Chapters 1-7 Midterm - Methods in Behavioral Research
Terms in this set (133)
Part of causal inference; a potential alternative cause of an observed relationship between variables.
Scientific study that aims to solve practical problems
A convincing and influential source
Pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base
covariation of cause and effect
Part of causal inference; observing that a change in one variable is accompanied by a change in a second variable.
Use of objective, verifiable observations to answer questions and draw conclusions.
The principle that a good scientific idea of theory should be capable of being shown to be false when tested using scientific methods.
goals of behavioral science
1. To describe behavior
2. To predict behavior
3. To determine the causes of behavior
4. To understand or explain behavior
When you rely on intuition, you accept unquestioningly what your own personal judgment tells you.
The process of judging the scientific merit of research through review by other scientists with the expertise to evaluate the research.
Research designed to assess procedures (e.g., social reforms, innovations) that are designed to produce certain changes or outcomes in a target population.
The use of seemingly scientific terms and demonstrations to substantiate claims that have no basis in scientific research.
Ideas must be evaluated on the basis of careful logic and results from scientific investigations.
Part of causal inference; the cause occurs before the effect.
Brief summary of the article.
Interpretation of study results.
A tentative answer to a research question.
Outline the problem, tie to past research, point to question and method.
A written summary and evaluation of the existing literature on a specific topic.
Detailed description of study design.
Follows directly from a hypothesis, is directly testable, and includes specific variables and methodologies.
A searchable, online database that provides brief summaries of the scientific and scholarly literature in psychology
A description of the broad topic of study.
Objective report of study results.
Science Citation Index (SCI)
Includes disciplines such as biology, chemistry, biomedicine, and pharmacology
Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)
Includes disciplines such as behavioral and social science such as sociology and criminal justice.
A systematic, coherent, and logical set of ideas about a particular topic or phenomenon that serves to organize and explain data and generate new knowledge.
Web of Science
A searchable database that allows searches for articles that cite a particular older article.
APA Ethics Code
The American Psychological Association code of general ethical principles. Including: beneficence and nonmaleficence; fidelity and responsibility; integrity; justice, and; respect for people's rights and dignity. The code was last updated in 2017.
Autonomy (Belmont Report)
Participants are treated as autonomous; they are capable of making deliberate decisions about whether to participate in research.
Published in 1979 by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. Is an important foundational document guiding ethical research with human subjects. It includes three basic principles: beneficence, Respect for Persons (Autonomy), and Justice.
Research should confer benefits and risks must be minimal. The associated application in the necessity to conduct a risk-benefit analysis.
When data collected from subjects is identifiable such that names or other identifying information is attached to responses or measurements, the data are only accessible to people with permission.
Explanation of the purposes of the research that is given to participants following their participation in the research.
In a research study, intentionally providing misinformation to or withholding information from a participant.
Research in which there is no risk.
Fidelity and Responsibility
Psychologists establish relationships of trust with those with whom they work.
Fabrication of data.
An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a local working group that research facilities must appoint in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.
In research ethics, the principle that participants in an experiment be informed in advance of all aspects of the research that might influence their decision to participate.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
An ethics review committee established to review research proposals. The IRB is composed of scientists, nonscientists, and legal experts.
Psychologists seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in the science, teaching and practice of psychology. In these activities psychologists do not steal, cheat, or engage in fraud, subterfuge or intentional misrepresentation of fact.
Justice (Belmont Report)
There must be fairness in receiving the benefits of research as well as bearing the burdens of accepting risks.
Minimal risk research
Research in which participants are exposed to risks that are no greater than those encountered in daily life or in routine physical or psychological tests.
Instead of the words being directly copied without attribution, the ideas are copied without attribution.
Misrepresenting another's work as your own.
Respect for person
Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination.
Include factors like psychological or physical harm.
Weighing the risks against the benefits of a research study to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks.
When a writer copies a section of another person's work word for word without providing quotation marks indicating that the segment was written by somebody else, nor a citation indicating the source of the information.
- A third variable that is not controlled in a research investigation
- In an experiment, the experimental groups differ on both the independent variable and the confounding variable
A numerical index of the strength of relationship between variables
Increases in the values of one variable are accompanied by systematic increases and decreases in the values of the other variable.
- The variables that are considered to be the "effect"
- Usually MEASURED by the researcher
- Eliminating the influence of an extraneous variable on the outcome of an experiment by keeping the variable constant in the experimental and control groups
- Only difference between groups should be the manipulated variable (IV)
Studying relationships by directly manipulating and controlling variables
Extent to which results of a study can be generalized to other populations and settings.
The independent variable is manipulated in a natural setting
- The variables that are considered to be the "cause"
- Usually MANIPULATED by the researcher
Ability to accurately draw conclusions about causal relationships
negative linear relationship
Increases the values of one variable are accompanied by decreases in the values of the other variable
nonexperimental method (correlation ship method)
Studied by making observations or measures of the variables of interest.
- Set of procedures used to measure or manipulate it.
- A variable must have operational definition to be studied empirically.
participant (subject) variable
Characteristics of individuals, such as age, gender, ethnic group, nationality, birth order, personality, or marital status
positive linear relationship
Increases in the values of one variable are accompanied by increases in the values of the second variable
Ensures that an extraneous variable is just as likely to affect one experimental groups as it is to affect the other group
When a third variable may be the cause of a relationship between two other variables
Any event, situation, behavior, response, or individual characteristic that varies (two or more levels or values).
alternate forms reliability
Using different varieties of the test to measure consistency between them
- Scores on the measure are related to a criterion measured at the same time (concurrently)
- If two groups of participants were given the measures, and they differed in predictable ways (e.g. if those in therapy for depression scored higher than those in therapy for an anxiety disorder), then this would be evidence for concurrent validity
- The extent to which variables measure what they are supposed to measure
- The adequacy of the operational definition of variables
- The content of the measure is linked to the universe of content that defines the construct
- Based on comparing the content of the measure with the universe of the content that defines the construct
- e.g. Depression is defined by a mood and by cognitive and physiological symptoms
- Scores on the measure are related to other measures of the same construct
- If scores from the new measure, collected at the same time as other measures of depression, were related to scores from those other measures, then it could be said to have evidence for convergent validity
Provides us with the average of all possible split-half reliability coefficient
- Scores on the measure are not related to other measures that are theoretically different
- If the new measure, collected at the same time as other measures of anxiety, was unrelated to those measures, then it could be said to have evidence for discriminant validity because it would indicate that what was being measured was not anxiety
- The content of the measure appears to reflect the construct being measured
- Concerns whether the measure appears to accurately assess the intended variable
internal consistency reliability
- Assessment of reliability using responses at only one point in time. Because all items measure the same variable, they should yield similar or consistent result
- Split-half reliability
- Cronbach's alpha
- Item-total correlations
- Correlation between the observations of raters
- Examines the agreement of observations made by two or more raters (judges)
- If two raters are measuring aggression, high interrater reliability is obtained when most of the observations result in the same judgement
- Commonly used "Cohen's Kappa"
- Data is numerical, where differences between values (intervals) have a consistent meaning
- Example: Temperatures in Fahrenheit: 97.5, 98.6, 99.9, 101.5
- Provide information about each individual item
- Items that do not correlate with the total score on the measure are actually measuring a different variable; they can be eliminated to increase internal consistency reliability.
- The degree to which a measurement deviates from the true score value
- One of the two components that any measures comprised of
- Data is categorical
- Example: female-male
- Data is categorical, but the categories are ordered
- Agree / Strongly Agree / Disagree / Strongly Disagree
Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient
- The value of r (strength) must be be between 0 to 1
- Sign just tell us about the direction of relationship
- Scores on the measure predict behavior on a criterion measured at a time in the future
- If the measure of depression predicts future diagnosis of depression, then it would have evidence of predictive validity
- Special type of interval data where there is a true zero, allowing for meaningful ratios between two values
- Example: Temperatures in Kelvin: 273, 290, 310
- Measure is reactive if awareness of being measured changes an individual's behavior
- Measures of behavior vary in terms of their potential reactivity
- Consistency or Stability of a Measure of Behavior
- True Score
- Measurement Error
- Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient
- The correlation of the total score on one half of the test with the total of score on the other half
- "Spearman-Brown split-half reliability coefficient"
- Assessed by measuring the same individuals two points
- Vulnerable to artificiality
- Vulnerable to maturation
- For most measures, test-retest reliability should be at least .80.
- The real score on the variable
- An individual's actual score on a variable being measured, as opposed to the score the individual obtained on the measure itself
- A theoretical value that represents a test taker's score without error. If a person took parallel forms of a test thousands of times (assuming no practice or fatigue effects), the mean of all their scores would be a good approximation of their true score since the error would be almost entirely averaged out.
- One of the two components that any measures comprised of
Existing data sources such as:
- Statistical records
- Daily temps, sports records, crime data
- Survey archives
- Written and mass communications
- Newspapers, Internet bulletin boards
- In-depth analysis of a single case
- Case is interesting because it is unusual
- Qualitative interpretation of the case
- A set of rules used to categorize observation
- Something coded (described) to measure the behaviors
- The researcher must decide which behaviors are of interest, choose a setting in which the behaviors can be observed, and most important, develop a _________ ______
- E.g., To code hostility, the observers rated the frequency of behaviors such as "blames other" and "provokes partner." A ection behaviors that were coded
included "expresses concern" and "agrees with partner."
- The systematic analysis of existing documents
- Requires researchers to devise coding systems that raters can use to quantify the information in the documents
- Field work (field observation)
- Descriptive method in which observations are made in a natural social setting.
- The researcher makes observations of individuals in their natural environments (the field)
- Requires accurate description and objective interpretation with no prior hypotheses.
- A technique of observing a situation wherein the observer takes an active role in the situation
- Allows the researcher to observe the setting from the inside, he or she may be able to experience events in the same way as natural participants.
- A potential problem with ______ ______, however, is that the observer may lose the objectivity necessary to conduct scientific observation.
- a type of case study in which a researcher applies psychological theory to explain the life of an individual, usually an important historical figure
- A problem of measurement in which the measure changes the behavior being observed
- The possibility that the presence of the observer will affect people's behaviors
- Can be reduced by concealed observation.
- Also can be reduced by allowing time for people to become used to the observer and equipment.
- The careful observation of one or more specific behaviors in a particular setting
- Much less global than naturalistic observation research.
- The researcher is interested in only a few very specific behaviors, the observations are quantifiable, and the re- searcher frequently has developed prior hypotheses about the behaviors
- "Coding system"
- "Higher Reactivity"
- Very high levels of agreement are reported in virtually all published research using ________ ________ (generally 80% agreement or higher).
- Samples of behavior taken over an extended period provide more accurate and useful data than single, short observations.
- Questions that a limited number of response alternatives are given
- "What is the most important thing children should learn to prepare them for life?" followed by a list of answers from which to choose
- More structured approach; they are easier to code and the response alternatives are the same for everyone
- A probability sampling method in which existing groups or geographic areas, called clusters, are identified
- Clusters are randomly sampled and then everyone in the selected clusters participates in the study
computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)
- Lower the cost of telephone surveys by reducing labor and data analysis costs.
- The interviewer's questions are prompted on the computer screen, and the data are entered directly into the computer for analysis.
An interval of values within which there is a given level of confidence (e.g., 95%) where the population value lies
- Selecting subjects in a haphazard manner, usually on the basis of availability, and not with regard to having a representative sample of the population
- A type of nonprobability sampling
- "Take-them-where-you-need-them" method of obtaining participants.
- Require that the interviewer and respondent meet to conduct the interview
- Usually the interviewer travels to the person's home or office, although sometimes the respondent goes to the interviewer's office.
- An interview strategy that is often used in industry
- An interview with a group of about 6 to 10 individuals brought together for a period of usually 2-3 hours.
graphic rating scale
Requires a mark along a continuous 100-millimeter line that is anchored with descriptions at each end.
- All of the biases that can arise from the fact that the interviewer is a unique human being interacting with another human
- The interviewer could subtly bias the respondent's answers by inadvertently showing approval or disapproval of certain answers.
- Surveys can be mailed to individuals at a home or business address.
- A very inexpensive way of contacting the people who were selected for the sample.
- The mail format is a drawback because of potentially low response rates: The questionnaire can easily be placed aside and forgotten among all the other tasks that people must attend to at home and work.
- The tendency that a respondent may employ a response set to disagree with all the questions.
- To detect ________, you can ask the a set of the questions: "I feel isolated from others" and "I feel part of a group of friends" because they are asking same thing by wording differently (If a respondent answered "no" to both the questions, it means ________)
- Type of sampling procedure in which one cannot specify the probability that any member of the population will be included in the sample
- The probability of any particular member of the population being chosen is unknown.
- Haphazard sampling
- Purposive sampling
- Quota sampling
- Increasingly being used by academic researchers
- Very easy to design a questionnaire for online administration using one of several online survey software services.
- Both open- and closed-ended questions can be included
- After the questionnaire is completed, the responses are immediately available to the researcher
- Problems to consider is how to sample people—how does the researcher provide people with a link to the online survey?
- Online surveys had an 11% lower response rate than other strategies
- Questions that respondents are free to answer in any way they like
- "What is the most important thing children should learn to prepare them for life?" followed by a blank for the person to provide the answer.
- Require time to categorize and code the responses and are therefore more costly to conduct and more difficult to interpret.
Research in which the same sample of subject is studied at two or more points in time, usually to assess changes that occur over time.
- The defined group of individuals from which a sample is drawn
- Composed of all individuals of interest to the researcher.
- Type of sampling procedure in which one is able to specify the probability that any member of the population will be included in the sample
- Each member of the population has a specifiable probability of being chosen.
- Required when you want to make precise statements about a specific population on the basis of the results of your survey.
- Simple random sampling
- Stratified random sampling
- Cluster sampling
- A nonprobability sampling to obtain a sample of people who meet some predetermined criterion.
- Instead of sampling anyone walking toward the theater, they take a look at each person to make sure that they fit some criterion—under the age of 30 or an adult with one or more children, for example.
- A nonprobability sampling procedure in which the sample is chosen to reflect the numerical composition of various subgroups in the population
- A haphazard sampling technique is used to obtain the sample
- Similar to the stratified sampling procedure (however, random sampling does not occur)
- The questions are presented in written format and the respondents write their answers.
- Generally less costly than interviews.
- Allow the respondent to be completely anonymous as long as no identifying information (e.g., name, Social Security number, or driver's license number) is asked
- Require that the respondents be able to read and understand the questions.
Method of selecting from a population in which each person has an equal probability of being selected
- Ask people to provide "how much" judgments on any number of dimensions—amount of agreement, liking, or confidence, for example.
- Can have many different formats
- Very common in many areas of research.
- The percentage of people in the sample who actually completed the survey
- If you mail 1,000 questionnaires to a random sample of adults in your community and 500 are completed and returned to you, the _____________ ________ is 50%.
- Important because it indicates how much bias there might be in the final sample of respondents.
- A pattern of response to questions on a self-report measure that is not related to the content of the questions
- A tendency to respond to all questions from a particular perspective rather than to provide answers that are directly related to the questions.
- Can affect the usefulness of data obtained from self-reports.
- The most common response set is called "social desirability" or "faking well"
The process of choosing members of a population to be included in a sample
- The error that is generated because you have only a sample and not the entire population
- The confidence interval gives you information about the likely amount of the error.
- The actual population of individuals (or clusters) from which a random sample will be drawn
- Rarely will this perfectly coincide with the population of interest—some biases will be introduced
semantic differential scale
- Measures of the meaning of concepts that was developed by Osgood and his associates
- Respondents are asked to rate any concept—persons, objects, behaviors, ideas—on a series of bipolar adjectives using 7-point scales, as follows:
E.g., Smoking cigarettes
Good __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Bad
Strong __ __ __ __ __ __ Weak
Active __ __ __ __ __ __ Passive
simple random sampling
- A sampling procedure in which every member of the population has an equal probability of being selected for the
- Tend to produce random sample
Employs questionnaires and interviews to ask people to provide information about themselves-their attitudes and beliefs, demographics (age, gender, income, marital status, and so on), and past or intended future behaviors.
- Almost all interviews for large-scale surveys are done via telephone.
- Less expensive than face-to-face interviews, and they allow data to be collected relatively quickly because many interviewers can work on the same survey at once.
- The tendency that a respondent may employ a response set to agree with all the questions.
- To detect ________, you can ask the a set of the questions: "I feel isolated from others" and "I feel part of a group of friends" because they are asking same thing by wording differently (If a respondent answered "yes" to both the questions, it means ________)