Chapter 6 - Research methods Keywords

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  • Created by: ImanB
  • Created on: 07-12-15 18:33
Experimental Method
Involves the maniplulation of an independent variable to measure the effect on the dependent variable. Experiments may be laboratory, field, natural or quasi.
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Aim
A general statement of what the researcher intends to investigate; the purpose of the study.
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Hypothesis
A clear, precise and testable statement that states the relationship between the variables to be investigated. Stated at the outset of any study.
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Directional Hypothesis
States the direction of the difference in a relationship.
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Non-direction Hypothesis
Does not state the direction of the difference in a relationship.
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Variables
Any "thing" that can vary or change within an investigation. Variables are generally used in experiments to determine if changes in one thing result in changes to another.
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Independent Variable
Some aspect of the experimental situation that is manipulated by the researcher or changes naturally so that the effect on the DV can be measured.
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Dependent Variable
The variable that is measured by the researcher. Any effect on the DV should be caused by the change in the IV.
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Operationalisation
Clearly defining variable in terms of how they can be measured.
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Extraneous Variable
Any variable other than the independent variable that may have an effect on the dependent variable if it is not controlled. EVs are essentially nuisance variables that do not vary systematically with the IV.
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Confounding variables
Any variable other than the IV that may have affected the DV so we cannot be sure of the true source of changes to the DV. Confounding variable vary systematically with the IV.
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Demand Characteristics
Any cue from the researcher or from the research situatiuon that may be interpreted by participants as revealing the purpose of the investigation. This may lead to the participant changing their behaviour within the research situation.
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Investigator Effects
Any effect of the investigator's behaviour ,which may be concious or unconcious, on the research outcome and the DV. This includes everything from the design of the study to the selection or interaction with participants during the research process.
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Randomisation
The use of chance in order to control the effects of bias when designing materials and deciding the order of conditions.
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Standardisation
Using exactly the same formalised procedures and instruction for all participants in research study.
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Experimental Design
The different ways in which the testing of participants can be organised in relation to the experimental conditions.
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Independent Groups Design
Participants are allocated to different groups where each group represents one experimental condition.
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Repeated Measures Design
All participants take part in all conditions of the experiment.
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Matched Pairs Design
Pairs of participants are first matched on some variables that may affect the DV. Then one member of the pair is assigned to condition A and the other to condition B.
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Random Allocation
An attempt to control participant variables in an independent groups design which ensures that each participant has the same chance of being in one condition as any other.
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Counter-balancing
An attempt to control the effects of order in a repeated measures design: half the participants experience the conditions in one order and the other half in the opposite order.
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Laboratory Experiment
An experiment that takes place in a controlled environment within which the researcher manipulates the IV and records the effect on the DV whilst maintaining strict control of extraneous variables.
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Field Experiment
An experiment that takes place in a natural setting within which the researcher manipulates the IV and records the effect on the DV.
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Natural Experiment
An experiment where the change in the IV is not brought about by the researcher but would have happened even if the reseacher had not been there. The researcher records the effect on the DV.
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Quasi Experiment
A study that is almost an experiment but lacks key ingredients. The IV has not been determined by anyone, the researcher or any other person, the "variables" simply exist such as being old or young. Strcitly speaking this is not an experiment.
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Population
A group of people who are the focus of the researcher's interest, from which a smaller sample is drawn.
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Sample
A group of people who take part in a research investigation. The sample is drawn from a target population and is presumed to be a representative of that population i.e. it stands "fairly" for the population being studied.
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Sampling techniques
The method used to select people from the population.
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Bias
When groups may be over or under represented within a sample selected e.g. there maybe too many younger people or too many people of one ethnic origin in a sample. This may limit the extent to which generalisation can be made to the target population
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Generalisation
The extent to which findings and conclusion from a particular investigation can be broadly applied to the population. This is made possible if the sample of participants is representative of the population.q
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Ethical issues
These arise when a conflict exists between the right of participants in research studies and the goals of research to produce authentic, valid and worthwhile data.
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BPS code of ethics
A quasi-legal document by the British Psychological Society instructing psychologists in the UK about what behaviour is acceptable when dealing with participants, built around for major principles respect, competence, responsibility and integrity.
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Pilot Study
A small scale version of an investigation that takes place before the real investigation. The aim is to check the procedures, materials, measuring scales ect., work and to allow the researcher to make changes or modifications if necessary.
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Naturalistic Observation
Watching and recording behaviour in the setting within which it would normally occur.
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Controlled Observation
Watching and recording behaviour within a structured environment i.e. one where some variables are managed.
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Covert Observation
Participants' behaviour is recorded without their knowledge or consent.
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Overt Observation
Participants' behaviour is watched and recorded with their knowledge and consent.
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Participant Observation
The researcher becomes a member of the group whose behaviour is being watched and recorded.
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Non-participant Observation
The researcher remains outside the group whose behaviour is being watched and recorded.
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Behavioural Categories
When a target behaviour is broken up into components that are observable and measurable.
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Event Sampling
A target behaviour or event is first established then the researcher records this event every time the event occurs.
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Time Sampling
A target individual or group is first established then the researcher records their behaviour in a fixed time frame e.g. every 60 seconds.
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Self Report Technique
Any method in which a person is asked to state or explain their own feelings, opinions, behaviours and/or experiences related to a given topic.
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Questionnaire
A set of written questions used to access a person's thoughts and experiences.
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Interview
A live encounter where one person asks a set of questions to assess an interviewees thoughts and experiences. The questions may develop as the interview goes along.
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Open Questions
Questions for which there is no fixed choice of response and respondents can answer in any way they wish.
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Closed Questions
Questions for which there is a fixed choice of responses determined by the question setter.
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Correlation
A mathematical technique in which a researcher investigates an association between two variables called co-variables.
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Co-variables
The variables investigated within a correlation. They are not referred to as independent and dependent variables because a correlation investigates an association between variables rather than a cause and effect.
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Positive Correlation
As one co-variable increases so does the other.
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Negative Correlation
As one co-variable increases the other decreases.
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Zero Correlation
When there is no relationship between two co-variables.
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Qualitative Data
Data that is expressed in words and is non-numerical.
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Quantitative Data
Data that can be counted, usually given as numbers.
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Primary Data
Information that has been obtained first hand by the researcher for the purposes of a research project. In psychology, often such data is gathered directly from participants as part of an experiment, self report or observation.
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Secondary Data
Information that has been collected already by someone else and so pre-dates the current research project. In psychology this may include the work of other psychologists' work or government statistics.
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Meta-analysis
"Research about research"; referring to the process of combining results from a number of studies on a particular topic to provide an overall view. This may involve a qualitative/quanative analysis producing an effect size.
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Descriptive Statistics
The use of graphs, tables and summary statistics to identify trends and analyse sets of data.
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Measures of Central Tendency
The general term for any measure of the average value for a set of data.
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Mean
The arithmetic average calculated by adding up all the values in a set of data and dividing them by the number of values there are
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Median
The central value in a set of data when values are arranged from lowest to highest.
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Mode
The most frequently occurring value in a set of data
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Scattergram
A type of graph that represents the strength and direction of a relationship between co variables in a correlation analysis.
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Bar Chart
A type of graph in which the frequency of each variable is reprsented by the height of the bars.
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Statistical Testing
Provides a way of determining whether hypotheses should be accepted or rejected. In psychology, they tell us whether difference or relationships between variables are statistically significant or have occurred by chance.
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Sign Test
A statistical test used to analyse the difference in scores between related items.
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Peer Review
The assessment of scientific work by others who are specialists in the same field to ensure that research intended for publication is of high quality.
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Economy
The state of a country or region in terms of production and consumption of goods and services.
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Card 2

Front

A general statement of what the researcher intends to investigate; the purpose of the study.

Back

Aim

Card 3

Front

A clear, precise and testable statement that states the relationship between the variables to be investigated. Stated at the outset of any study.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

States the direction of the difference in a relationship.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Does not state the direction of the difference in a relationship.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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