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Terms in this set (245)

Because it is not always possible, or appropriate, to control for all possible variables, within research we may choose to design a research study which rather than looking for cause and effect, looks instead for a pattern/ association between two groups = a correlational research design

e.g. What is the relationship between
What is the effect of X on Y

For a correlational study, we might still start out with a hypothesis predicting a relationship (null hypothesis, no relationship) between two variable

To carry out the study, we then need a group of participants who demonstrate a range of data on one variable and we can then measure their respective scores in relation to the second variable - we would then look for any pattern/ association between the two
Two or more sets of measures are taken from each individual and the data from one variable is compared to data gathered in relation to the other variable

Data analysis from a correlational study allows us to assess how much the variables are related and then change in relation to each other in an identifiable way

Because correlational studies do not involve the manipulation of one variable to consider its impact on another, there is no dependent and independent variable

Because nothing is being manipulated, it is not possible to assign any cause or effect between the two variables


Depending on a study's research aim/hypothesis, correlational studies can either be conducted in a standardised 'lab based' setting or in a naturalistic/ unstructured setting

Can therefore span between 'experimental' and 'observational' research designs
What is the purpose of this study?
Here you would provide a brief introduction/background to your study

What will I have to do? or What will happen to me if I take part?
Here you would give a clear and honest summary of what the participants will be expected to do
If this involves several stages/return visits, this needs to be clearly stated; it is also important to state here if a particular form of dress/undress is required, e.g. for an intervention, a measurement or an assessment

Do I have to take part?
Here you would indicate that participation is voluntary and it is up to them to decide if they would like to take part or not

Are there any benefits to participating in the study?
Within this question you have to be honest and cannot promise things that will not occur
For many studies, there are no actual benefits to the participants, but it is hoped that this information will inform a particular knowledge base

Are there disadvantages or risks associated with participating in the study?
Here again you need to be honest, especially if you are providing an intervention
If you have indicated that there is a risk, this can be followed by a brief indication of what strategies you have put in place to manage this, e.g. referral on

Can I change my mind about participating at any point?
Within this section, you need to make clear that where a study involves any commitment from the participant such as attending for an intervention/interview etc, the participant can withdraw at any stage without giving reason
The only instance where participants CANNOT withdraw is once they have submitted an anonymous questionnaire - participants can choose not to complete the questionnaire but once submitted there is no way to retrieve this if submitted anonymously

Who has reviewed this study?
Here you would state that your study has been given approval by the relevant committee and include the approval number

Will the information I provide be kept confidential?
Here you would need to make reference to the safe storage of both hard copy/paper and electronic information