Cross-Cultural Issues - Experimental Research Methods - Lecture Slides, Slides for Research Methodology. Agra University

Cross-Cultural Issues - Experimental Research Methods - Lecture Slides, Slides for Research Methodology. Agra University

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Some of the key topics in Experimental Research Methods course are: Conducting, Cross, Design Exercises, Designing, Ethics in Psychological Research, Internal and External Validity, Multiple Independent Variables, Organ...
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The Basics of Experimentation II

The Basics of Experimentation II: Final Considerations, Unanticipated

Influences, and Cross-Cultural Issues

Types of Participants

• Types of Participants: Three guidelines to help you choose participants for your research project: – Precedent • An established pattern • If your literature review indicated that a particular type of participant has

been used successfully in prior research projects in your area of interest, you may want to consider using this type of participant.

– Availability • Availability refers to using an easily accessible population from which to

draw participants.

– Nature of the Problem • Type of Research Project • Often the type of research project will determine the type of participant you

decide to use.

Number of Participants

• Once you have decided what type of participant to use in your research project, you must then determine how many participants you are going to test.

• In making this decision, there are numerous factors that you must take into account:

– Finances • How much will it cost to test each participant?

– Animals need to be purchased and cared for.

– It may be necessary to pay humans for their participation.

– Does the person who actually conducts the experiment need to be paid?

– Time • As you test additional participants, time requirements will increase,

especially if you test participants individually.

Number of Participants

• Availability – The sheer number of participants that are available may influence how many

you choose in your experiment.

• The less within-group variability (i.e., the more homogeneous the participants), the fewer participants you will need.

• The greater the within-group variability (i.e., the more heterogeneous the participants), the greater the number of participants you will need.

• Power – The number of participants tested is related to the power of your statistical


– Power is the probability that a statistical test will be significant (i.e., the experimental hypothesis is accepted when it is true).


• IV presentation

– Often the nature of the IV will influence the type of apparatus one chooses to use.

• DV recording

– How the DV will be recorded:

• Use of a prepared data sheet in a naturalistic observation study.

• Use of video recording equipment when its presence will not cause reactivity effects.

The Experimenter as an Extraneous Variable

• Experimenter Characteristics – Physiological • Characteristics such as age, sex, and race can have an influence on participants’


– Psychological • Characteristics such as hostility, anxiety, introversion, or extraversion can also have

an influence on participants’ responses.

• Experimenter Expectancies: Expectations that cause the experimenter to behave toward participants in such a manner that the expected response is more likely shown.

• Rosenthal Effect: The experimenter’s preconceived idea of appropriate responding influences the treatment of participants and their behavior. – The results of experimenter expectations are often called Rosenthal effects

because Rosenthal and his colleagues were among the first to systematically study them.

Controlling Experimenter Effects

• Physiological and Psychological Effects

– At present the most common procedures for controlling general experimenter characteristics are to:

• Use standardized methods

• Use careful training to a set standard when the experimenter administers procedures

• Standardize appearance, attitude, and so forth as much as possible

• If findings are replicated with a different experimenter, then experimenter effects are less likely to be a factor.

• A thorough literature review will help make you aware of any relevant experimenter variables in your area of research interest.

Controlling Experimenter Effects

• Experimenter Expectancies

– The instructions that the experimenter gives to the participants should be carefully prepared so their manner of presentation will not influence the participants’ responses.

• Tape-recorded experimenter instructions to participants

• Printed instructions

• Computer displays

– Any instructions concerning scoring the participants’ responses should be as objective and concrete as possible and established before the experiment is started.

• Automated equipment can ensure the accurate recording and storage of response data.

Controlling Experimenter Effects

• Single-blind Experiment: The experimenter has no knowledge regarding which participants receive which treatment.

• Double-blind Experiment: The experimenter and the participants do not know who has actually been exposed to treatment.

Participant Perceptions as Extraneous Variables

• Demand Characteristics: Features of the experiment that inadvertently lead participants to respond in a particular manner. – Participants in psychological research may attempt to figure out how they are

supposed to respond and then behave in this manner.

• Good Participant Effect: The tendency of participants to behave as they perceive the experimenter wants them to behave.

• Response Bias – Yea-sayers: Participants who tend to answer yes to all questions.

– Nay-sayers: Participants who tend to answer no to all questions.

• Response Set: The experimental context or testing situation influences the participants’ responses.

Controlling Participant Effects

• Demand Characteristics – We can conduct double-blind experiments.

• Yea-saying – The most typical control for yea-saying (and nay-saying) is to

rewrite some of the items so that a negative response represents agreement (control for yea-saying) or a positive response represents disagreement (control for nay-saying).

• Response Set – The best safeguard against response set is to review all questions

that are asked or items to be completed to see if a socially desired response is implied in any manner. – The answer given or response made should reflect the

participant’s own feelings, attitudes, or motives rather than an attempt to appear intelligent or well-adjusted or otherwise “normal.”

The Interface Between Research and Culture

• Culture: Lasting values, attitudes, and behaviors that are shared by a group and transmitted to subsequent generations.

• Cross-Cultural Psychology: A branch of psychology whose goal is to determine the universality of research results.

• Culture, Knowledge, and Truth

– Etic: A finding that is the same in different cultures.

• Represents an absolute truth.

– Emic: A culture-specific finding.

• Represents a truth relative to a specific culture.

• Ethnocentricity: Other cultures are viewed as an extension of one’s own culture.

– If other cultures are viewed as an extension of one’s own, the result may be research findings that cannot be generalized beyond one’s own culture.

The Effect of Culture on Research

• Choice of the Research Problem

– In some cases there may be no doubt that the choice of your research problem is culture dependent.

• For example, studying the nature of a crowd at a rock concert.

• Nature of the Experimental Hypothesis

– Cultural differences may lead to different experimental hypotheses.

• For example, studies of personal space.

• Selection of the IV and the DV

– For example, IV presentation and DV measurement may be accomplished by computer in technologically advanced cultures but not in cultures unfamiliar with computers.

Methodology and Analysis Issues

• Participants and Sampling Procedures – The basic question here is whether the sample of participants is

representative of the culture from which they were drawn. • For example, extreme differences may exist between samples

drawn from large urban centers and those drawn from rural areas.

• Type of Survey or Questionnaire Used – Although an existing survey or questionnaire may work in a few

instances, most likely the researcher will not be able to use it for research in a different culture.

• Cultural Response Set: The tendency of a particular culture to respond in a certain manner. – If differences exist among the groups tested in various cultures, a

cultural response set may be operating.

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