Exam question • Using your knowledge of Psychology, outline the design of a correlation (4) • Describe how the correlation method was used in any 2 pieces of psychological research you studied (8) • Using examples, compare the use of correlation with any other one method used in Psychology (8) • Discuss the strengths and limitations of using correlations to investigate behaviour. (12) • Discuss how correlation can be useful in our understanding of everyday life (8) Total marks = 40
Correlations • As you are aware you will need to provide evidence from both AS and A2 to support the points you will make in Section B of this paper. • AS: * A2:
Using examples, compare the use of correlation with any other one method used in Psychology (8) What research methods could you use? Using the mini whiteboards come up with 2 similarities and 2 differences between: Correlations and Experiments Correlations and Self reports Correlations and Observations Hint:You can prepare this before hand for all of the research methods! Know your points before you go in!
Part c (8 marks) • 1 similarity & 1differences and if time add an additional similarity or difference. Writing Frame Example • Point: How are correlations & experiments similar/different? • Evidence: Give an example experiments • Evidence: Give and example of correlations • Comment: Explain how there is a link – tie it up or summarise the similarity/difference. • Make sure you compare the two methods at all times when you bring in your point and show how they are similar/difference through evidence.
Point: Another similarity between correlations & experiments ( in particular lab experiments) is that both can have procedures that can be repeated which means findings are confirmed. • Evidence: Within Milgram’s study, the procedure was carried out again because it was in a controlled laboratory environment whereby standardised procedures were carried out allowing for easier replication. The findings were confirmed by showing that obedience was high in other cultures as well. • Evidence: G and S study which used correlations as well could be carried out again because the procedure involved collecting school records, police records & demographic records to find out individual’s life expectancy and the homicide rates. This would be available at all times and therefore could be repeated again at a later stage. • Explanation: This suggests that both methods can allow for high controls through standardised procedures which allows for easier replication to take place and thus increases the reliability of the study.
Point: A difference between correlations and experiments is that experiments can determine cause and effect and correlations look at a relationships between two variables. • Evidence: Caspi used a correlation to investigate a genetic cause into criminal behaviour. There data revealed a higher correlation between maltreatment and anti social behaviour than the MAOA enzyme. • Evidence:Samuel and Bryant conducted an experiment to see if age caused someone’s ability to conserve. Through and independent measures design they were able to conclude that age does cause someone's ability to conserve. • Explanation: Experiments can explain the causes of behaviour and therefore conclusions can be used to help to correct behaviour whereas correlations can only be used to see if further research is needed.
Discuss how correlation can be useful in our understanding of everyday life (8) 2 paragraphs PCEC 3rd paragraph if you have time.
Part e (8 marks) • Point: Correlations are useful because they give precise information on the degree of relationship between variables. • Comment: This is useful as by understanding the strength of the correlations researchers can see if there is a need for further research. • Evidence: In Christiansen’s study, one can see a relationship between genes and criminality (52% concordance rate) compared to non-identical twins and criminality (22% concordance rate) • Explanation: The correlation is useful as it helps understand the link/relationship between criminality and biology and one can see how much influence it may have. In this study, the correlation is not a 100% and therefore other factors may be relate to criminality in addition to genes. This helps one think of other possible reasons as to why people may turn to crime.