Ecological Validity In Psychological Research Essay

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This essay will discuss the role of ecological validity in psychological research, drawing on material from the DE100 textbook ‘Investigating Psychology’. It will begin by giving a description of what ecological validity is, and consider it in relation to different examples of research. The research used to discuss the role of ecological validity will be based around social learning and aggression, behaviourism, and memory. Firstly the study of Bandura et al. will be considered, his experiments on children copying violent behaviours using the Bobo doll experiment. Then the Skinner box will be discussed, finally leading to the studies of Loftus and Palmer on the link between language and memory. The role and importance of ecological validity in each body of research will be discussed and evaluated. Ecological validity is how much the…show more content…
Skinners experiment was based on operant conditioning, using the concept of discrimination learning, he carried out experiments on animals with the idea that their behaviour is predetermined by their environment and using a well controlled environment would allow him to in turn control their behaviours using a range of triggers. Using reinforcement and expectancy, the animal associates acting out certain behaviours with rewards. (Toates, F., 2010, pp. 165-167) After performing a number of experiments on rats using mazes, he subsequently designed the Skinner box. This was a box designed to hold animals and giving the animal contained access to food after carrying out a certain response. Using this procedure of reinforcement the animal learned to perform the response to get food as it associates this required behaviour with the reward of food. (Toates, F., 2010, p. 164) This principle can be applied to strengthen any behaviours whether it be positive or negative, and this research is an efficient technique used widely by many

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