The students calculated the mean and standard deviation scores for self-esteem and locus of control scale.

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1 PSYA4 Psychological research and scientific method (35 marks) In the wake of the economic crisis, young people are leaving school and university and joining the ranks of the unemployed. A group of students decided to investigate the effects of unemployment on young adults self-esteem and locus of control. They used an opportunity sample of 40 young people between 18 and 24 years. Twenty of the sample had been unemployed for the previous 9 months; the other 20 were employed and had only ever experienced short spells of unemployment. Self-esteem was measured with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, a 10-item questionnaire. Each of the 10 statements is rated on a 4-point scale, resulting in a minimum score of 10 (low self-esteem) and a maximum score of 40 (high selfesteem). The locus of control scale used was a new scale that consisted of 12 items, with a minimum score of 12 and a maximum of 24. A high score indicates external locus of control and a low score indicates internal locus of control. Before collecting the data, the students checked the reliability and validity of this new locus of control scale. The students calculated the mean and standard deviation scores for self-esteem and locus of control scale. 1 Identify the design of this investigation. (1 mark) This is an independent measure design 2 (i) Explain how the students could have checked the reliability of the locus of control scale. (3 marks) They could have undertaken a pilot. The questionnaires could be given to A small sample of volunteers who complete the questionnaire and then one week later complete it again. The researchers are looking for high degree of consistency, ie a strong correlation between the first and second set of answers. 2 (ii) Explain how they could have checked the internal validity of the locus of control scale. (3 marks) They could have used concurrent validity. There are other measures of locus of control that can be used. If a small sample of volunteers completed both and the results were strongly correlated, this would suggest good validity. 3 Outline what the data in Table 1 seems to show about the difference between the employed and unemployed samples. (4 marks)

2 The mean self-esteem score is higher for the employed group. The stand deviation for self esteem is higher for the unemployed group, suggesting their scores varied more widely. In relation to locus of control, the unemployed group is higher, though not by a large margin. It is none the less interesting as we might have expected to see higher locus of control scores in the employed group. There is also a slight difference in the St Dev, but at.74 not really significant on a scale of There does not seem to be a relationship between locus of control and self-esteem on the basis of these scores. The students then used a statistical test to find out if there was a significant difference between the scores for the unemployed and employed groups. They found a significant difference at the 5% level for a two tailed test (p = 0.05) for both the self-esteem scores and the locus of control scores. 4 Identify an appropriate statistical test for analysing the scores for self-esteem. Explain why it would be appropriate. (4 marks) The Mann Whitney U test would be used because: (a) it is a test of difference (b) the data is at least at ordinal level and (c) it is an independent measures design. The students decided to explore the relationship between self-esteem and locus of control for the two groups. The scattergraphs below depict the relationship for employed and unemployed young people. 5 Explain what the scattergrams show about self-esteem and locus of control in employed and unemployed young people. (4 marks)

3 In the case of the employed participants, there is a reasonably strong negative correlation between Locus of Control and Self Esteem. This suggest that the higher their locus of control, the lower their level of self esteem. In the case of the unemployed participants, there is a reasonably strong positive correlation, suggesting that the stronger their locus of control, the higher their level of self esteem. Visually, the strength of the correlation is about equal when the two groups are compared, and both are affected by a couple of outlying values. The employed data suggests a less dispersed set of scores. The data as it stands gives no indication as to why this relationship may exist, nor does it indicate a causal relationship. 6 Discuss limitations of this study and the implications of these limitations. (8 marks) The correlational aspect of the study does not establish a causal relationship between locus of control and self esteem. The questionnaires used (a) only return limited data closed question with limited available responses (b) would be prone to answers that show Social Desirability bias. The sampling is not rigorous and would not be representative of the wider population. Going forward: the group may wish to focus on using one-to-one interviews to gain some qualitative data on the causes and effects of unemployment. Alternatively, they may wish to refine their questionnaires and gather data from a larger, stratified sample. The students tutor suggested that collecting some qualitative data might help them to develop a deeper understanding of the effects of employment and unemployment on young people. 7. Outline a proposal for a study that would allow you to collect qualitative data on the effects of employment and unemployment on young people. You should identify the research method, provide detail of the sampling procedure and data collection tools/techniques, explain how you would record the data and suggest how you would analyse the data. (8 marks) An open-ended interview would be the method used. A small sample would be used because the process of collecting data through interviews is more timeconsuming. The sample would be an opportunity one, drawn from young people known to us.!0 young people in permanent employment and 10 long term unemployed would be interviewed. At this stage the sample would be all male. Each interview will take place in a conference room setting and will be undertaken one-to-one. Although the style of the interview will be open ended and allow for supplementary questions, there will be some key focus questions, eg: How long have you been unemployed? What effect has being unemployed/employed had on your self-esteem, self concept, mental and physical well being etc. To what extent is your employment status a matter of choice? Etc The participant will be encouraged to add his own thoughts and no time restriction will be placed on the answers. The data will be collected through, firstly, a digital recording device and, subsequently, transcription. The researcher will make some additional notes about tone of voice, body language, facial expression etc.

4 The analysis will entail breaking down the qualitative data down in measurable units. So, for example, we will establish a tally chart for responses to the questions what effect does (un)employment have on your self esteem, quantifying different possible responses. The participants will be fully informed of the nature of the study and we will gain their written consent. It will be made clear to them that they can withdraw from the study at any time and that their anonymity will be full protected.

5 1. With reference to the data in Table 1, outline what the findings of this investigation seem to show about the effectiveness of the treatment. (2 marks) The data suggests that the treatment is more effective than no treatment, as shown by the higher median score for the treatment group. The range suggests that in the treatment group the differences were more widely dispersed. The fact that there was also an increase in the no treatment group may be due to chance or it may be indicative of a validity issue associated with being part of a study. 2. Identify an appropriate statistical test for analysing the participant scores. Explain why it would be a suitable test to use in this study. (4 marks) The Mann Whitney U test would be used because: (a) it is a test of difference (b) the data is at least at ordinal level and (c) it is an independent measures design. 3. What is the likelihood of the psychologist having made a Type 1 error in this study? Explain your answer. (2 marks) 0.05 is a suitable probability level to use in a study of this kind where there is some possibility that chance factors would play a part. P < would not prevent but would minimise the possibility of a false positive (ie a type 1 error) occurring. 4. The psychologist assumed that improvements in the treatment group were a direct result of the new type of treatment. Suggest two other reasons why people in the treatment group might have improved. (4 marks) Demand characteristics: the participants knew that they were having treatment for their condition and they may have felt pressure to indicate that there had been an improvement. Participant variables: the participants were randomly allocated to the two conditions but that would not have eliminated the possibility that those in the treatment condition were more likely to be motivated to improve their condition. 5. The psychologist could have used self-report questionnaires to assess the participants instead of using interviews with the therapist. Explain one advantage and one disadvantage of using self-report questionnaires in this study rather than interviews. (4 marks) Advantage: Self report questionnaires eliminate interviewer effects ie participants altering their responses as a consequence of how they relate to the person interviewing them. Disadvantage: the researchers have no control over how the questionnaire is completed the participant could share her thoughts with others and so the responses may not be truly her own. 6. The psychologist needed to obtain informed consent from her participants. Write a brief consent form which would be suitable for this study. You should include some details of what participants could expect to happen in the study and how they would be protected. (5 marks) I, the undersigned, fully understand and accept the conditions of participating in this study. I understand that: I will be in one of two groups, one of which will be involved in an eight week experimental treatment programme for eating disorders.

6 I may be in either group, ie I may receive the treatment; I may not. Due consideration will be given to my well-being during the period of the treatment, but the researchers are not responsible for any change in my condition. I can, at any stage, withdraw from the study without any negative consequence. The data produced by this study will remain confidential, will be securely stored and not used for any secondary purpose. Should the study be published, I will not be identifiable from the information given At the end of the period of study I will fully debriefed and receive any reasonable support that I should request. 7. What is meant by reliability? Explain how the reliability of the scores in this study could be checked. (4 marks) Reliability refers to the degree of consistency in the measure used. In this case is the current functioning score being measured consistently. Reliability could be checked through having a pilot study. At this stage th therapist and another researcher could complete the structured interview with the same participant. Their responses could be checked for correlation a high correlation indicating a high degree of reliability.

7 8. Imagine that you are the psychologist and are writing up the report of the study. Write an appropriate methods section which includes reasonable detail of design, participants, materials and procedure. Make sure that there is enough detail to allow another researcher to carry out this study in the future. (10 marks) Design: Participants: Procedure: An independent measures design will be used. From a volunteer sample of 30, two groups will be created through random allocation to two conditions: treatment and nontreatment. The sample will be self-selecting. An advert will be placed in 20 different clinics in the London area specialising in the treatment of eating disorders. The advert will ask for volunteers to take part in an experimental study. No further details will be given. Each participant will be briefly interviews. Whilst it is understood that each will suffer an eating disorder it should be assured that each selected participant is in reasonable mental health. The participants will be met individually and the details of study explained to them they will be fully apprised of their rights and will give their informed consent to participation (see appendix 3 for consent form) They will be invited to attend an interview that will take place in a university office. There they will meet a trained therapist who will ask a series of structured questions (see appendix 1) that will be used to determine a current functioning score. This score will be recorded. The interview will be conducted in exactly the same manner by the therapist and only the questions on the sheet will be asked. Those participants on the treatment course will be invited to attend the once weekly sessions. Those participants in the no-treatment condition will have their situation explained and be invited back for a review at the end of the eight week period. (see appendix 2 for details of treatment) At the end of the eight week period, the interview process will be repeated and the scores paired with the first scores. The therapist conducting the interview will be unaware as to who was in the treatment and who in the non-treatment condition. The first score will be subtracted from the second score to create a difference score. These will then be analysed.

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