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This is because there is a good chance you might be asked to write an essay about just one method.
So when you’re evaluating the studies, it’s not a good idea to explain the limitations of the study (e.g.
lacking generalizability) without focusing on how the methods are limited in some way.
In research methods essays, however, it’s a little different.
Many students make the mistake of explaining what the results show about .
When explaining limitations of correlational studies, don’t just say “correlational doesn’t mean causation” but actually provide examples.
For example, how could the relationship work in both directions, or what are some other factors that might explain the relationship?For example, if you’re explaining the use of a true experiment the “how” would include the nature of the independent variables and perhaps common ways the dependent variable is measured.For instance, in true experiments on the brain the IV is commonly a factor hypothesized to affect brain activity like chemical messengers such as serotonin and the effects of the manipulation of this IV on the brain is measured using f MRI.Tip: Go beyond one sentence explanations of limitations like “ecological validity.” This post explains exactly how to explain limitations of ecological in detail.Often a third variable can explain the connection between two variables in a correlational study, like in this example of crime and ice-cream.This is a key part of the answer that many students miss. It’s really important to have a clear, precise and accurate definition of the research method/s you’re writing about.This could be either in the introduction or in the first body paragraph of the essay (i.e. After defining the method, the explanation of how and why should begin.Research Methods from the IB Guide Every essay answer should have a central argument that shows knowledge and understanding of the topic in the question (watch this video for more essay advice).In the case of research methods questions, the central argument should be an explanation of how and why the particular method is used in . To quote the official IB FAQs document, “…the different research methods for the study of psychology at this level: case studies, naturalistic observations, interviews, experiments, field experiments, quasi-experiments, natural experiments, correlations studies.” Therefore, make sure the method/s you are writing about is from this list.Tip: Prepare to write about true experiments and/or correlational studies for Paper 1 and 2.