Psychology Learning Outcome the Best Method for Multiple Chapters

Excerpt from Multiple Chapters :


Learning Outcome

The best method for conducting the study would involve the use of a case study. Since this would be a group, setting, the case study method would allow the researcher to conduct in-depth investigations. Case studies offer the researcher an opportunity to use various data gathering sources like interviews, and observations (Halligan & Marshall, 2013). In order for the researcher to conduct an in-depth study of the subjects, the case study would offer an effective method for data gathering. The researcher would manage to immerse him/herself into the group or could make observations as the participants attend their quit smoking classes. Being a participant would allow the other participants to open up to the researcher more easily. Since the classes mostly consist of around 20 people, this makes it a small number and easy for the researcher to deal with. A case study method would ensure that the researcher manages to study each participant and establishes the subject's life, and history (Huitema, 2011). The information gathered would allow the researcher to understand the background of the subject and understand why they begun smoking. The reason behind their desire to quit smoking would also be discovered using case study. The possibility that the case study could be generalized for all the subject's is not possible. This ensures that the researcher cannot lie regarding either of the subject. The researcher would have to conduct an analysis for each of the subject's. The researcher could immerse him/herself into the group and carry out individual interviews. This would offer the researcher first-hand information, which is vital for data gathering. The study carried out would be a prospective study since the subjects would be a group of people and the researcher would be observing the subjects in order to establish outcomes.

Strengths and weaknesses of case studies

Case studies will provide the researcher with detailed information regarding the subjects. Qualitative data would be gathered, and the data would be rich in information that would assist the researcher tremendously (Popil, 2011). The quality of information gathered would determine the results and conclusions arrived at by the researcher. Another strength is that case studies would offer insights to assist further research. The researcher could offer information that other researchers can build upon in future research of similar subjects. It is not possible to make observations of such a class without immersing oneself amongst the group. Using the case study method the researcher receives a great opportunity to study subjects. The classes are considered impractical situations that are sometimes considered unethical. There is no possibility to investigate the case study in a controlled environment. By observing the subjects in their natural setting, the researcher can determine the outcomes in an unbiased manner. Case studies are used in exploratory research, which assist the researcher to generate new ideas. The researcher is given a chance to demonstrate how different aspects of the subject's life are all interrelated. The case study will provide incredibly detailed information regarding the subjects because the study would last over several months or years. Using a case study the researcher can gather information regarding rare cases. In most cases, the case study would involve data gathering where there are no large sample of similar subjects available.

A major weakness of case studies is that the results cannot be generalized for a population (Shultz, Whitney, & Zickar, 2013). Since each subject is unique and has a different background, there is no possibility that the data gathered can be said to represent a population. This limitation makes it hard to use data for representation purposes. Since the researcher does immerse him/herself within the class, there is a possibility that the data gathered might be biased. The researcher will have subjective feelings that might affect the results of the case study. Close interaction with the subjects is necessary in order to connect and conduct the observation. This interaction would result in biases that the researcher might not be aware of during the research period. It is quite difficult to replicate a case study. This makes it hard to confirm the results. Other researchers will have to accept the results and can only build upon the study. The amount of time spent collecting the information is a lot. The researcher has to start the research when the class begins, and the research continues for the duration of the classes. Terminating the research midway of the class is not possible since the researcher would not establish if the class was successful or
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The research question for the study would be; what is the success rate of quitting smoking by participating in a quit smoking class? This question would encompass the study desires and outcomes and would be favorably answered by the case study. The hypothesis of the research would be that it is quite possible for a chain smoker or any other smoker to quit smoking by taking part in a smoke quitting class, than by using any other method.

Various challenges and limitations will face the proposed study. Some of the limitations are the case study will not be scientific in nature. The lack of scientific baseline makes the case study difficult to replicate and the data collected cannot be verified. Having a single person collecting the data and the person having immersed him/herself within the group, there is a possibility that the information gathered could be biased. Bias is difficult to eliminate or proof, because the researcher would present the results as collected and they might not be aware they have any bias. Closely interacting with the subjects would make the researcher to gain close attachment with the subjects, and they might have sentimental bias in their results. The study would also be limited because it would not be possible to establish a definite cause and effect. Making observations and interviewing the subjects would only offer detailed information to the researcher. There is no possibility for the researcher to have a cause and measure its effect.

Some of the ethical considerations that the study should consider are consent from the subjects, confidentiality, conflict of interest, privacy, confidentiality, and disclosure of subject information (Ritchie, Lewis, Nicholls, & Ormston, 2013). The researcher must receive written consent from all the subjects under study. This means the researcher would have to seek consent from the whole classroom before he/she begins the study. Consent should be free, and the subjects should not be coerced to give consent for the study. Obtaining consent from all the subjects would be difficult for the researcher because some of the subjects might be unwilling to be observed. If there is no consent from some of the class attendees, the researcher should ensure that the results obtained are not inclusive of this group. This might be difficult since the attendees might have a direct impact on the other subjects, and their inclusion would demonstrate the reason the researcher arrived at their results. Conflict of interest would occur if the researcher attempts to influence the subjects while making observations. The researcher would be interacting with the subjects, but they should ensure that no interactions influence the subjects in any way. If the researcher has some interest in the results of the study, they would be motivated to influence the results towards their preferred direction. Therefore, the researcher should not have interest apart from a desire to establish their hypothesis or answer the research question. Privacy is a critical concern for most subjects. They would be unwilling to participate in the study if their information were not kept private. The researcher should ensure that no identifiable information is collected from the subjects. The subjects should be guaranteed of their privacy at all times. There should be no disclosure of subject information at any time. The information should only be used during the data collection, but should not be included in the final case study.

Learning Outcome 2

Four schedules of reinforcement

Reinforcement is a terminology used in operant conditioning to denote anything that would increase the likelihood of a response taking place (Mace, Pratt, Zangrillo, & Steege, 2011). The effect that reinforcement has on a behavior will define the kind of reinforcement employed. Anything that would increase or strengthen a behavior is considered a reinforcement. It can include an event, stimuli, or a situation. The two main kinds of reinforcement are positive and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement strengthens a behavior by offering an effect the individual would find rewarding. If the required behavior is achieved, the individual would receive a reward. This is considered a positive reinforcement. When a reward is received, the behavior is strengthened, and the individual is most likely to repeat the same in order for them to receive another or similar reward. Negative reinforcement would still promote the required behavior, but in a different manner. Anything unpleasant would be removed if the individual displays the favorable behavior. This would also strengthen the behavior.

The four schedules that could be used to…

Sources Used in Documents:


Everly, J.B., Holtyn, A.F., & Perone, M. (2014). Behavioral functions of stimuli signaling transitions across rich and lean schedules of reinforcement. Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior, 101(2), 201-214.

Graham, S., & Folkes, V.S. (2014). Attribution theory: Applications to achievement, mental health, and interpersonal conflict. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Halligan, P.W., & Marshall, J.C. (2013). Method in madness: Case studies in cognitive neuropsychiatry. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Huitema, B. (2011). The analysis of covariance and alternatives: Statistical methods for experiments, quasi-experiments, and single-case studies (Vol. 608). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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