How do I evaluate a key study?

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Evaluation for psychological studies can be done using the GRAVE method. That is firstly, G - generalisability, to what extent can the findings of this study be generalised to the general and target population (you should consider participant factors of your sample such as age, gender, social class etc.). Secondly, evaluating in terms of R - reliability conisders the extent to which the findings are reliable. This can be demonstrated through inter-rater or test-retest reliability as well as if the results replicate those previously found in other research. Importantly you must evaluate in terms of A - applications.This is how well the study's results can be applied to real life scenarios or issues. For example, an application of research concerning mother-child relationships can be applied to daycare provisions. The V - validity of study must also be evaluated. A study is valid when the value measured was what it aimed to measure. Many types of validity such as descriptive, construct, concurrent and face exist and can be applied to the evaluation of your key study. Evaluation in terms of E - ethics considers factors of the experiment's procedure such as whether or not the participant was given the right to withdraw or was debriefed. In animal experiments you may wish to consider ethical guidelines such as social conditions, not using endangered animals and using Bateson's decision making cube to decide whether or not the study should of gone ahead. All parts of the GRAVE evaluation should be equally weighted upon, not focusing too much or too little on any one section.

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