Doing Psychological Research: Gathering and Analysing Data

By Nicky Hayes | Go to book overview

PART II
Making sense of data

In this part of the book, we go on to look at different forms of analysis. Analysis is all about making sense of the data which have been collected, and there are different types of analysis depending on what it is that we are interested in and want to find out. If we want to look at people's descriptions of events that have happened in their lives, or their personal experiences, there would be very little point in trying to do so by converting the information into numbers, and conducting a quantitative analysis. We would lose so much information that what remained would really tell us very little.

But if we wanted to examine the acquisition of a specific skill, such as reading fluency, then adopting a research method which allowed us to convert the information into numbers and conducting a quantitative analysis would be much more useful. The analysis would allow us to look at our information objectively, and to see patterns in it which might not be apparent if we adopted a more qualitative approach.

A research psychologist, therefore, needs to have a good knowledge of analytical techniques, as well as a good knowledge of research methods. In the next few chapters, we will look at both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Familiarity with both quantitative and qualitative methods provides a psychologist with a versatile and wideranging psychological 'tool-kit'. Knowing when these techniques are appropriate and when they are not will allow a researcher to choose the best way of analysing the research data, no matter what sort of research project is involved.

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Doing Psychological Research: Gathering and Analysing Data
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures ix
  • List of Tables xi
  • List of Worked Examples xiii
  • List of Formulae xiv
  • Introduction xv
  • Acknowledgements xix
  • 1: Approaches to Psychological Research 1
  • Part I - Gathering Data 15
  • 2: Gathering Data for Psychological Research 17
  • 3: Experiments 35
  • 4: Observational Studies 55
  • 5: questionnaire Studies 70
  • 6: Psychometrics 91
  • 7: Interviews 113
  • 8: Case Studies and Ethnography 131
  • 9: Analysing Documents 147
  • Part II - Making Sense of Data 165
  • 10: Introducing Qualitative Analysis 167
  • 11: Grounded Approaches to Qualitative Research 183
  • 12: Conversations, Discourse and Images 201
  • 13: Protocol Analysis and Other Techniques 220
  • 14: Introducing Quantitative Analysis 239
  • 15: Numbers as Descriptive Statistics 257
  • 16: Descriptive Statistics in Visual Images 278
  • 17: Two-Sample Tests 303
  • 18: Correlation and Regression 331
  • 19: Analysis of Variance 349
  • Glossary 366
  • Statistical Tables 379
  • References 387
  • Index 392
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