ATAR Notes: Forum

VCE Stuff => VCE Science => VCE Mathematics/Science/Technology => VCE Subjects + Help => VCE Psychology => Topic started by: psychlaw on April 07, 2008, 09:08:26 pm

Title: Urghh need help again :(
Post by: psychlaw on April 07, 2008, 09:08:26 pm
Hey guys... I need help with the ERA on page 232 ... About the rat/man

does anyone have a rat/man ERA that they can upload :)
please? :)
or can someone please help explain how to write an ERA in relation to the rat/man thing on page 232 to about 235 on the GRIVAS TEXT BOOK


Gosh I hate ERAs
Psych was going so well till they came up... And Ive got a SAC on an ERA soon
My hopes of getting a 44 in Psych are fading cause of this :(

Title: Re: Urghh need help again :(
Post by: Eriny on April 08, 2008, 10:27:39 am
Do you know how to structure an ERA? If so, which part do you need help with? I find that the procedure part of method is difficult to explain.
Title: Re: Urghh need help again :(
Post by: psychlaw on April 08, 2008, 07:46:40 pm
I dont really know what to write in the introdution and the discussion... i dont know what the extraneous/dependant/independant variables are... I dont know what to write in the abstract
Title: Re: Urghh need help again :(
Post by: Eriny on April 08, 2008, 10:56:06 pm
Well, that's okay. Firstly, if you're using the Grivas text, I recommend reading pages 54 to 58 if you haven't already.

It's good to think of the introduction as a kind of funnel. That is, it starts off really widely and broadly and then gets more and more specific to your individual study. So, firstly you will broadly introduce the topic that you're studying and you'll define key terms relevant to the study. For example, if you're doing the rat man experiment you may define things like the perceptual set and context. You'll then talk briefly about different experiments, a few sentences about how other researchers studied relevant aspects of your topic and what their results were. There should be some of this information in your textbook.  Then you state the aim of your research and become quite specific about what you want to study. Then you state your operational hypothesis, including your IV and DV.

Now, the IV and the DV is what heaps of people find tricky at first and different people remember which is which in different ways. I like to think of the IV as x and the DV as y, but regardless, you manipulate the IV in order to see the effect upon the DV. For example, in the rat man experiment, the experiment will change the context in which a participant views a figure in order to see how this changes the participant's perception of the figure. In this case the independent variable (i.e. the variable being manipulated) is the context the figure is viewed and the dependent variable (i.e. the one that the experimenter doesn't control) is how the figure is perceived. If I'm confusing you even more, wiki is always your friend:

Extraneous variables are things that could potentially change the results of your study other than the IV. So, that is, factors which interfere with you getting valid results. The issue could be to do with sampling or design or anything really. There's quite a lot about this in the textbook as well. But as an example, if you were studying the effects of gender on ability on a test and your first experimental group was given a test early in the morning and your second experimental group was given a test at a normal time in the day then the performance of the second group might be better regardless of their gender, meaning that the time of day, in this case, has become an EV. If you do not control for these kinds of things in your experiment then they could become confounding variables, which means that your results are no longer valid at all because of these outside factors.

In the discussion you pretty much write the opposite of your intro. You  restate your aim and state whether or not the hypothesis was supported. You then talk about limitations of your experiment (like extraneous variables) and how the research could be improved. You can also make generalisations from your results if your sample is representative of a population and you can talk about where your research fits in more broadly with other research (also talk about if your results are compatible with that of previous research).  So, in other words, it states your main findings and their implications.

Abstracts are a bit tricky and I think it's always best left until last. It's a single paragraph that explains briefly your research problem, your method, your key findings and your implications.

Have a go at writing as much as you can and if you get stuck you can always PM me and I'll have a look at it for you. I find that once I start it gets easier than what I thought it'd be.