A2 Psychology Assessment Number 1

  a. A longitudinal study is one that is conducted over a period of time, with data being collected from the same participant at a series of different points in time.
A snapshot study is one where the data is collected all in one go, comparing different groups at the same point in time, to see a snapshot of behaviour.
  b. One study that was longitudinal was the study on Little Hans by
Freud. Freud studied Little Hans over a period of three years and his father would correspond to Freud through letters of what Hans told him. Another longitudinal study is the study of The Three Faces Of Eve, by Thigpen and Cleckley, which is a study that took place over the course of over a year, and was a case study, where Thigpen and Cleckley conducted in depth interviews with the three faces of eve.
    c.   Strengths of using a longitudinal method is that it gives the
researcher time to get into the mind set of the person. For example, with Freud it gave him time to get into the mind of Little Hans in order to get to their traumas. Also, researchers can build up a detailed picture of the participants over the course of the study, with data being collected in a variety of ways and/or from a number of sources, from example in the study by Wikstrom, where he used questionnares, psychometric exercises, surveys and interviews. Another strength is that it allows a relationship to be built up between a participant and a researcher, so they’re happy to trust you with details. A study that shows this is the Three Faces of Eve by Thigpen and Cleckley.
Weaknesses of a longitudinal method is that the researcher can loose objectivity as they’re too involved with the participant, which also happened in the study of the Three Faces of Eve by Thigpen and Cleckley. Also, attrition can be a problem, as if people drop out then it affects the study, as most longitudinal studies are centred around one person, with the acception of the study by...