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Example Answer for Question 22 Paper 2: AS Psychology, June 2017 (AQA)

AS, A-Level

Last updated 22 May 2017

Section C - Research Methods

Question 22: Explain [4 Marks] - Improvements

Suggested Answer: The follow-up study is an improvement on the original because a laboratory experiment was used in comparison to a questionnaire. A laboratory-based experiment enables the researcher to determine the effect of the independent variable (silence and music) on the dependent variable (time taken to complete a spot the difference puzzle) and therefore enables the psychologist to establish causation.

Furthermore, the follow-up study gathered ratio data (time taken to complete a puzzle in seconds) in comparison to nominal data (‘better’, ‘worse’ and ‘the same’ categories). Ratio data allows for more powerful statistical procedures including the mean and standard deviation which are not possible with simple nominal categories, allowing the researchers to carry out more in-depth analysis.

For this question, it would be possible to discuss a whole range of strengths and limitations associated with experimental methods (the follow-up study) vs. questionnaires (the original study). 

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. These answers are not endorsed or approved by AQA.

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