REsearch methods

Can you go over the basic premise of answering a research FRQ: the type where you are answering questions about an experiment AND the type where you are asked to design a research experiment? Thank you!

I am looking at a sample research design question from the prep material for this year’s exam.
It is the type where you demonstrate that you can interpret what is going on in a research study (so you are not designing it; you are analyzing it - a study is presented to you.)
There is a part A where you are asked to define three concepts that are generally expected to be known if you’ve had a research design unit (Control group, Confounding and Independent Variable) Define them and point them out in the study described.
There is a part B where you are asked about 4 things that are less obvious. The meanings and implications of terminology relevant to the study - catharsis which is specific to the study and then hypothesis, mean, and ethical issues which are more general.) Define them and point them out correctly.
Above all, structure your response clearly so the reader sees that each one has been addressed. Give a definition and an example from the question. You don’t have to go in order (although that helps). Avoid jumping from section A to section B if you can.
Here is a link: https://blog.prepscholar.com/ap-psychology-exam
Research Design Question

This is what I was looking at.

Also, if we have to connect mathematical terms to the situation, for example mode or mean, do we have to define the term, or can we just show how we got to the answer?

You very rarely would be asked to show a calculation, but if you were you could show your work (but I highly doubt that will be on the exam). It wouldn’t hurt to just say, “the mean is the mathematical average” and then continue answering, but definitions alone won’t score, but could enhance your application.

Basically, you want to use the acronym SODAS with either type of question. SODAS stands for Separation, Order, Definition, Application, and Synonyms. As you will be typing your response, you should answer all parts in order (or at least structure it accordingly). You should then answer the parts in your outlined document based on your strength of knowledge. Although not required, you should define the term before applying it within the scenario. Do not use the term to define itself (e.g. observational learning is “learning by observation.”) Instead, you should use synonyms. It’s the same process for research methods.

I always err on the side of defining the terms to remove doubt of understanding. That being said, it may depend on the prompt. If the term is one of the items to apply to the prompt, then absolutely. If it is simply a manner of you reinforcing a research design point, then simply showing how you got the answer would probably be enough.

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