Advantages and Disadvantages of Longitudinal Studies (and Smaller Questions)

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Explain what is meant by the ‘snowball technique’ of sampling (Item B). [2 marks] * Used when it is difficult to gain access to a particular group of people who are the subjects of a study, or when there is no sampling frame available. This method involves making contact with one member of the population who will be studied and then asking them to name one or more possible contacts.

Identify two types of quantitative research method. [4 marks] * Surveys * Case Studies

Identify one advantage and one disadvantage of selecting a non-representative sample. [4 marks] * Advantage: Studying non-typical people can be more helpful to a study because they may help generate theoretical insights. (Glaser and Strauss) * Disadvantage: Can be time consuming to form, for example the snowball technique of sampling would take a large time to acquire a range of participants.

Using information from Item A and elsewhere, examine the advantages and disadvantages of longitudinal studies. [20 marks]

A longitudinal study is done at regular intervals over a long period of time. They are often large-scale quantitative surveys and tend to be used by positivists, although some studies, for example the Seven Up study which followed 14 kids from the age of 7 every 7 years as they grew up, are more qualitative and preferred by interpretivists. The example given in Item A of the North-West Longitudinal Study is an example of quantitative data being collected. Like most research methods, longitudinal studies have both their strengths and limitations.

The example given in Item A, of the North West Longitudinal Study, involved following several hundred young people for five years between the ages of 14 and 18. The aim of the study was to assess how ‘ordinary’ young people, growing up in England in the 1990s, developed attitude and behaviour in relation to the…...

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