Design a study to investigate the relationship between age - Essay Example

Kenned Cherry dates “A study that Investigates the connection between two or more variables Is considered relational research. ” Cherry (2013) I am investigating the age of the participant and the effect this has on the number of ideas that are generated. Where as Descriptive studies do not seek to measure the effect of a variable; they seek only to describe and causal relationships investigate the effect of one or more variables on one or more outcome variables. This type of research also determines if one variable causes another variable to occur or change.

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Psychologists collect evidence in many different ways. Psychology as an academic discipline has been around for nearly 150 years passing through many phases each of these phases has left us its methods of research. ” Hayes (2007). I feel the best method to use for my study would be using the scientific method, as it will be easier to replicate, as it uses a standardize procedures, give validity to the evidence and data gathered, and I will be able to draw conclusions from the evidence and support or UN support the theory that younger participants do in fact generate more ideas.

Gaucheness (2002) states “psychologists utilize the scientific method to conduct psychological research. The scientific method Is a set of principles and procedures that are used by researchers to develop questions collect data and reach conclusions. ” As I already know what the study will be about I will need to develop a hypothesis to test; so the information gathered will either support or UN support this hypothesis and theory. Hugh Colonial states that “any theory stated in a general way requires evidence to support It and this will come from the deviation of several hypotheses that we can test. ” Colonial (2009).

Fife-Schwa (2000) states an “A hypothesis is a testable prediction of what will happen given a certain set of conditions. Psychologists test a hypothesis by using a specific research method, such as naturalistic observation. A case study, a survey, or an experiment. If the test does not confirm the hypothesis, the psychologist revises or rejects the original theory. ” In order to test whether younger participants generate more ideas, I will need a hypothesis that can use to test this theory. It also must be Falsifiable which means that it must be possible for it to be rejected or be able to be proven wrong.

This is because all researchers can succumb to the confirmation bias, because they want to prove their theory correct ND therefore only looks for evidence that supports their hypothesis and ignores or disputes evidence that doesn’t support their own theories. The hypotheses in this research has already suggested that there is a correlation between the younger participants generating more ideas than the older participants. Such as the younger the participant the higher the number of ideas that will be generated.

It would also have to be one tailed as the outcome has already been predicted from the findings of the previous study, and the psychologists’ realization that younger participants generated more ideas than the older participants. The null hypothesis could be that there is no difference between the number of ideas generated and the age of the participants and that any correlation is purely chance and dependent on your sample. Sparseness goes further saying “Psychologists use many different methods for conducting research. Each method has advantages and disadvantages that make it suitable for certain situations and unsuitable for others. Sparseness Editors, (2005). “Note that research methods in psychology are related in the sense that they are all means of soliciting information about human nature from human artisans. ” Chow, S. L. (2002). Therefore when considering what research methods to use I will have to go through each type to see if it is suitable for my study and whether it is going to get accurate results taking into consideration all the variables Psychological variables in research can be defined as “A variable is something that can be changed, such as a characteristic or value.

Variables are generally used in psychology experiments to determine if changes to one thing result in changes to another. ” Cherry, K (2013). On her website she identifies 3 different types of variables hat I will have to take into account when thinking about my study and how to go about it. I have identified that the independent variable is the age of the participants, so I will need to incorporate in my sample participants from different age groups, so I compare the number of ideas generated.

The dependent variable will be the numbers of ideas generated, I will have to think about how the ideas are going to be generated and use different methods to generate ideas instead of Just one and see if this makes a difference. I have got quite a lot of extraneous factors to take into consideration that will need to be controlled. Extraneous variables include: the environment the participants are in, some environments may stimulate a more creative response than others. Therefore this will need to be controlled for each research method and participant when they are generating ideas.

For example a room with the same colored floor, walls with no decorations. Another factor I feel is subject knowledge as the older participants in the previous study might have not known much about tourism in that area, where the younger participants might have had more topic based projects on tourism during their education and therefore have better subject knowledge on this subject hence are able to generate more ideas. When designing the topics they need to generate ideas on I feel it has to be based on either something the participants both have knowledge on or something neither or them have knowledge on.

I could use a selection interview to determine this. In the previous study it also doesn’t make it clear whether the younger participants were working individually or in a group when they generated more ideas. So when planning the research I feel tasks should be designed to incorporate both individual asks and group tasks where individuals are observed to see if this variable makes a difference in what age bracket is generating the ideas, because are the participants group. The mood the participants are in when conducting the generating ideas research methods is also a factor.

Some moods might make a person more creative than others such as, if you are sad, or depressed you might not function as well in creating ideas as someone who is happy and energetic. So I could carry out a closed questionnaire of the participants to see if this is a factor in the results found. After analysis all the variable and taking them into account when going through each research method I have decided to use a selection of research methods to gain information, and evidence for my study that will either support or UN support the hypotheses I have made from the previous studies findings. The interview is used to solicit information by talking to participants (called “interviewees”). No predetermined question is used in the unstructured interview with open-ended questions, and interviewees determine the depth and the manner of the answers. In contrast, the interviewers ask interviewees a set of predetermined questions in a pacific order in the structured interview. Hayes (2004) I felt this method would be the best to use to established the participants, subject knowledge, social and educational backgrounds, as these might factor into the type of person and how many ideas they generate, such as someone who works with precision and accuracy may not be as good at generating ideas as someone who is in marketing and generates ideas as a living. Consisting of a structure interview type because, I would require specific information from the participant so need to be able to direct the interview to get the information I want.

A structured interview would be easier to replicate, and the data easier to analyses, and it would be less likely be influenced by the interviewer, but it will limit the flexibility of the questions and important points might be missed. I will have to be careful when designing the questions so they are not ambiguous and do not encourage brief answers. The subject knowledge could also be important if you know a lot about the subject area you are going to be able to generate more ideas than someone who knows nothing about the subject at all because they wouldn’t know what you were talking about.

The education someone has received may play a factor; someone who was taught in the sass’s had a very different education to someone who is educated today. Now a days people are taught to question things, there is more group work and discussions in the classroom, compared to the sass’s. I have decided to conduct two lab experiments, because they allow for precise control of extraneous and independent variables and it is easier to replicate because a standardized procedure is used.

The experiments would be non disclosed to the participants; I would not tell the participants the aim f the tasks as this might influence the participants and produce inaccurate results. One lab experiment would be where the participants are generating ideas on their own in an individual task isolated away from all the other participants and the other one where they are generating ideas in a group situation. As mentioned previously using this method will help to control the variables, and allow me to produce more accurate results such as age as a factor for generating ideas instead or the room or decoration been a factor.

This is backed up by Mac Led (2007) who says “This type of experiment is conducted in a well-controlled environment – not necessarily a laboratory – and therefore accurate and objective measurements are possible. The participants, in what circumstances and using a standardized procedure. ” If I used a field or a natural experiment they might not provide any situations where the groups need to generate ideas, so they naturally don’t which would affect the results. I also would not be able to control environmental factors using these methods neither and as discussed previously this could be quite important.

Before and after both tasks I loud ask the participants to fill in a closed questionnaire with questions asking about mood, health, vitality levels, so if these become a factor that affects the results it can be seen and taken into consideration. The group lab experiment I would use undisclosed observation methods to determine who is generating the ideas, because the participants will not be influenced by knowing someone is watching them so are generating ideas naturally and are not forcing answers, so the results are more accurate.

Although one of the disadvantages to lab experiment is that the situations ay not reflect real life, and may produce unnatural behavior so the results derived from the experiments may have low ecological validity. This means it would not be possible to generalize the findings to a real life setting. Also characteristics or experimenter effects may bias the results and become confounding variables. However due to the nature of the study and that all the participants will be treated in the same way, I feel this is the only way I can achieve measurable results, and control the variables.

A case study and a survey would not achieve the type of evidence I quire as the variables would not be controlled and the information I received would be too ambiguous, and I wouldn’t be able to correlate the results. Before undertaking the full experiments I would do a pilot test, as an initial run through of the study, tasks and interviews. In order to improve reliability such as how long do we give participants to generate ideas, are the tasks designed correctly to maximize the generation of ideas and are they producing the results you thought they would.

Spot any ambiguities, is the information given confusing this is especially important when considering instructions given to the participants. Identify any flaws in the procedures such as are the tasks pitched correctly. “Sometimes the task is too hard, and the researcher may get a floor effect, because none of the participants can score at all or can complete the task – all performances are low. The opposite effect is a ceiling effect, when the task is so easy that all achieve virtually full marks or top performances and are “hitting the ceiling” Sparseness Editors, (2005).

The best sampling is probability sampling, because it increases the likelihood of obtaining samples that are representative of the population and they provide the cost valid or credible results because they reflect the characteristics of the population from which they are selected. So I would have to select a sample which is representative of the population I feel a random sample would best reflect this. “The term random has a very precise meaning. Each individual in the population of interest has an equal likelihood of selection. Fowler (1984) The advantage to random selection is that there is no bias involved in the selection of the sample, and any variation between the sample characteristics and the population characteristics is only a matter of chance. The sampling of the study would include a volunteer sample. I would ask for random samples from similar areas of ages between 17-18 younger ages are more significant than changes that occur in the older group. Also the older age group will have degeneration of brain cells as well which may play a factor in the generation of ideas.

I have also included a comparison group of 40-45, this age group has already gone through most of their development, has become settled in who they identify with themselves, such as careers, lifestyle choices have been determined mostly by this stage, but it’s before the stage scientists says the rain cells start to degenerate. The size of my sample would be dependent on population size, available resources, how many volunteers I can get from the age groups in the area. The larger the sample, the more accurate results as you have more information to draw your conclusions from.

However large samples require more time for data collection and analysis, and are therefore more costly than smaller ones. For the group experiment I feel if I would put all the 17-18 in one group and so forth, so then we can see how the different ages respond in a group setting and whether this makes a difference to the generation of ideas as the independent variable is age. I feel in my experiments that the same participants need to be used for both the individual and group experiments to limit the extraneous factors influence.

However the experiments would need to be repeated to see if different results were obtained by a different set of participants and to determine whether the same age group was producing the most and the least number of ideas. Colonial (2009) goes on to explain the need and necessity to replicate studies further by saying “This will not only guard against fraudulent claims UT mainly to check that an initial result was not Just a fluke an accidental occurrence or a quirk of the particular place and conditions where the research was carried out. Ethics are very important when carrying out any type of psychological research. Before psychologists can begin any research method it is vital that they stick to an ethical code of practice, as they will be dealing with people. “Ethics refers to the correct rules of conduct necessary when carrying out research. We have a moral responsibility to protect research participants from harm. ” McLeod (2007) Therefore I loud ask for informed consent from my participants and for those who are under 18, I would seek parental consent as well.

Making them aware of their right to withdraw at any time and that all information obtained and given would be strictly confidential. I would also apply a debriefing session at the end to ensure that the participants understood what that they had participated in and do not feel that any deception has been used. They could also ask any questions during this time to ensure they are comfortable with the whole experience. I would conclude from my duty that the 17-18 year olds will generate more ideas than the other age groups.