helps to generate new ideas that can be analysed and tested furthermore. However, the limitations of the case study are that the researchers feeling and the view can manipulate the results that are found the in the case study. A lot depends on the interpretation of the results that are found, because people understand things differently.
This makes the case studies much harder to replicate. Also, the work can be bias, depending on the circumstances. Another method of research for non-experimental is Questionnaire. This method can be described as a written interview, Questionnaire contains questions that usually have a multiple choice or it has space for the participants to write their answers. Questionnaires are usually carried out face to face, post e.t. For example, the advantage of the questionnaire is that it’s cheap, is able to target a large audience.
Also, it’s not time-consuming which means that the researcher is able to get the results much faster than using the experimental method. Most of the questionnaires are anonymous, which means that participants don’t have to identify them self on the questionnaire. However, the limitations of the questionnaire are that the information might be not reliable, as people might lie and not provide the real answer. In addition, it might be difficult sometimes to find the group that the questionnaire is targeting towards, which would mean that the data might be not asrealisable. In conclusion, experiments and non-experimental methods are really important to be able to understand and to analyse psychology. By doing the experiments we are able to see how people work, and how your minds work.
Experiment helps us to see how wecan improve, and opens us to more opportunities, gives as ideas to analyse in the future. All of the experimented gives explain as how our minds work, and how we can manipulate. Also, some of the experience show us how easy we can be manipulated by other people, this might be because we don’t want to stand out from other. With non-experimental methods, we can see what has already been done, what we can research more. As there are a lot of case studies done, which allows us to have a better understanding of the areas that we need to improve. Both of the methods are important in order to understand how our world have improved and how our minds work.