Advantages and disadvantages of methods of researching sleep

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					Advantages and disadvantages of methods of researching sleep
Research method
                             Description                      Advantages                        Limitations
Physiological measurements   Recording of physiological       Most objective and reliable       Cannot describe the persons private and personal
                             events                           means of indicating different     conscious experiences (thoughts and feelings)
                                                              states of consciousness




Sleep laboratory             A place used for scientific      Research is conducted in a        An artificial environment which may disrupt normal
                             research on sleep that usually   controlled environment            sleep patterns
                             resembles a bedroom              A number of research              Sleeping participants may be continually woken up
                                                              methods can be used at once       and this may affect normal sleep patterns
                                                              The equipment is difficult to     Being monitored and wired up can be invasive for
                                                              transport outside the lab         some people
                                                              Sleep researchers can
                                                              comfortably work in their
                                                              workplaces without disturbing
                                                              the participants home
Video monitoring             Using infrared cameras that      Insight into observable           Data can be open to interpretation
                             operate silently to allow        behaviour during sleep            May miss important events if only considering still
                             footage to be seen and taped     Can be undertaken in sleep lab    photos every few seconds/minutes
                             in the dark without disturbing   or at home                        Participants behaviour may be blocked from view
                             the sleeping participant         Can continuously monitor the
                                                              behaviour
                                                              Data can be recorded
                                                              alongside the physiological
                                                              measurement at the time
Self-reports                 Statements and answers to        Gives an important insight into   A subjective measure that is open to interpretation
                             questions made by the            actual thoughts and feelings of
                             participants concerning their    participants
                             thoughts and feelings
Advantages and disadvantages of methods of researching sleep
Research method
                             Description          Advantages   Limitations
Physiological measurements




Sleep laboratory




Video monitoring




Self-reports

				
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posted:8/26/2012
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