Here are some practice questions for research methods and statistics because, frankly, you can never have too many of them. I’ve written them to foreground the need to (1) calculate tests; and (2) refer to the contextual material in answers because these are key requirements of the Edexcel specification for RMS. However, they should be useful to pretty much anyone.
I’ve been making quite a lot of use of the quiz/assessment website Socrative.com (free account needed; pay for enhanced features). I’m mainly using it to check comprehension of preparatory reading assignments, particularly for targeting areas where misconceptions are likely to arise (e.g. the difference between privacy and confidentiality when discussing research ethics). Here are some of the quizzes I’ve made recently.
It’s blindingly obvious that students will learn things better if we model them first (see Rosenshine, 2012) and most of us are in the habit of modelling all sorts of things, including the sorts of thinking and writing skills that Psychology requires. However, with the recently increased emphasis on practical skills at A – Level (in Edexcel’s specification, anyway) I’ve found myself planning for lots of practical work and it occurred to me that I’ve never modelled the whole process of a practical investigation for my students. Bits of it, yes, but not the whole thing. On reflection, that strikes me as a bit of an oversight. Here is an attempt to put that right. The aims are twofold: (1) to show, all in one, the steps involved in carrying out a practical investigation so that students have an overview of what they will need to do and how it all fits together; and (2) model good research practices and set appropriate expectations about ethical conduct during research. It is based around a practical investigation that can be done in 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the group. It’s a correlational study of the relationship between D2:D4 digit ratio and aggression. There’s a lesson plan, a slideshow, a PBAQ-SF questionnaire for measuring aggression an Excel spreadsheet for analysing the results and a sheet for students to record their observations during the demo. I’ve also written an example report, which is pitched for students studying the Edexcel specification (users of other specifications YMMV).
Rosenshine, B. (2012). Principles of instruction: research-based strategies that all teachers should know. American Educator, Spring 2012.
The first addresses the characteristics of the defendant. There is an analysis task (based on an Edexcel sample question) you can use to structure a group discussion on influences on jury decisions, explanations of those influences and the evidence that relates to them. This is followed by a consideration of the weaknesses of mock-jury research and an activity on research design to help integrate RMS knowledge and understanding with the topic of criminological psychology. Invite students to design studies and summarise them on this form, then stick them on a visualiser/photograph/scan and project them for a group critique. There is a slideshow to structure the lesson.
The second lesson focuses on pretrial publicity. It is also RMS-focused and structured around a content analysis of two newspaper articles about the Joanna Yeates case, one from the Daily Mail and one from The Guardian. The slideshow gives a structure for the lesson.
Here are some resources for teaching weapon focus, research methods and statistics. There is a set of stimuli for a weapon focus experiment and a response sheet (copy for the students or project it). The experiment is designed with at least one fatal flaw (failure to counterbalance in a repeated measures design) and several extraneous variables (e.g. image quality). You could use it to demo the general idea underlying most weapon focus research, use it as a stimulus for class discussion etc. Alternately, there is a slideshow to structure a lesson and a set of activities on weapon focus, research methods and statistics.