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causal logic

the relationship between a condition or variable and a particular consequence, with one event leading to the other

code of ethics

the standards of acceptable behavior developed by and for members of a profession

content analysis

the systematic coding and objective recording of data, guided by some rationale

control group

the subjects in an experiment who are not introduced variable by the researcher

control variable

a factor that is held constant to test the relative impact of an independent variable

correlation

a relationship between two variables in which a change in one coincides with a change in the other

cross-tabulation

a table that shows the relationship between two or more variables

dependent variable

the variable in a causal relationship that is subject to the influence of another variable

ethnography

the study of an entire social setting through extended systematic observation

experiment

an artificially created situation that allows a researcher to manipulate variables

experimental group

the subjects in an experiment who are exposed to an independent variable introduced by a researcher

hawthorne effect

the unintended influence that observers of experiments can have on their sujects

hypothesis

a speculative statement about the relationship between two or more variables

independent variable

the variable in a causal relationship that causes of influences a change in a second variable

interview

a face-to-face or telephone questioning of a respondent to obtain desired information

mean

a number calculated by adding a series of values and then dividing by the number of values

median

the midpoint or number that divides a series of values into two groups of equal numbers of values

mode

the single most common value in a series of scores

observation

a research technique in which an investigator collects information through direct participation and/or by closely watching a group or community

operational definition

an explanation of an abstract concept that is specific enough to allow a researcher to assess the concept

qualitative research

research that relies on what is seen in field or naturalistic settings more than on statistical data

quantitative research

research that collects and reports data primarily in numerical form

questionnaire

a printed or written form used to obtain information from a respondent

random sample

a sample for which every member of an entire population has the same chance of being selected

reliability

the extent to which a measure produces consistent results

research design

a detailed plan or method for obtaining data scientifically

sample

a selection from a larger population that is statistically representative of that population

secondary analysis

a variety of research techniques that make use of previously collected and publicly accessible information and data

value neutrality

Max Weber's term for objectivity of sociologists in the interpretation of data

variable

a measurable trait or characteristic that is subject to change under different conditions