Experimental Research Methods

Our latest Psychology On-Demand compilation brings together 3 short films designed to clarify and consolidate the meaning of experimental methods by looking at the different ways psychologists carry out and design experiments and evaluate their comparative strengths and limitations. Illustrative case studies are used throughout for application and advice is given on key points of revision and exam technique.

  1. Laboratory Experiments (5 minutes 45 seconds). In the context of three major studies (Bandura, Maguire, the Stroop Effect) the film covers key:
  • definitions (aim, method and environment)
  • concepts (such as dependent and independent variables)
  • evaluations (identifying their strengths and weaknesses)

  1. Field Experiments (7 minutes 5 seconds). Uses a range of classic studies to take you through the key ideas and skills required to produce an excellent exam answer in terms of:
  • knowledge: the experimental method, field and natural experiments
  • applications: Hofling, Piliavin, Fisher and Geiselman
  • evaluation: the uses and limitations of field experiments

  1. Natural Experiments (7 minutes 10 seconds). Uses Costello et al’s Great Smokey Mountains study (Relationships Between Poverty and Psychopathology) as the basis for:
  • illustrating the unique features of natural experiments
  • showing how natural experiments differ from other types of experiment
  • identifying the strengths and weaknesses of this research metho:

The film explores their respective strengths and weaknesses as each design is applied to the learning example.

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