Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Learning Outcome

The Following are some of the major Learning Outcomes regarding Research:

Research methods
Qualitative Quantitative

Case study

Naturalistic observation


  • unstructured
  • semi-structured
  • focus-groups


Field experiments


Natural experiments

Correlational research


Research designs
Matched pair design Randomly assign one of a pair to either the control or the experimental group. Researchers may match individuals on specific characteristics, such as ethnicity or age. Twin studies are an example of a matched pair design.
Independent samples/independent measures design Uses two separate groups of participants. For example, one group of participants is assigned to the control group while the other group is assigned to the experimental or treatment condition.
Repeated measures design Exposes participants to each condition making up the Independent Variable.
Dependent Variable—the measurement generated by the manipulation of the Independent Variable.

Independent Variable—the factor that the experimenter manipulates.

Sampling technique
This involves selecting participants for a study. Examples of sampling techniques include:

  • random sampling
  • convenience/opportunity sampling
  • volunteer sampling
  • purposive sampling
  • snowball sampling.
This refers to eliminating or controlling any factor that could affect the results of the study, apart from the Independent Variable. When and how this is carried out will depend on the method chosen to generate the information needed.
Ethical considerations
These are paramount in any investigation of any kind in psychology. Please see the “Ethical guidelines” chapter of this guide and the teacher support material for more information on ethical considerations in psychology.
Analyzing data
The ways researchers analyse data through data presentation, inductive content analysis or statistics.
Drawing conclusions
There are several ways to draw conclusions about the research. These include:

  • correlation and causation
  • replication
  • generalization for quantitative research
  • transferability for qualitative research
  • triangulation
Bias refers to factors that may affect the results of the study. These include:

  • researcher bias
  • participant bias
  • sampling bias.

***HL Students will be assessed on their knowledge of qualitative research via PAPER 3*** Below are examples of PAPER 3 with Mark Schemes Below (links are inactive, will be updated): 

Paper 3 with mark scheme Example

Psychology_paper_3_Narrative interviews

Paper 3 with semi structured interviews

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