Glossary for research methods....everything you have to know...

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  • Created by: Patrycja
  • Created on: 24-06-10 22:54

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Aims: the purpose of a research study.
Buffers: term used to refer to aspects of situations that protect people from
having to confront the results of their actions.
Case Study: detailed study of an individual, event or group.
Conditioning: when one response is made dependent on another.
Clinical Interviews: All interviewees are asked the same questions, but the
choice of follow-up questions on the answers given. The researcher is given the
flexibility to ask questions in various ways, to explore interesting or unexpected
answers as they see fit.
Confidentiality: the requirement for ethical research that information provided
by participants in research is not made available to other people.
Confounding Variable: variables that are mistakenly changed or allowed to vary
along with the IV which then affects the DV.
Control Group: group of participants who receive no treatment and act as a
comparison to the experimental group to study any effects of the treatment.
Controlled Variables: variables which are held constant or are controlled.
Counterbalancing: used with repeated measures design to overcome the
problems of practice and order effects and involves ensuring that each condition
is equally likely to be used first and second by participants.
Constant Error: any unwanted variable that has a systematically distinct effect
on the dependent variable in different conditions.
Correlational Analysis: testing a hypothesis using an association that is found
between two variables.
Cause and Effect:

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Double Blind: a procedure where neither the participant nor the experimenter
knows the precise aims of the study. This reduces experimenter effects.
Dependant Variable: Output of the experiment, an aspect of the participant's
behaviour this can be measured in the study.
Demand Characteristics: features of an experiment that help participants work
out what is expected of them, and lead them to behave in certain predictable
ways.…read more

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Hypothesis: a statement of what you believe to be true.
Independent Variable: a variable which can be changed or manipulated by the
Internal Validity: The degree to which changes in the dependent variable
(effect) can be attributed to the independent or experimental variable (cause)
rather than to the effects of extraneous variables.
Investigator Effects: the effects of investigators expectations on the response
of a participant. Sometimes referred to as experimenter expectancy effect.…read more

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Measures of Dispersion: any means of expressing the spread of the data, such as
range or standard deviation.
Mundane Realism: the use of an artificial situation that closely resembles a
natural situation.
Meta ­Analysis: a form of analysis in which the data from several related studies
are combined to obtain an overall estimate.
Matched Pairs Design: a research design that matches participants on a
one-to-one basis rather than as a whole group.…read more

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Order Effects: Participants' performance on two conditions may be affected by
the order in which they are performed for e.g. Being bored or having too much
Opportunity Sampling: participants are selected because they are available not
because they are a representative of the population.
Pilot Studies: a small scale prototype of the experiment.…read more

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Qualitative data: data which is concerned about how things are expressed,
meanings or explanations etc.
Quantitative data: data which is presented in numerical terms.
Randomisation: the allocation of participants to conditions on a random basis i.e.
totally unbiased distribution.
Repeated Measures Design: a research design where the same participants are
used for all conditions in the experiment.
Reliability: the extent to which a method of measurement or test produces
consistent findings which means that it can said to be reliable.…read more

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Sample: a part of a population selected such that it is considered to be a
representative of the population as a whole.
Sampling Bias: some people have a greater or lesser chance of being selected
than they should be, given their frequency in the population.…read more

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Undisclosed Observation: an observational study where the participants have
not been informed that it is taking place.
Validity: a concept concerned with the extent to which a research instrument
measures what it sets out to measure.…read more


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