Research in Psychology Ch 4 Types of Variables

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Most if this is directly drawn from McBride, D.M. (2010). The Process of Research in Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. and lecture notes

dependent (response) variable

A variable that is measured or observed from an individual

reliability

The degree to which the results of a study can be replicated under similar conditions

operational definition

The definition of an abstract concept used by a researcher to measure or manipulate the concept in a research study

nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio

What are the four scales of data measurement?

nominal

Scale of data measurement that involves non-ordered categorical responses

qualitative

Type of data that is non-numerical participant responses

quantitative

Type of data that is numerical.

ordinal

Scale of data measurement that involves ordered categorical responses.

interval

Scale of data measurement that involves numerical responses that are equally spaced, but scores are not ratios of each other.

ratio

Scale of data measurement that involves numerical responses, where scores are ratios of each other.

Likert scale

A scale of responses that measures a participant's agreement or disagreement with different types of statements often with a rating from 1 to 5 or to 7.

reaction time

Measurement of the length of time to complete a task

construct validity

Indicates that a survey measures the behavior it is designed to measure

nonverbal scale

survey response scale that involves pictorial response categories for participants with low verbal skills (eg children)

face validity

On the surface, a study or scale appears to be intuitively valid

interrater reliability

A measure of the degree to which observers rate behaviors in similar ways.

independent

A variable in an experiment that is manipulated by the researcher such that the levels of the variable change across or within subjects in the environment.

presence/absence

A variable that involves a manipulation with a level that involves the treatment and a level that does not involve the treatment. Also called bivalent independent variable.

bivalent

An independent variable with two levels - the simplest type of independent variable. Also called presence/absence variable.

type

A variable that involves a manipulation of types of a treatment

amount

Variables that include levels with a different amount of the treatment changing from level to level.

multivalent

An independent variable that includes three or more levels - this adjective is used to describe a design even if there is only one independent variable that contains three or more levels.

quasi-independent/subject

Variable that allows comparison of groups of participants without manipulation (i.e. no random assignment)

internal validity

the degree to which a study provides causal information about behavior

confounding variable

an extraneous factor present in a study that may affect the results

experimenter bias

a source of bias in a study created when a researcher treats groups differently (often unknowingly) based on knowledge of the hypothesis.

single-blind design

Procedure used to hide the group assignment from the participants in a study to prevent their beliefs about the effectiveness of a treatment from affecting the results.

placebo

A sugar pill given to the control group in a drug study to allow all groups to believe that they are receiving a treatment.

double-blind design

Procedure used to control for experimenter bias by keeping the knowledge of the group assignments from both the participants and the researchers who interact with the participants.

testing effects

This occurs when participants are tested more than once in a study with early testing affecting later testing

within-subjects variable

Each participant experiences all levels of the variable

between-subjects variable

each participant experiences only one level of the independent variable

counterbalance

A control used in within-subjects experiments where different participants are assigned in equal numbers to the different orders of the conditions.

regression toward the mean

This can occur when participants score higher or lower than their personal average - the next time they are tested, they are more likely to score nearer their personal average, making scores unreliable.

history effect

events that occur during the course of a study to all or individual participants that can result in bias

maturation

natural changes that occur to the participants during the course of a study that can result in bias.

attrition/mortality

This occurs when participants choose not to complete a study.

external validity

The degree to which the results of a study apply to individuals and realistic behaviors outside the study.

hawthorne effect

A source of bias that can occur in a study due to participants changing their behavior because they are aware that they are being observed.

field experiment

an experiment conducted in the participants' natural environment.

demand characteristic

a source of bias that can occur in a study due to participants changing their behavior based on their perception of the study and its purpose.

construct, internal, external, face

Four types of validity that can be measured.

hypothesis

Predictions derived from our theory and expressed in terms of conceptual variables (abstract theoretical entities) or constructs.

manipulation checks (correlations), pilot study

Two methods of "debugging" your study, to attempt to directly measure whether the IV variable really affects the DV and try out your research method.

setting representativeness

Three main factors determining external validity: 1) variable representativeness, 2) subject representativeness, 3) _________.

large enough range to show effects

Choosing the right levels of your independent variable: 1) lit review, 2) pilot experiment, 3) cost and resource limitations, 4) real world levels, 5) _______, 6) aim for mid-range.

interval

Which scale of measurement has equal differences between numbers on the scale, which reflect equal differences in magnitude?

6

An experiment has two independent variables. One has two levels and the other has three levels. How many conditions are there?

operational

Type of variables that are defined and concrete so that they can be measured or manipulated within the experiment.

conditions

Combination of all the levels of all of the independent variables.

internal

Which type of validity are you considering when you assess whether change in the DV comes from manipulating the IV or whether it comes from something else?

test-retest, inter-rater, internal consistency

Three types of reliability that can be measured.

demand characteristics

Potential problems for levels of IV and DV: 1) _______. 2) experimenter bias, 3) reactivity, 4) floor and ceiling effects.

comparison

Each independent variable must have at least two levels because the point of an experiment is _______.

indirect observation

Three broad methods of measuring the dependent variable: 1) self report, 2) direct observation, 3) _______.

internal consistency

Type of reliability in which you measure using multiple items that testing the same construct and compare how well the scores correlate with each other. This is measured using Cronbach's alpha or using split half reliability

experimenter bias, regression to the mean

Seven threats to internal validity: 1) history, 2) maturation, 3) non-random selection, 4) mortality, 5) Hawthorne effect on testing, 6) _______, 7) _______.

external

Which type of validity are you considering when you assess whether the variables, subjects, and setting are representative of settings outside the lab.

reactivity

Term for the effect on an experiment when participants know that they are being measured and don't always respond the way they normally would.

non-random selection, mortality, Hawthorne effect on testing

Seven threats to internal validity: 1) history, 2) maturation, 3) ______, 4) ______, 5) ______, 6) experimenter bias, 7) regression to the mean.

stimulus, instructional

Two types of straightforward manipulation of the independent variable.

reactivity

Potential problems for levels of IV and DV: 1) demand characteristics 2) experimenter bias, 3) _______., 4) floor and ceiling effects.

nominal

Which scale of measurement does not make any quantitative distinctions between observations and consists of sets of categories that have different names

validity

When you are assessing whether your measure is actually measuring what you intended, what are you assessing about that measure?

validity

If you are wondering whether your measure really measure the construct, or if there is bias in the measurement, what are you questioning about your measure?

nominal, ordinal

Which are the two categorical types of scales of measurement?

experimenter bias (expectancy effect)

Potential problems for levels of IV and DV: 1) demand characteristics 2) _______., 3) reactivity, 4) floor and ceiling effects.

self report

What sort of method of measurement is a rating scale: self report, direct observation or indirect observation?

obvious manipulation

Three causes of demand characteristics: 1) experiment title, 2) ________, 3) biased or leading questions.

cost and resource limitations

Choosing the right levels of your independent variable: 1) lit review, 2) pilot experiment, 3) _______, 4) real world levels, 5) large enough range to show effects, 6) aim for mid-range.

constants

Type of variables that have the same value for all individuals in an experiment.

aim for mid-range

Choosing the right levels of your independent variable: 1) lit review, 2) pilot experiment, 3) cost and resource limitations, 4) real world levels, 5) large enough range to show effects, 6) _______.

introspection

Method of measuring the dependent variable in which specially trained observers of their own thought processes. This method fell out of favor in early 1900's.

external validity

Do the research results generalize to other individuals, methods, or settings? is a question of ________.

ratio

Which of the two quantitative scales of measurement has ratios of magnitudes that ARE meaningful?

subject (participant)

Type of manipulation used in quasi-experiments based on are (pre-existing mostly) differences between the subjects in the different conditions.

straight forward, staged, subject (participant)

What are the three methods of manipulating the independent variable?

biased or leading questions

Three causes of demand characteristics: 1) experiment title, 2) obvious manipulation, 3) ________.

floor and ceiling effects

Potential problems for levels of IV and DV: 1) demand characteristics 2) experimenter bias, 3) reactivity, 4) _______..

factor

Another name for the independent variable, what it is often called in the analysis phase.

interval

Which of the two quantitative scales of measurement has ratios of magnitudes that are NOT meaningful?

direct observation

Three broad methods of measuring the dependent variable: 1) self report, 2) _______, 3) indirect observation.

test-retest

Technique of measuring reliability in which you take Measurement from the same person at two different times and expect the same answer across the two different administrations.

blind

Method of avoiding expectancy problems in an experiment.

confounded

We want to be sure that random variables are not ___________with our manipulated variables.

spread variability equally

Random variables may freely vary, to _______ ________ _________ across all experimental conditions?

conceptual

Type of variable (constructs) in the experiment that are abstract theoretical entities (not operationalized).

experiment title

Three causes of demand characteristics: 1) ________, 2) obvious manipulation, 3) biased or leading questions.

control, random

What are two types of extraneous variables (if you consider confound not to be extraneous)?

self report

What sort of method of measurement is introspection: self report, direct observation or indirect observation?

real world levels

Choosing the right levels of your independent variable: 1) lit review, 2) pilot experiment, 3) cost and resource limitations, 4) _______, 5) large enough range to show effects, 6) aim for mid-range.

pilot experiment

Choosing the right levels of your independent variable: 1) lit review, 2) _______, 3) cost and resource limitations, 4) real world levels, 5) large enough range to show effects, 6) aim for mid-range.

event manipulation

Type of staged manipulation in which the experimenter manipulates characteristics of the context, setting, etc.

inter-rater

Technique of measuring reliability in which least two research assistants observe behavior and determine the extent to which they agree in their observations.

random

Which type of variables may freely vary, to spread variability equally across all experimental conditions?

variables

Elements of an experiment that have potentially different values for each individual in the experiment.

ceiling effect

A potential problem with a badly chosen IV level where the dependent variable reaches a level that cannot be exceeded .

instructional

Type of straightforward manipulation of an independent variable in which different groups are given different instructions.

indirect observation

What sort of method of measurement is a physiological measure (e.g. GSR, heart rate): self report, direct observation or indirect observation?

reliable

Would you consider a measure reliable or valid if you measure the same thing twice (or have two measures of the same thing) and you get the same values?

direct observation

What sort of method of measurement is a choice or decision: self report, direct observation or indirect observation?

demand characteristics

Characteristics of the study that may give away the purpose of the experiment, and influence how participants behave

ratio

Which scale of measurement has an absolute zero point?

confound, control, random

Three types of extraneous variables in an experiment.

excessive random variability

We hold variables constant in an experiment to control for ___________.

explanatory

What would an independent variable be called in a correlational design?

face

Which type of validity are you considering when you assess whether, at the surface level, it looks as if the measure is testing the construct

randomization

A procedures that assure that each level of an extraneous variable has an equal chance of occurring in all conditions of observation.

nominal, ordinal

Which are the two categorical types of scales of measurement?

lit review

Choosing the right levels of your independent variable: 1) _______, 2) pilot experiment, 3) cost and resource limitations, 4) real world levels, 5) large enough range to show effects, 6) aim for mid-range.

floor effect

A value below which a response cannot be made; a potential problem with badly chosen IV levels.

response

What would a dependent variable be called in a correlational design?

confound

Variables that haven't been accounted for (manipulated, measured, randomized, controlled) that can impact changes in the dependent variable(s).

variable representativeness

Three main factors determining external validity: 1) _________, 2) subject representativeness, 3) setting representativeness.

indirect observation

What sort of method of measurement is a behavioral measure (e.g. speed, accuracy): self report, direct observation or indirect observation?

assumptions

Be aware of the underlying _________connecting your constructs to your operational variables.

ordinal

Which scale of measurement has rank observations ordered in terms of size or magnitude?

stimulus

Type of straightforward manipulation of an independent variable in which different conditions use different stimuli.

subject representativeness

Three main factors determining external validity: 1) variable representativeness, 2) _________, 3) setting representativeness.

self report

Three broad methods of measuring the dependent variable: 1) _______, 2) direct observation, 3) indirect observation.

reliability

"Consistency" refers to what characteristic of a measure?.. in other words, what is another word for consistency?

history, maturation,

Seven threats to internal validity: 1) ______, 2) ______, 3) selection (non random), 4) mortality, 5) Hawthorne effect on testing, 6) experimenter bias, 7) regression to the mean.

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