Experimental Research Methods Learning Outcomes

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The following learning outcomes are straight from the IB guide. These will be assessed in your Internal Assessment. 

Experimental Research Learning Outcomes

Define the aim of a study.

State the independent and dependent variable in an experiment.

State operational definitions of variables.

State a research and null hypothesis of a study (HL only).

Describe potential confounding variables.

Explain effects of participant and researcher expectations and bias (including demand characteristics, expectancy effect, observer bias, Hawthorne effect).

Explain the controls needed for an experiment (for example, maturation, contamination, placebo effect)

Explain the use of single- and doubleblind techniques. 

Discuss the strengths and limitations of experimental designs (for example, independent samples, repeated measures, matched pairs, single participant)

Discuss how participants are allocated to experimental and control groups (for example, matched pairs, random allocation)

Discuss the use of other research methods in Psychology other than “true” experiments (e.g. case studies, surveys, questionnaires etc.)

Discuss ethical considerations related to psychological research studies (animals and humans) 

Explain the concept of representative sampling. 

Discuss sampling techniques appropriate to quantitative research (for example, random, opportunity, systematic, stratified).

Discuss the concepts of internal and external validity. 

Discuss conditions that increase a study’s reliability. 

Apply descriptive statistics to analyse data (for example, mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation).

Distinguish between levels of measurement (including nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio).

Apply appropriate graphing techniques to represent data (for example, bar chart, histogram, line graph, frequency polygon).

Apply an appropriately chosen statistical test (for example, Wilcoxon matchedpairs signedranks test, Mann–Whitney U test, sign test, chisquared test) in order to determine the level of significance of data (HL only).


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