← Research Methods in Psychology Export Options Alphabetize Word-Def Delimiter Tab Comma Custom Def-Word Delimiter New Line Semicolon Custom Data Copy and paste the text below. It is read-only. Select All blind studies Studies in which participants are kept unaware of or 'blind' to important aspects of the research. case study In-depth observation of one participant or a small group of participants categorical variable A variable comprised of groupings, classifications or categories. computerised axial tomography (CAT scan) A brain-scanning technique used to detect lesions. conditions Values or versions of the independent variable that vary across experimental groups confounding variable A variable that produces effects that are confused or confounded with the effects of the independent variable. context of discovery The part of the scientific process in which phenomena are observed, hypotheses are framed and theories are built. context of justification The part of the scientific process in which hypotheses are tested. continuous variable A variable that can be placed on a continuum, from none or little to much. control group Group of participants in an experiment who receive a relatively neutral condition to serve as a comparison group. correlate In research, the degree to which two or more variables are related. correlation coefficient An index of the extent to which two variables are related. correlation matrix A table presenting the correlations among several variables. correlational research Research that assesses the degree to which two variables are related, so that knowing the value of one variable can lead to prediction of a second variable. deception The deliberate act of not revealing the true purpose of an experiment to a participant before the study commences. demand characteristics The way participants' perceptions of the researcher's goals influence their responses. dependent variables The responses the experimenter measures to see if the experimental manipulation has had an effect. description Involves summarising the relationships between variables in an easily understandable way. descriptive statistics Numbers that describe the data from a study in a way that summarises their essential features. descriptive research Research methods that cannot unambiguously demonstrate cause and effect but attempt to describe phenomena as they exist. Methods include case studies, naturalistic observation, survey research and correlational methods. double-blind study A study in which both participants and researchers are blind to the status of participants. electroencephalogram (EEG) A record of the electrical activity towards the surface of the brain, used especially in sleep research and diagnosis of epilepsy. error That part of a participant's score on a test that is unrelated to the true score. experimental research A research design in which investigators manipulate some aspect of a situation and examine the impact of this manipulation on the way participants respond external validity The extent to which the findings of a study can be generalised to situations outside the laboratory. functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) A brain-scanning technique used to watch the brain as an individual carries out tasks. generalisability The applicability of a study's finding to the entire population of interest. hypothesis A tentative belief or educated guess that purports to predict or explain the relationship between two or more variables. independent variables The variables an experimenter manipulates, or the effects of which the experimenter assesses. informed consent A participant's ability to agree to participate in a study in an informed manner. inferential statistics Procedures for assessing whether the results obtained with a sample are likely to reflect characteristics of the population as a whole. internal consistency A type of reliability that assesses whether the items in a test measure the same construct; also known as inter-item reliability. internal validity The extent to which a study is methodologically adequate. interrater reliability A measure of the similarity with which different raters apply a measure. interview A research tool in which the investigator asks the participant questions. magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) A neuroimaging technique that produces similar results without using x-rays. naturalistic observation The in-depth observation of a phenomenon in its natural setting. negative correlation A relationship between two variables in which the higher one is, the lower the other tends to be. neuroimaging techniques Methods for studying the brain that use computer programs to convert the data taken from brain-scanning devices into visual images. objectivity Involves making an impartial judgement about something. open-mindedness Considering all sides of an issue, including any alternative explanations that differ from your personal point of view. operationalising Turning an abstract concept or variable into a concrete form that can be defined by some set of operations or actions. participants The individuals who participate in a study. placebo effect A phenomenon in which an experimental intervention produces an effect because participants believe it will produce an effect. population A group of people or animals of interest to a researcher from which a sample is drawn. positive correlation A relation between two variables in which the higher one is, the higher the other tends to be. positron emission tomography (PET) A computerised brain-scanning technique that allows observation of the brain in action. prediction Involves being able to anticipate future events. quasi-experimental designs Research designs that employ the logic of experimental methods but lack absolute control over variables. questionnaire Research tool in which the investigator asks participants to respond to a written list of questions or items. random sample A sample of participants selected from the population in a relatively arbitrary manner. reliability A measure's ability to produce consistent results. representative A sample that reflects characteristics of the population as a whole. retest reliability Tendency of a test to yield relatively similar scores for the same individual over time. sample A subgroup of a population likely to be representative of the population as a whole. scepticism Not accepting an assertion as true until you have examined the evidence. scientific approach This approach to psychology involves using empirical methodologies such as observation and experimentation to gain knowledge. single-blind study A study in which participants are kept blind to crucial information, notably about the experimental condition in which they have been placed standardised procedures Procedures applied uniformly to participants to minimise unintended variation. stratified random sample A sample selected to represent subpopulations proportionately, randomising only within groups (such as age or race). subjects The individuals whom a researcher observes in a study; also called participants. survey research Research asking a large sample of participants questions, often about attitudes or behaviours, using questionnaires or interviews. theory A systematic way of organising and explaining observations. understanding Involves identifying the causes of a phenomenon valid Said of a study which has sound procedures. validation Demonstrating the validity of a measure by showing that it consistently relates to other phenomena in theoretically expected ways. validity The extent to which a test measures the construct it attempts to assess, or a study adequately addresses the hypothesis it attempts to assess. variable A phenomenon that changes across circumstances or varies among individuals.