Psychology PY3 Research Methods Definitions

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Hypothesis
Precise & testable statement about the world, usually derived from a theoretical explanation
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Non-directional/two tailed hypothesis
Predicts that IV will effect DV but the direction of the effect is not specified
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Directional/one tailed hypothesis
Predicts the kind of difference (more or less) or relationship (positive or negative) between two groups of participants or conditions
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Null hypothesis
Assumption that there is no difference, relationship or association in the population with respect to the variable being studied
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Experimental design
Method used to allocate participants to different conditions. 3 types; independent groups, repeated measures, matched participants/pairs
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Repeated measures
Experimental design in which each participant takes part in every condition under test
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Order effect
Repeated measures design, a confounding variable arising from the order in which conditions are presented e.g. fatigue or practice effects
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Independent groups
Experimental design in which participants are allocated to two or more groups representing different conditions
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Matched pairs
Experimental design in which pairs of participants are matched in terms of key variables e.g. age or IQ
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Operationalised
Gaining a precise definition of behaviour. Variables are in a form that can be easily tested and it is clear how the IV is manipulated and the DV measured
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Operationalised hypothesis
Gaining a precise definition of behaviour. Variables are in a form that can be easily tested and it is clear how the IV is manipulated and the DV measured
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Independent variable
This is the variable that is manipulated
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Dependent variable
This is the variable that is measured
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Co-variable
Two or more quantities or measurements that may vary with each other, often used when someone conducts a correlational analysis
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Confounding variable
Variable that is not under control of the experimenter e.g. noise and temperature. Often variable not recognised by the researcher but arise from critical inspection of the study
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Extraneous variable
General term for any variable, other than the IV, which might have an effect on the DV
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Validity
When findings are genuine and true, can say that the effects on the DV are caused by the IV and therefore the study measures what it intended to, 2 types; internal and external
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Internal validity
If the observed effect can be attributed to the experimental manipulation rather than another factor
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External validity
The degree to which an experimental effect can be generalised outside of the setting which the study is conducted in
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Ecological validity
A form of external validity, concerns the ability to generalise research effect beyond a particular setting that it is demonstrated in
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Population validity
A form of external validity, concerns the extent to which the findings of a study can be generalised to other groups besides those who took part in the study
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Demand characteristics
Features of an experiment that a participant responds to when searching for clues about how to behave. This could be in response to the presence of a researcher
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Content validity
Researcher may ask a colleague to evaluate the content of a test to ensure that it is representative of the topic area it is intended to cover, e.g. is an IQ test actually testing IQ?
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Concurrent validity
New test or results are compared and validated with existing data or tests e.g. an IQ test compared to an older but similar test known to have good validity
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Construct validity
Whether the test or method can be used to support underlying theoretical constructs concerning the variables that is it supposed to be testing
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Reliability
Used to measure the consistency of the study/test. If a test is repeated, similar results should be found. 2 types; internal (measuring tool has consistency) and external (ensuring similar results over time)
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Split half test
Psychological test contains several items, these can be split so that they are divided randomly or by odd and even numbers. If the test is reliable then people's scores on each half should be similar
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Test re-test reliability
Check whether a psychological measure is consistent from one testing to the next e.g. pps testing in June and then again in October. the two sets of data are correlated to see whether they are similar
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Inter-rater reliability
Two people conduct an observation independently using same measure. if test is reliable, each should record the behaviour
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Inter-interviewer reliability
The extent to which two interviewers produced the same outcome from an interview
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Standardisation of procedures
A set of procedures that are the same for all participants so to avoid investigator bias
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Informed consent
Informing the pps about the full purpose of the study and informing them that they have the right to withdraw
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Right to withdraw
Pps should be able to withdraw from the study if they are uncomfortable with it. They should also be able to withdraw their data after a debrief has taken place
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Deception
When a pp is not told the true aims of the study and therefore cannot give fully informed consent
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Confidentiality
An ethical issue concerning the right to have personal information protected
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Protection from harm
During a research study, pps should not experience negative psychological effects such as lowered self-esteem or embarrassment
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Privacy
Refers to the zone of inaccessibility of mind and body and the trust that this will not be invaded
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Sampling methods
Method used to gather pps for research experiments
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Opportunity
Sample of pps produced by selecting people who are easily available at the time of the study
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Volunteer
Sample of pps produced by a sampling technique that relies solely on volunteers making up the sample
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Stratifies
Sampling technique whereby members of the target population are divided into subgroups and then selected for the study based on frequency that the subgroup occurs in that population. The aim is to create a representative sample
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Systematic sample
Putting all the names of the individuals in a target population on a list and using a random starting point and a fixed interval to select the sample to be used e.g. every nth person
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Mean
Measure of central tendency. Average of a group of scores calculated by dividing the sum of the scores by the number of scores
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Mode
Measure of central tendency. Most frequently occurring score in a set of data
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Median
Measure of central tendency. Middle value in a set of scores when they are placed in rank order
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Range
Measure of dispersion. Measures the difference between the highest and lowest scores
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Standard deviation
Measure of dispersion. Show the amount of variation in a set of scores. Assesses the spread of data around the mean
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Level of measurement
Type of system or scale against which a variable is being assessed e.g. measurement or categorised data
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Nominal
Data in seperate categories e.g. grouping people according to their gender
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Ordinal
Data ordered in some way e.g. asking people to put a list of movies in order of favourites
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Interval
Data measures using units of equal intervals, such as when counting correct answers. There is no true zero point
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Ratio
Measurement with no true zero point
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Qualitative
Data which expresses what people think or feel, cannot be counted or quantifies unless it is turned into categories
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Quantitative
Data that is numerical e.g. how much, how long etc. Means that behaviour is measured in terms of quantities
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Content analysis
Kind of observational study in which behaviour is observed indirectly in written or verbal material. Detailed analysis made of e.g. books, possible to count the behaviours using categories
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Observation
A method that includes the observation and description of a participant's behaviour, the researcher can exert varying amounts of control over the environment
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Participant observation
Observations made by someone who is participating in the activity being observed
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Non-participant observation
Observations made by someone who is not participating in the activity being observed
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Overt observation
Observing people with their knowledge e.g. n agreed lesson observation
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Covert observation
Observing people without their knowledge e.g. using a one way mirror
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Unstructured observation
Observer records all relevant behaviour but has no system, behaviour studied is unpredictable
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Structure observation
Researcher uses various systems to organise behaviour e.g. coding units
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Interview
Method that involves a face-to-face, real time interaction with another individual and results in the collection of data
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Structured interview
An interview in which a list of questions are decided in advance
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Unstructured interview
Interview starts out with some general aims/questions and lets the interviewee's answers guide subsequent questions
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Questionnaire
Method in which data is collected through the used of written questions, which may be open or closed
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Open questions
In an interview or questionnaire, questions that invite the respondent's to provide their own answers, tended to produce qualitative data
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Closed questions
In an interview or questionnaire, questions that provide a pre-set response e.g. yes/no
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Categories
Key behaviours or collections of behaviour, that the researcher will pay attention to and record
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Correlation
Statistical relationship between two co-variables, shows the extent to which an increase or decrease in one variable effects the measurement of the other
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Correlation co-efficient
Measures the strength of a relationship between two co-variables
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Lab experiment
Experimental method in a controlled environment in which the IV is manipulated to see the effect on the DV
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Field experiment
Experimental method that is controlled but conducted outside the lab, IV is still manipulated to see the effect on the DV
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Natural/ Quasi experiment
Not true experiments, IV is naturally occurring and so is not directly manipulated and pps are not randomly assigned to conditions - 'quasi experiment'
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Coding unit/system
Systematic method of recording observations in which behaviours are given a code so the behaviour can be recorded and quantified
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Event sampling
Observational technique in which a count of the number of times an event (behaviour) occurs
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Time sampling
Observational technique in which the observer records behaviours in a given time frame e.e. noting behaviour every 30 seconds
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Card 2

Front

Predicts that IV will effect DV but the direction of the effect is not specified

Back

Non-directional/two tailed hypothesis

Card 3

Front

Predicts the kind of difference (more or less) or relationship (positive or negative) between two groups of participants or conditions

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Assumption that there is no difference, relationship or association in the population with respect to the variable being studied

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Method used to allocate participants to different conditions. 3 types; independent groups, repeated measures, matched participants/pairs

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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