Research methods terms

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  • Research methods terms
    • Cause and effect
      • Ability to confidently claim why certain results have been found and what caused this
      • Studies said to be lacking in this are those where it is difficult to say with any certainty what the cause of the results is
    • Demand Characteristics
      • Cues in the environment that help the participant work out what the research hypothesis is
      • This means their behaviour is different from what they would normally do
      • Results less valid
    • Experimenter/investigator effects
      • When the researcher inadvertently influences the results by unconsciously revealing the aim of the study
      • Behaviour of the participants is not valid as it has changed in some way
    • Social Desirability
      • Tendency for people to present themselves in the best possible light
      • People may lie/not be completely honest as they want to make themselves seem better
      • Difference in what people say and what they do
    • Ecological Validity
      • The extent to which the methods, materials and setting of the study reflect the real life situation of interest.
      • Studies low in this refer to the fact that participants behaviour is different from normal
    • Population validity
      • The extent to which the findings of a study can be generalized to settings other than those being studied by the researcher
      • Studies said to be low in this refer to problems with the sample in some way, which may not be representative


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