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Research Methods Key Terms
Terms in this set (92)
A precise and testable statement about the assumed relationship between variables
A prediction that states there will be no difference between the results of two conditions
The variable which is directly manipulated by the experimenter
The variable which is measured in the different conditions
Any variables which have an effect on the DV, which do not vary systematically with the IV
Any variables which have an effect on the DV, which vary systematically with the IV
Ensuring that variables are in a form that are specific and can be easily measured
A set of procedures which are the same for all participants in order to increase repeatability
The degree to which the findings can be generalised
The degree to which an observed effect was due to experimental manipulation rather than extraneous or confounding variables
How well a study mirrors real world situations
How generalisable the findings of the study are to other situations or other people.
Directional hypothesis (one-tailed)
A hypothesis which states the direction of the predicted difference between two conditions
Non-directional hypothesis (two-tailed)
A hypothesis which states that there will be a difference between two conditions, without stating the direction of the difference
A small-scale trial run of the study to test the design, in order to make improvements before the actual experiment
Each participant takes part in every condition
Participants are allocated into two or more groups, with each group taking part in a single condition
Participants are matched into pairs by variables which are relevant to the study. One member of each pair is allocated to each of two conditions
An extraneous variable arising due to the order in which conditions are presented
A technique used to overcome order effects by ensuring that each condition is tested first or second in equal amounts.
An experiment carried out in a controlled setting, giving it higher internal validity.
An experiment conducted in a more natural environment. It is less controlled, giving it lower internal validity.
An experiment in which the experimenter has not directly manipulated the IV.
An experiment in which the IV does not vary - it is a condition which already exists.
The extent to which the findings can be generalised to a real-life setting
Cues which make participants unconsciously aware of the aims of the study or what the researcher expects to find
The differing individual characteristics of the participants taking part in a study.
Anything that an investigator does that has an impact on a participant's performance in a study
A systematic distortion
A sample produced by selecting people who are most easily available at the time of the study.
A sample in which every person in a population has an equal chance of being selected to be part of the sample
A sample of participants produced by selecting participants in proportion to the frequency in selected subgroups.
A sample obtained by selecting every nth person
A sample of participants that relies on volunteers to make up the sample.
A form of sampling bias which occurs due to volunteering participants having special characteristics.
The trust that personal information shared between people will be protected
When a participant is misled as to the true aims of the study.
Participants giving their permission to take part in the study, after being given comprehensive information concerning the nature of the experiment
A person's right to control the flow of information about themselves
Right to withdraw
The idea that participants may stop participating in a study at any point if they are uncomfortable.
A systematic approach to estimating the positives and negatives to research
A post-research interview which informs participants of the true nature of the study
Using a similar group to the real sample to see if people would agree to take part in the study
A form of investigation in which behaviour is observed in conditions where variables have been organised by the researcher
Observing people without their knowledge
Observing people where the participants are aware their behaviour is being observed.
The extent to which there is agreement between multiple observers
How observers' expectations may affect what they see or hear
Observations made by someone who is participating in the activity being observed
Observations being made by someone who isn't participating in the activity being observed
An observation carried out in an everyday setting in which the observer does not interfere in any way.
Dividing a target behaviour into a subset of specific, operationalised behaviours which are easy to identify
An observational technique in which a count is kept of the amount of times a behaviour occurs
When a researcher has organised the observation beforehand, such as using behavioural categories.
When a researcher hasn't organised the observation beforehand, and establishes behavioural categories during the observation
An observational technique in which the observer records behaviours in a given time frame
The effect of an interviewer's expectations, communicated unconsciously, on a respondent's behaviour.
Social desirability bias
A distortion in the way questions are answered, answering in a way which presents themselves in a better light
An interview in which the questions are decided in advance
An interview in which there are some general aims, but the interviewee's answers guide subsequent questions
Questions which have a predetermined range of answers
Questions which invite respondents to provide their own answers rather than select a choice
Non-numerical data, often about thoughts and opinions.
Data expressed in a numerical format
The two measured variables in a correlational analysis
A variable that can have any value within a certain range
Determining the extent of an association between two co-variables
A number between -1 and 1 that numerically expresses how closely the two co-variables are associated
Research involving the detailed study of a single individual, institution or event.
A type of observational study in which behaviour is observed indirectly.
A measure of the strength of the relationship between two variables.
When a researcher collates the findings of numerous studies to produce a statistic to represent the overall effect
A symmetrical bell-shaped frequency distribution
Negative skewed distribution
When most of the frequency is bunched towards the right of the centre
Positive skewed distribution
When most of the frequency is bunched towards the left of the centre
Written methods of data collection
Verbal method of data collection involving the researcher asking questions face-to-face.
Experimental (alternate) hypothesis
The prediction made before the study takes place on the effect that the IV will have on the DV
How participants are allocated to the different conditions
Ways of collecting data
The way in which participants are recruited to take part in research
Measures of dispersion
Ways of measuring the spread of scores
The difference between the highest and lowest scores
A measure of the how scores are distributed around the mean
Measures of central tendency
Data values that represent the typical mid-point in a set of data
The arithmetic average calculated by adding up the scores and dividing the result by the number of values.
The middle value when values are placed in order
The value that occurs most frequently in a set of data
Data in separate categories
Data ordered in some way
Data measured using units of equal intervals
Data where there is a true zero point
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