Example Answer for Question 20 Paper 2: A Level Psychology, June 2017 (AQA)
Last updated 25 Apr 2018
Section C – Research Methods: Q20 [3 Marks]
It is more appropriate to use an observation because observations allow researchers to assess behaviour directly and do not rely on participants reporting their own behaviour.
When participants answer questionnaires, there is a tendency to respond in a socially desirable way (e.g. I spend a full 60 minutes engaging in cardio exercise) to present themselves in the best possible light. Observations do not allow participants to present information in a socially desirable way as the researcher is collecting the data first hand. This should improve the validity of the data gathered which is an accurate reflection of how people spend their time at the gym and not just one they report.
Please Note: These answers have been produced without the knowledge of the mark scheme and merely reflect my attempt at producing a model answer on the day of the exam.