Yamamoto (Evaluation Essay)

P – Point (Strength/Weakness)E – Explain the pointE – Example from the studyR – Relate to the point on why is it a strength / weakness in the study
High in reliabilityThe extent to which a procedure, task, or measure is consistent. That it would produce the same results with the same people on each occasion.The tray of seven tools including a stick, straw, hose, chain, rope, brush and a belt was the same for each trial. The chimpanzees were also placed in a standardized booth of the same size with a hole cut to allow a chimpanzee to reach through.Therefore, the standardised procedure eases the process of replication for future study in order to produce consistent results, hence this study has a high reliability.
Low on ecological validityThe extent to which the findings of research is one situation would generalise to other situations. This is either the situation represents the real world effectively or the task is relevant to real life.For example, the study was conducted in a laboratory with the chimpanzees being tested in experimental booths.
The recipient chimpanzee was required to obtain a juice reward using either a stick or a straw that was supplied by the helper chimpanzee in the adjacent booth.
The experiment was conducted in a setting that is not natural for the animal or the behaviour being recorded.
Additionally, the task of using the correct tool of either a stick or a straw to obtain a reward lacks mundane realism as such tools are not available in the wild. Therefore, it can be argued that the results from this study lacked ecological validity.
High in validityThe extent a researcher is testing what they claim to be testing.For example, all chimpanzees underwent the same familiarization procedure.
Additionally the ‘can see’ and ‘cannot see’ initial 48 conditions were randomly allocated.
Ensuring that all chimpanzees were equally trained for the procedure allows researchers to be more confident that lack of familiarization of the task would not affect the way the chimpanzees performed.
Randomization of the two conditions reduced the possibility practice effect as the chimpanzee would not know what to expect.
Low on generalisabilityHow widely findings apply to other settings and populations.The participants of this study included 6 chimpanzees who were all housed at the Primate Research Institute of Japan. All 6 chimpanzees had participated in similar studies and were chosen because they were experts in the two tool-use tasks used in this studyThe sample size of only 6 chimpanzees makes it difficult to generalize the findings to other chimpanzees. Additionally, the use of chimpanzees who are highly trained and housed in a laboratory setting may suggest that the helping behaviour observed in the chimpanzees are less authentic as it could be due to the fact that they are highly trained and familiar with the task.
Ethical Issues were maintainedThis study adheres to the ethical guidelines for animals such as housing that states animals should not be isolated or crowded and it is important to consider their natural environment and social behaviour of the species plus guideline of pain and distress that posits the avoidance of any procedure that results in any adverse effects on animals.This study was approved by the Animal Care Committee of the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University. Furthermore, to avoid any possible distress, a familiarization phase of eight 5-min trials (one trial a day) where the participants could freely manipulate the objects in the experimental booth without any tool-use situation was carried before testing.This phase allows primates to get comfortable with the tools and environment of the study which will only result in natural responses being shown. The primates were also living in an environment that stimulates the lifestyle of wild chimpanzees, thus the approval of the study by an ethics board ensures that the task the chimpanzees were subjected to such as supplying a tool to aid a recipient in obtaining a reward did not pose any risk of danger to the chimpanzees.
Repeated measures (weakness)A repeated measures design is where each participant takes part in all conditions of the IV.For example, all the participants had to perform in all three phases of the experiment, which were the ‘can see’, ‘cannot see’, and ‘can see’ trials.Therefore, since all participants took part in all conditions of the experiment, there might be order effects, such as fatigue effect where participants become tired or practice effect, where participants become much better in the task due to practice. Order effects can cause participants to behave differently than how they normally would, hence repeated measures design is a weakness.

Other analysis:

This eliminates any effect of participant variables as all participants take part in all conditions therefore they are controlled.