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What are some KEY evaluation points for psychological studies?

Generalisability & participant sample: Can the results be generalised and applied to larger settings or populations? Is the participant sample small (less than 20 participants) or large (better generalisability)? What sort of participants were used (gender/race/culture) and can the results be generalised to other populations?

Cultural and individual differences: Does the experiment take into consideration the cultural and individual differences of participants? It could be that experimenters ignore important aspects of an individual’s personality/religion/culture, which may have an impact on the results obtained.

Ethics: Deceit? (Was there any debrief?) Confidentiality (Right to anonymity- problem  in some very famous case studies) Physical or psychological harm? (Especially long-term impact on life post-experiment) Participant consent? Use of animals or children? (Questionable as animals and young children can’t express their emotions or objections)

Demand characteristics: Participants might not know how to behave and
therefore behave in a way they think the researcher wants them to.
This artificial behaviour might make results unreliable.

Ecological validity: Does the task given in the experiment to participants reflect what people actually do in real life?

Experimental setting-
             1) Laboratory: Artificial setting = artificial behaviours/ results
                 However, experimenter can control all variables, causality can be determined & it is replicable
              2) Field experiment: Real-life setting= natural behaviour -> less chance of demand characteristics. However,  experimenter has no control over variables (extraneous variables), therefore hard to replicate to get same results.
 

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“Hi, I'm Alice, and I'm a first year psychology undergraduate at Durham University. I enjoy psychology, biology and english, and I'm looking to tutor at GCSE and IB.”

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