Case Studies, Correlational designs, longitudinal and cross-sectional studies

Definition Case Study
-Studying one unique individual and gathering in-depth, detailed and rich data about individual, observations, questionnaires etc
-Triangulation used, means pooling in all data from research methods. Freud used free association/dream analysis and slips of the tongue to try to uncover unconscious wishes desires. Used to uncover their repressed memories!!!

Strength Case Study
-useful because often only way of studying a particular phenomenon, gather data that can’t be obtained by other means
-Valid data, gathered in natural surroundings and data comes from people concerned
-Freud therapeutics and practical application, use special means to uncover unconscious thoughts that can’t be accessed otherwise!!

Weaknesses of Case Study
-Not replicable because situation is unique, not replicable so not reliable
-Concerns generalisability (results come from one unique individual/small group can’t be generalised)
-Freud subjective due to interpretations, can’t test unconscious, not measurable scientifically no proof!

Definition Correlational designs
-When one participant provides data for two measures which are tested to see if they show a relationship. 2 variables but not an IV/DV!!
-Both variables are measured and both are of interest

Strengths Correlational designs
-Little manipulation of variables, measures often taken of existing situations w/t few controls needed-straightforward design
-Correlations can show relationships that might not be expected and can be used to point towards new areas for research

Weaknesses Correlational designs
-Cannot establish cause and effect, e.g. if theres a correlation between ice cream sales and crime. Doesn’t mean the 2 are related!!!!!! (not casually related)
-Tend to lack validity because at least one of the variables has to be operationalised, tends to be unnatural e.g. IQ/mental health score, is manufactured always the chance that is not really measuring anything useful!!!!

Definition of Longitudinal studies
-Are those that follow one set of time, using research methods, e.g. experiment/survey/observation
-Important parts are that the participants are the same and that measures are taken over time so comparisons can be made!!

Strengths of Longitudinal studies
-Useful for looking at development trends- main way to see how an individual’s development offers certain characteristics
-Use same participants, meaning that participant variables will not give bias results!!!

Weakness of LS
-In practise, it can be difficult to keep all participants for each of measures and people can drop out. Meaning sample can become biased if it systematically excludes certain people (e.g. those who are too shy)
-Researchers may change over time due to moving on/losing fundings, can affect study as relationships with participants may differ

Definition of Cross-Sectional studies
-Often seen as opposite of longitudinal studies. Measures taken at one moment in time instead of over a period
-Cross section of population is chosen and then those people’s results on some measure are compared
-Cross sectional study uses two different groups of participants rather than same participants

Strengths of CS studies
-Gather immediate results, useful because easier to carry out in practise. Cheaper because researchers only have to be in area once, can organise study more easily than if they have to return, perhaps years later!
-More ethical than longitudinal studies because measures are only taken once, rather than imposing on participants more often

Weakness of CS studies
-Different participants used in conditions, e.g. participant variables can affect result
-Many diff variables in 2 situations being tested that can’t be controlled!!!

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