TMA 02 (methodology)
1. Identify which of the following are correct descriptors of this study.
The best descriptors of this study between mother and infant gestures are a natural experiment and an observational study as natural experiments are observational studies that are not controlled in the traditional sense of a randomised experiment. The main reason for using the natural experiment is that it is an empirical study in which the experimental conditions are determined by nature or other factors out of the control of the researcher. Holly did not want to replicate existing studies on imitation that had been conducted in the unnatural surroundings of a laboratory. Instead she wanted to observe the mother-infants interaction in a coffee shop where she felt they would interact more naturally with no knowledge that they are being observed.
The objective of observational studies is to make clear cause and effect relationship between the amount of hand and facial gestures mum makes the more the baby may make in return. Holly was not just hearing and seeing things she was gathering information through a coding system which she had devised to record the frequency of the infant and mothers hand and facial gestures.
2. Name the dependent variable(s) in this study.
The dependent variables in this study are the gestures the mother and the child make and how many they make during the experiment. The dependent variable responds to the independent variable in this experiment which is the two minute window frame that the gestures are being measured in. It is called the independent variable because it can change the dependent variables. For example if Holly had extended the time from two to four minutes, then it is likely that she may have a greater number gestures between the mothers and infants.
3. Are the variables ordinal or categorical? Briefly explain your