Qualitative Data Analysis

Many research methods such as naturalistic observations, open ended questions on questionnaires, unstructured interviews, an analysis of participants’ diaries or notes as part of a case study and so on, may generate qualitative data (i.e. data in written form). Although this data can appear very detailed and complicated, one way of simplifying this data to make it easier to analyse and interpret is by converting it into quantitative data.


Reliability means consistency. The results of a research study are reliable if, when the study is replicated, the same results are consistently found.

The Role of Peer Review in the Scientific Process

Psychology, in common with all scientific subjects, develops its knowledge base through conducting research and sharing the findings of such research with other scientists. Peer review is an essential part of this process and scientific quality is judged by it. It is in the interest of all scientists that their work is held up for scrutiny and that any work that is flawed or downright fraudulent is detected and its results ignored.

Ethics; including the role of the British Psychological Society’s code of ethics; ethical issues in the design and conducting of research, dealing with ethical issues in research

Ethical issues involves researchers assessing and acting upon all ethical considerations involved in research before it is conducted. The main consideration of the BPS is that the health and dignity of participants should be protected. The BPS – British Psychological Society has published a Code of Ethics that all psychologists have to abide by. Most research institutions (e.g. universities) have ethical committees which have to approve research projects before they take place.


Validity means accuracy. Results are valid if they accurately show what they are intended to show (.e.g did you measure what you wanted to? Can you generalise the results?).

Case Studies

Case Studies Description, AO1 of Case Studies: An in-depth, detailed investigation of an individual or group. It would usually include biographical details, as well as details of behaviours or experiences […]

Design of Interviews

Interviews are often more like a conversation. The interviewer has some questions he wishes to ask on a specific topic, but there are no predetermined way of asking questions and no pre-set order in administering them.

Naturalistic Observation

A Naturalistic Observation is the observation of behaviour in its natural setting. The researcher makes no attempt to influence the behaviour of those being observed or manipulate variables. The aim of the research is to observe naturally occurring behaviour. There are different types of Naturalistic Observations: