Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

psychological studies vary tremendously in design, but most good research shares these four attributes.

1. Theoretical Framework

Theory: a systematic way of organizing & explaining observations. Provides the framework for generating a hypothesis: proposed cause-and-effect relationship between 2 or more variables, that flows from the theory or an important question.

Variable: a phenomenon that changes across circumstances or varies among individuals. Can be-

continuous variable: can be placed on a continuum of infinite values (intelligence, body weight)

categorical variable: can take on fixed values (sex- male or female, race, had heart attack-yes or no)

2. Standardized Procedures

Expose the participants in a study to procedures that are as similar as possible.
Procedure that is the same for all subjects except where variation is introduced to test a hypothesis.

ex. Pennebaker study of emotional expression & health, the experimenters instructed students in both groups to write for 20 minutes a day for 3 days.

3. Generalizability of Research

Sample that is representative of the population as a whole
-researchers take samples from a limited portion of the entire population so sampling must be representative as a whole so that conclusions drawn from the samples are likely to be true of the rest of population

Procedure that is sensible and relevant to circumstances outside the laboratory
-for a study to be generalizable its procedure must be valid:
Internal Validity (valid design- are methods/procedures of study sound or flawed?)
External Validity (does experimental situation resemble the situation found in the real world, outside the lab?)
Leads to Experimenter's Dilemma because there is a trade-off in which researchers must choose to place more emphasis on external validity or on internal validity.

Generalizability: the applicability of the findings to the entire population of interest to the researcher.

4. Objective Measurement

Measures that are reliable (that produce consistent results)
1. Test-retest reliability (consistency across time)
2. Inter-rater reliability (consistency across people)
3. Alternate form (Least popular-consistency across forms)
4. Internal consistency (Most popular-consistency across items)

Measures that are valid (that assess the dimensions they purport to assess)
1. Face validity (Least important-whether or not it appears valid by looking at it)
2. Content validity (does content measure a well-defined body of material?)
3. Criterion validity (establishing the relationship between test performance and some external criterion- concurrent & predictive)
4. Construct validity (Most important-measures what if claims to measure-convergent & discriminant)

Construct: variable we want to measure (e.g., intelligence)

Measure: a concrete way of assessing or operationalizing an abstract construct.
-e.g., Pennebaker study, variable "health" was operationalized as the # of times a student visited the health clinic.

To study a construct, a researcher must first devise a technique to measure it.

Researchers must devise ways to quantify or categorize variables so they can be measured objectively.

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording