# Research Methods Flashcards

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- Created by: Haider_A
- Created on: 28-04-18 13:02

Aims

A statement of what the researchers intend to find out in a research method

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Debriefing

Post-research interview to inform participants of the true nature of the study and to restore them to their original state. May be used to gain useful feedback about the procedures in the study. It's a way of dealing with ethical issues.

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Ethical Issues

Concerns questions of right and wrong. They arise in research where there are conflicting sets of values between researchers and participants concerning the goals, procedures or outcomes of a research study

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Experiment

A research method where casual conclusions can be dawn because an IV has been directly manipulated to observe the casual effect on the DV

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Extraneous Variables

Do not vary systematically with the IV and therefore do not act as an alternative IV but may have an effect on the DV. They are nuisance variables that muddy the waters and make it difficult to detect a significant effect.

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Hypothesis

A precise and testable statement about the assumed relationship between variables. Operationalisation is a key part of making the statement testable

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Independent Variable (IV)

Some event that is directly manipulated by an experimenter to test its effect on another variable- the dependent variable (DV)

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Operationalise

Ensuring that variables are in a form that can be easily tested. A concept such as "educational attainment" needs to be specified more clearly if we are going to test it. E.G., it might be operationalised as "GCSE grade in Maths"

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Informed Consent

Participants must be given comprehensive information concerning the nature and purpose of the research and their role in it, so that they can make an informed decision about whether to participate

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Standardised Procedures

A set of procedures that are the same for all participants in order to be able to repeat the study. This includes standardised instructions- the instructions given to participants to tell them how to perform a task

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Confounding Variables

A variable that is not the IV but which varies systematically with the IV. Changes in the DV may be due to confounding variable rather than the IV and therefore the outcome is meaningless. To "confound" means to confuse

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Control

Refers to the extent to which any variable is held constant or regulated by a researcher

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External Validity

The degree to which a research finding can be generalised to other settings (ecological validity), to other groups of people (population validity) and over time (historical validity)

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Internal Validity

The degree to which an observed effect was due to the experimental manipulation rather than other factors such as confounding/extraneous variables

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Mundane Realism

How a study mirrors the real world. The research environment is realistic to the degree to which experiences encountered in the research environment will occur in the real world

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Validity

Refers to whether an observed effect is a genuine one

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Confederate

An individual in a study who is not a real participant and has been instructed how to behave by the investigator

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Directional Hypothesis

States the direction of the predicted different between two conditions or two groups of participants

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Non-Directional Hypothesis

Predicts simply that there is a difference between two conditions or two groups of participants, without stating the direction of the difference

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Pilot Study

A small-scale trial run of a study to test any aspects of the design, with view to making improvements

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Counterbalancing

An experimental technique used to overcome order effects when using a repeated measures design. Counterbalancing ensures that each condition is tested first or second in equal amounts

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Experimental Design

A set of procedures used to control the influence of factors such as participant variables in an experiment

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Independent Groups Design

Participants are allocated to two or more groups representing different levels of the IV. Allocation is usually done using random techniques

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Matched-Pairs Design

Pairs of participants are matched in terms of key variables such as age and IQ. One member of each pair is allocated to one of the conditions under the rest and the second person is allocated to the other condition

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Order Effect

In a repeated measures design, an extraneous variable arising from the order in which conditions are presented, e.g., a practice effect or fatigue effect

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Random Allocation

Allocating participants to experimental groups or conditions using random techniques

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Repeated-Measures Design

Each participant takes part in every condition under test, i.e. each level of the IV

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Field Experiment

A controlled experiment conducted outside a lab. The IV is manipulated by the experimenter, so casual relationships can be demonstrated. Field experiments tend to have a lower internal validity (harder to control confounding/extraneous variables) and

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Field Experiment (2)

...higher external validity (greater mundane realism). Participants are usually unaware that they are participating in an experiment thus their behaviour may be more natural as they are less likely to respond to cues from the experimenter

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Laboratory Experiment

An experiment carried out in a controlled setting. Lab experiments tend to have a high internal validity because good control over all variables is possible. They tend to have a lower ecological validity because participants are aware they are being

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Laboratory Experiment (2)

...studied and also the tasks involved tend to be more articifical

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Natural Experiment

A research method in which the experimenter has not manipulated the IV directly. The IV would wary whether or not the researcher was interested. The researcher records the effect of the IV on the DV- this DV may be measured in a lab. An experiment

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Natural Experiment (2)

... involves the deliberate manipulation of the IV and random allocation to conditions by the experimenter- neither of which apply to a natural experiment and therefore casual conclusions can only tentatively be drawn

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Quasi-Experiments

Studies that are "almost" experiment.s The IV doesn't vary at all- it is a condition that exists. The researcher records the effect of this "quasi-IV" on a DV. As with a natural experiment, the lack of manipulation of the IV and lack of random

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Quasi-Experiments (2)

...allocation means that casual conclusions can only tentatively be drawn

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Demand Characteristics

A cue that makes participants unconsciously aware of the aims of a study or helps participant work out what the researcher expects to find

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Investigator Effect/Investigator Bias/Experimenter Bias

Anything that an investigator does that has an effect on a participant's performance in a study other than what was intended. This includes direct effects (as a consequence of the investigator interacting with the participant) and indirect effects

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Investigator Effect/Investigator Bias/Experimenter Bias (2)

...(as a consequence of the investigator designing the study). Investigator effects may act as a confounding/extraneous variable.

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Bias

A systematic distortion

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Generalisation

Applying the findings of a particular study to the population

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Opportunity Sample

A sample of participants produced by selecting people who are most easily available at the time of the study

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Population

The group of people that the researcher is interested in. The group of people from whom a sample is drawn. The group of people about whom generalisations can be made

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Random Sample

A sample of participants produced by a random technique, such that every member of the target population being tested has an equal chance of being selected.

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Sampling

The method used to select participants, such as random, opportunity and volunteer sampling, or to sample behaviours in an observation such as event or time sampling

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Stratified Sampling

A sample of participants produced by identifying subgroups according to their frequency in the population. Participants are then randomly selected from the subgroups

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Systematic Sampling

A sample obtained by selecting every nth person (where n is a number). This can be a random sample if the first person is selected using a random method; you then select every nth person after that

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Volunteer Bias

A form of sampling bias (distortion) because volunteer participants have special characteristics, such as usually being more highly motivated that randomly selected participants

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Volunteer Sample/Self-Selected Sample

A sample of participants that relies solely on volunteers to make up the sample.

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Confidentiality (Ethical Issues)

Concerns the communication of personal information from one person to another, and the trust that the information will be proteccted

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Deception (Ethical Issues)

A participant is not told the true aims of a study and this cannot give truly informed consent

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Informed Consent (Ethical Issues)

Participants must be given comprehensive information concerning the nature and purpose of the research and their role in it, so that they can make an informed decision about whether to participate

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Privacy (Ethical Issues)

A person's right to control the flow of information about themselves

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Protection from Harm (Ethical Issues)

During a research study, participants should not experience any negative physical or psychological effects, such as physical injury, lowered self-esteem or embarassment

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Right to Withdraw (Ethical Issues)

Participants can stop participating in a study if they are uncomfortable in any way. This is especially important in cases where it was not possible to give fully informed consent. Participants should also have the right to refuse permission for the

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Right to Withdraw (Ethical Issues) (2)

... researcher to use any data they produced

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Cost-Benefit Analysis (Dealing with Ethical Issues)

A systematic approach to estimating the negatives and positives of any research

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Debriefing (Dealing with Ethical Issues)

Post-research interview to inform participants of the true nature of the study and to restore them to their original state. May be used to gain useful feedback about the procedures in the study. It's a way of dealing with ethical issues.

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Ethical Guidelines (Code of Conduct) (Dealing with Ethical Issues)

A set of principles designed to help professionals behave honestly and with integrity

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Ethics Committee (Dealing with Ethical Issues)

A group of people within a research institution that must approve a study before it begins

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Presumptive Consent (Dealing with Ethical Issues)

A method of dealing with lack of informed consent or deception, by asking a group of people who are similar to the participants, whether they would agree to take part in a study. If this group of people consents to the procedures in the proposed

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Presumptive Consent (Dealing with Ethical Issues)

...study, it is PRESUMED that the real participants would also have agreed

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Controlled Observation

A form of investigation in which behaviour is observed but under conditions where certain variables have been organised by the researcher

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Covert Observations

Observing people without their knowledge. Knowing that behaviour is being observed is likely to alter a participant's behaviour

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Overt Observations

Observational studies where participants are aware that their behaviour is being studies

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Inter-Observer Reliability

The extent to which there is agreement between two or more observers involved in observations of a behaviour

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Naturalistic Observation

An observation carried out in an everyday setting, in which the investigator does not interfere in any way but merely observes the behaviour(s) in question

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Non-Participant Observation

The observer is separate from the people being observed

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Participant Observation

Observations made by someone who is also participating in the activity being observed, which may affect their objectivity

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Observer Bias

Observer's expectations affect what they see/hear. This reduces the validity of the observations

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Behavioural Categories (Observational Design)

Dividing a target behaviour (such as stress or aggression) into a subset of specific and operationalised behaviours

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Event Sampling (Observational Design)

An observational technique in which a count is kept of the number of times a certain behaviour (event) occurs

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Time Sampling (Observational Design)

An observational technique in which the observer records behaviours in a given time frame, e.g. noting what a target individual is doing every 15 seconds. The observer may select one or more behavioural categories to tick at this time interval

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Sampling (Observational Design)

The method used to select participants, such as random, opportunity and volunteer sampling, or to sample behaviours in an observation such as event or time sampling

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Structured Observation (Observational Design)

A researcher uses various systems to organise observations, such as behavioural categories and sampling procedures

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Interview (Self-Report Techniques)

A research method or technique that involves a face to face, "real time" interaction with another individual and results in the collection of data

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Interviewer Bias (Self-Report Techniques)

The effect of an interviewer's expectations, communicated unconsciously, on a respondent's behaviour

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Questionnaire (Self-Report Techniques)

Data collected through the use of written questions

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Social Desirability Bias (Self-Report Techniques)

A distortion in the way people answer questions- they tend to answer questions in such a way that presents themselves in a better light

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Structured Interview (Self-Report Techniques)

Any interview in which the questions are decided in advance

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Unstructured Interview (Self-Report Techniques)

The interview starts out with some general aims and possibly some questions and lets the interviewee's answers guide subsequent questions

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Closed Questions (Self-Report Design)

Questions that have a predetermined range of answers from which respondents select one. Tends to produce quantitative behaviour

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Open Questions (Self-Report Design)

Questions that invite respondents to provide their own answers rather than select one of those provided. Tend to produce qualitative behaviour

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Qualitative Behaviour (Self-Report Design)

Non-numerical behaviour

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Quantitative Behaviour (Self-Report Design)

Data in numbers

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Co-variable

The two measured variables in a correlational analysis. This variables must be continuous

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Continuous Variable

A variable that can take on any value within a certain range. Liking football (on a scale of 1 to 10) is continuous, whereas the football team a person supports isn't. The latter could be arranged in any order

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Correlation

Determining the extent of an association between two variables; co-variables may not be linked at all (zero correlation), they may increase together (positive correlation), or as one co-variable increases, the other decreases (negative correlation)

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Correlation Coefficient

A number between -1 and +1 that tells us how closely the co-variables in a correlational analysis are associated

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Curvilinear Correlation

A non-linear relationship between co-variables

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Intervening Variable

A variable that comes between two other variables, which is used to explain the association between those two variables. E.G., if a positive correlation is found between ice cream sales and violence, this may be explained by an intervening variable-

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Intervening Variable (2)

... heat- which causes the increase in ice cream sales and the increase in violnce

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Linear Correlation

A systematic relationship between co-variables that is defined by a straight line

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Scattergram

A graphical representation of the association (i.e. the correlation) between two sets of scores

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Significance

A statistical term indicating that the research findings are sufficiently strong for us to accept the research hypothesis under test

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Case Study

A research investigation that involves a detailed study of a single individual, institution or event. Case studies provide a rich record of human experience but are hard to generalise from

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Content Analysis

A kind of observational study in which behaviour is observed indirectly in written or verbal material, such as interviews, conversations, books, diaries or TV programmes

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Effect Size

A measure of strength of the relationship between two variables

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Meta-Analysis

A researcher looks at the findings from a number of different studies and produces a statistic to represent the overall effect

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Review

A consideration of a number of studies that have investigated the same topic in order to reach a general conclusion about a particular hypothesisF

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Fraction, Percentage, Ratio (Mathematical Skills)

Methods of expressing parts of a whole

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Order of Magnitude (Mathematical Skills)

A means of expressing a number by focusing on the overall size (magnitude). This is done by expressing the number in terms of powers of 10

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Significant Figure (Mathematical Skills)

Refers to the number of important single digits used to represent a number. The digits are "important" because if removed, the number would be quite different in magnitude

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Standard Form (Mathematical Skills)

A means of expressing very large or very small numbers, a number between 1 and 10 multiplied by 10 (to the power of a number)

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= and ~ (Mathematical Skills)

Equal and approximately equal

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< and

Less than and much less than

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> and >> (Mathematical Skills)

More than and much more than

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≤ (Mathematical Skills)

Less than or equal to

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∝ (Mathematical Skills)

Proportional to

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Mean (Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion)

The arithmetic average of a data set. Takes the exact values of all the data into account

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Measures of Central Tendency

A descriptive statistic that provides information about a "typical" value for a data set

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Measure of Dispersion

A descriptive statistic that provides information about how spread out a set of data are

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Median (Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion)

The middle value of a data set when the items are placed in rank order

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Mode (Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion)

The most frequently occurring value or item in a data set

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Range (Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion)

The difference between the highest and lowest item in a data set. Usually 1 is added as a correction

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Standard Deviation (Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion)

Shows the amount of variation in a data set. It assesses the spread of data around the mean.

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Bar Chart (Display of Quantitative Data and Data Distributions)

A graph used to represent the frequency of data; the categories on the x-axis have no fixed order and there is no true zero

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Histogram (Display of Quantitative Data and Data Distributions)

Type of frequency distribution in which the number of scores in each category of continuous data are represented by vertical columns. There is a true zero and no spaces between the bars

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Negative Skewed Distribution (Display of Quantitative Data and Data Distributions)

Most of the scores are bunched towards the right. The mode is to the right of the mean because the mean is affected by the extreme scores tailing off to the left

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Positive Skewed Distribution (Display of Quantitative Data and Data Distributions)

Most of the scores are bunched towards the left. The mode is to the left of the mean because the mean is affected by the extreme scores tailing off to the right

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Normal Distribution (Display of Quantitative Data and Data Distributions)

A symmetrical bell-shaped frequency distribution. This distribution occurs when certain variables are measured, such as IQ or the life of a light bulb. Such "events" are distributed in a way that most of the scores are clustered close to the

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Normal Distribution (2)

...mid-point; the mean, median and mode are at the mid-point

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Skewed Distribution (Display of Quantitative Data and Data Distributions)

A distribution is skewed if one tail is longer than another, signifying that there are a number of extreme values to one side or the other of the mid-score

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Primary Data (Types of Data)

Information observed or collected directly from first-hand experience

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Secondary Data (Types of Data)

Information used in a research study that was collected by someone else or for a purpose other than the current one. E.G., published data or data collected in the past

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Qualitative Behaviour (Types of Data)

Information in words that cannot be counted or quantified. Qualitative data can be turned into quantitative data by placing them in categories and counting frequency

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Quantitative Behaviour (Types of Data)

Information that represents how much or how long or how many etc. there are of something, i.e. a behaviour is measured in numbers or quantities.

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Calculated Value (The Sign Test)

The value of a test statistic calculated for a particular data set

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Critical Value (The Sign Test)

In an inferential test, the value of the test statistic that must be reached to show significance

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One-Tailed Test

Form of test used with a directional hypothesis

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Two-Tailed Test

Form of test used with a non-directional hypothesis

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Probability (P)

A numerical measure of the likelihood or chance that certain events will occur

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Sign Test

A statistical (inferential) test to determine the significance if a sample of related items of data

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Significance

A statistical term indicating that the research findings are sufficiently strong for us to accept the research hypothesis under test

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Table of Critical Values

A table that contains the numbers used to judge significance. The calculated value of the test statistic is compared with the number in the table to see if the calculated value is significant

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Test Statistic

A statistical test is used to calculate a numerical value. For each test, this value has a specific name, such as an "S" for the sign test

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Peer Review (The Scientific Process and Peer Review)

The practice of using independent experts to assess the quality and validity of scientific research and academic reports

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## Other cards in this set

### Card 2

#### Front

Post-research interview to inform participants of the true nature of the study and to restore them to their original state. May be used to gain useful feedback about the procedures in the study. It's a way of dealing with ethical issues.

#### Back

Debriefing

### Card 3

#### Front

Concerns questions of right and wrong. They arise in research where there are conflicting sets of values between researchers and participants concerning the goals, procedures or outcomes of a research study

#### Back

### Card 4

#### Front

A research method where casual conclusions can be dawn because an IV has been directly manipulated to observe the casual effect on the DV

#### Back

### Card 5

#### Front

Do not vary systematically with the IV and therefore do not act as an alternative IV but may have an effect on the DV. They are nuisance variables that muddy the waters and make it difficult to detect a significant effect.

#### Back

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