Psychology: Unit 1 - Research Methods

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Hypothesis
A testable statement about the relationship between two variables. In an experiment these variables are called the independent variable (IV) and the dependent variable (DV).
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Variable
A factor or thing that can change - it varies.
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Independent Variable (IV)
The variable that the researcher alters or manipulates to look for an effect on another variable. This variable produces the two conditions of the study.
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Dependent Variable (DV)
The variable that the researcher measures to see if the IV has affected it.
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Experiment
The method of research in which all variables other than the independent variable (IV) and dependent variable (DV) are controlled. This allows the researcher to identify a cause-and-effect relationship between the IV and DV.
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Condition
An experiment is usually organised so there are two trials, after which the performances of the participants are compared. These are the conditions of the experiment.
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Participant
A person who is selecteed to take part in a study.
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Order Effects
This occurs when a participant's performance in the second condition of an experiment is affected because they have already done the first condition. They may do better because of practise or worse because of tiredness. (Repeated Measures)
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Participant Variables
The differences between the people who take part in the study. These may affect the results of an experiment that uses an independent groups design.
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Standardised Procedures
A set order of carrying out a study that is applied to all participants when necessary.
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Random Allocation
A procedure for putting participants into conditions by chance.
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Counterbalancing
A procedure for evening out the order in which participants complete both conditions of an experiment.
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Extraneous Variable (EV)
A variable that is not the IV but might affect the DV if it is not controlled.
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Control
Making sure procedures are the same when necessary. Not controlling procedures leads to the possibility of extraneous variables ocurring and confounding the results.
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Instructions
The written (or verbal) information given to participants during the experiment.
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Randomisation
Using chance to produce an order for a procedure.
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Ecological Validity
The results of the investigation can be said to apply to real-life behaviour. They are an accurate account of behaviour in the real world.
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Objectivity
Not affected by personal biases.
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Sample
The small group of people who represent the target population and who are studied.
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Target Population
The large group of people the researcher wishes to study.
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Representative
The sample of participants is made up of people who have the same characteristics and abilities as the target population.
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Generalised
The results from the sample can be said to apply to the target population.
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Random Sample
Every member of the target population has an equal chance of being selected for the sample.
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Opportunity Sample
People who are members of the target population and are available and willing to take part.
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Systematic Sample
Every 'nth' member of the target population is selected for the sample.
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Stratified Sample
To obtain this type of sample, the different subgroups in the target population are identified; then people are randomly selected from these subgroups in proportion to their numbers in the target population.
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Raw Data
The scores collected in a study that have not been analysed or summarised.
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Mean
A statistic calculated by adding all the scores in a set of values and dividing the total by the number of values in the set.
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Mode
The most frequently occuring value in a set of values.
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Median
The middle value in a set of values when the values have been arranged in ascending order.
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Range
The difference between the lowest and highest value in a set of values.
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Anomalous Result
An extremely high or low result that does not match the other results in a set of scores.
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Percentage
A proportion expressed as a fraction of 100.
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Ethical Issues
Points of concern about what is morally right.
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British Psychological Society (BPS) Guidelines
The ethical guidelines produced by the British Psychological Society in its 'Code of Ethics and Conduct' (2006) that govern the work of all practising and research psychologists and also of psychology students in the UK.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

A factor or thing that can change - it varies.

Back

Variable

Card 3

Front

The variable that the researcher alters or manipulates to look for an effect on another variable. This variable produces the two conditions of the study.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The variable that the researcher measures to see if the IV has affected it.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The method of research in which all variables other than the independent variable (IV) and dependent variable (DV) are controlled. This allows the researcher to identify a cause-and-effect relationship between the IV and DV.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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Leah Eccleston

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