# Research Methods Glossary

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- Created by: Meg Gallier
- Created on: 09-11-15 14:26

ACQUIESCENCE

Answering 'yes' or 'strongly agree' to every item in a survey or interview. Also called yea-saying.

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ALPHA LEVEL

The value, determined in advance, at which researchers decide where the p value obtained from a sample statistic is low enough to reject the null hypothesis or too high, and thus retain the null hypothesis.

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APPLIED RESEARCH

Research whose goal is to find a solution to a particular real-world problem.

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ASSOCIATION CLAIM

A claim in which two variables, in which the value (level) of one variable is said to vary systematically with the value of another variable.

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ATTRITION THREAT

In a repeated-measures design or quasi-experiment, a threat to internal validity that occurs when a systematic type of participant drops out of a study before it ends.

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AUTOCORRELATION

In a longitudinal design, the correlation of one variable with itself, measured at two different times.

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AVAILABILITY HEUTISTIC

The tendency to rely predominantly on evidence that easily comes to mind rather than use all possible evidence in evaluating a conclusion.

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BASIC RESEARCH

Research whose goal is to enhance the general body of knowledge, without regard for direct application to practical problems.

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BIAS BLIND SPOT

The tendency for people to think that compared to others, they are less likely to engage in biased reasoning.

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BIASED SAMPLE

A sample in which some members of the population of interest are systematically left out, and as a consequence, the results from the sample cannot generalize to the population of interest.

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BIMODAL

Having two modes, or most common score.

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BIVARIATE CORRELATION

An association that involves exactly two variables.

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CARRYOVER EFFECT

A type of order effect, in which some form of contamination carries over from one condition to the next.

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CATEGORICAL VARIABLE

A variable whose levels are categories (e.g. male/female).

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CASUAL CLAIM

A claim arguing that a specific change in one variable is responsible for influencing the value of another variable.

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CEILING EFFECT

An experimental design problem in which independent variable groups score almost the same on a dependent variable, such that all scores fall at the high end of their possible distribution.

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CELL

A condition in an experiment; in a simple experiment, it can represent the level of one independent variable; in a factorial design it represents one of the possible combinations of two independent variables.

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CENSUS

A set of observations that contains all members of the population of interest.

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CENTRAL TENDANCY

A value that the individual scores in a data set tend to center on.

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CLAIM

The argument a journalist, researcher, or scientist is trying to make.

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CLUSTER SAMPLING

A probability sampling technique in which clusters on participants within the population of interest are selected at random, followed by data collection from all individuals in each cluster.

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COHEN'S D

A measure of effect size indicating how far apart two group means are, in standard deviation units.

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COMPARISON GROUP

A group in an experiment whose level on the independent variable differs from those of the treatment group in some intended and meaningful way.

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CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION

A researches definition of a variable at the theoretical level.

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CONCEPTUAL REPLICATION

A replication study in which researchers examine the same research questions (the same conceptual variables) but use different procedures for operationalizing the variables.

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CONCEPTUAL VARIABLE

A variable of interest, stated at an abstract, or conventional, level.

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CONCURRENT-MEASURES DESIGN

An experiment using a within-groups design in which participants are exposed to all the levels of an independent variable at roughly the same time, and a single attitudinal of behavioral preference is the dependent variable.

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CONDITION

One of the levels of the independent variable in an experiment.

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CONFEDERATE

An actor who is directed by the researcher to play a specific role in a research study.

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CONFIRMATORY HYPOTHESIS TESTING

The tendency yo ask only the questions that will lead to the expected answer.

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CONFOUND

A general term for a potential alternative explanation for a research finding (a threat to internal validity).

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CONSTANT

An attribute that could potentially vary but has only one level in a study.

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CONSTRUCT

A variable of interest, stated at an abstract level, usually defined as part of a formal statement of a psychological theory.

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CONSTRUCT VALIDITY

An indication of how well a variable was measured or manipulated in a study.

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CONTENT VALIDITY

The extent to which a measure captures all parts of the defined construct.

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CONTROL FOR

Holding a potential third variable at a constant level while investigating the association between two other variables.

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CONTROL GROUP

A level of an independent variable that is intended to represent 'no treatment' or a neutral condition.

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CONTROL VARIABLE

A potential variable that an experimenter holds constant on purpose.

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CONVENIENCE SAMPLING

Choosing a sample based on those who are easiest to access and readily available; a biased sampling technique.

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CONVERGENT VALDITY

An empirical test for the extent to which a measure is associated with other measures of a theoretically similar construct.

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CORRELATE

To occur or vary together (covary) systematically, as in the case of two variables.

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CORRELATION STUDY

A study that includes two or more variables, in which all of the variables are measured; can support an association claim.

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CORRELATION COEFFICIENT

A single number, ranging from -1.0 to 1.0, that indicates the strength and direction of an association between two variables.

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COUNTERBALANCING

In a repeated measures experiment, presenting the levels of independent variable to participants in different sequences to control for order effects.

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COVARIANCE

One of three criteria for establishing a casual claim, which states that the proposed casual variable must vary systematically with changes in the proposed outcome variable.

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CRITERION VALIDITY

An empirical form of measurement validity that establishes the extent to which a measure is correlated with a behavior or concrete outcome it should be related to.

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CRITERION VARIABLE

The variable in a multiple-regression analysis that the researchers are most interested in understanding or predicting.

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CRITICAL VALUE

A value of a statistic that is associated with a desired alpha level.

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CRONBACH'S ALPHA

A correlation-based statistic that measures a scale's internal reliability.

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CROSS-LAG CORRELATION

In a longitudinal design, a correlation between an earlier measure of one variable and a later measure of another variable.

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CROSS SECTIONAL CORRELATION

In a longitudinal design, a correlation between two variables that are measured at the same time.

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CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY

A subdiscipline of psychology concerned with how cultural settings shape a person's thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and how these in turn shape cultural settings.

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CURVILINEAR ASSOCIATION

An association between two variables which is not a straight line; instead, as one variable increases the level of the other variable increases and then decreases (or vice versa). Also called curvilinear correlation.

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DATA

A set of observations representing the value of some variable, collected form one or more research studies.

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DATA FABRICATION

A form of reserach misconduct in which a researcher invents data that fit the hypothesis.

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DATA FALSIFICATION

A form of research misconduct in which a researcher influences a study's results, perhaps by deleting observations from a data set or by influencing participants to act in the hypothesized way.

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DATA MATRIX

A grid presenting collected data.

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DEBREIF

To inform participants afterward about a study's rue nature, details and hypotheses.

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DECEPTION

The withholding of some details of a study from participants (deception through omission) or the act of actively lying to them (deception through commission).

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DEMAND CHARACTERISTICS

A threat to internal validity that occurs when some cue leads participants to guess a study's hypotheses or goals. Also called experimental demand.

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DEPENDENT VAIRABLE

In an experiment, the variable that is measured. in a multiple-regression analysis, the single outcome, or criterion value, the researchers are most interested in understanding or predicting. Also called outcome variable.

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DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS

A set of statistics used to organize and summerize the properties of a set of data.

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DESIGN CONFOUND

A threat to internal validity in an experiment in which a second variable happens to vary systematically along with the independent variable and therefore is an alternative explanation for the results.

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DIRECTIONALITY PROBLEM

A situation in which it is unclear which variable in an association came first.

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DIRECT REPLICATION

A replication study in which reserachers repeat the original study as closely as possible to see whether the original effect shows up in the newly collected data. Also called exact replication.

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DISCRIMINANT VALIDITY

An empirical test of the extent to which a measure does not associate strongly with measures of other, theoretically different constructs.

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DOUBLE-BARRELED QUESTION

A type of question in a survey or poll that is problematic because it asks two questions in one, thereby weakening its construct validity.

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DOUBLE-BLIND PLACEBO CONTROL STUDY

A study that uses a treatment group and a placebo group and in which neither the research staff nor the participants know who is in which group.

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DOUBLE-BLIND STUDY

A study in which neither the participants nor the researchers who evaluate them know who is in the treatment group and who is in the comparison group.

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ECOLOGICAL VALIDITY

The extent to which the tasks and manipulations of a study are similar to real-world contexts. Also called mundane realism.

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EFFECT SIZE

The magnitude of a relationship between two or more variables

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## Other cards in this set

### Card 2

#### Front

The value, determined in advance, at which researchers decide where the p value obtained from a sample statistic is low enough to reject the null hypothesis or too high, and thus retain the null hypothesis.

#### Back

ALPHA LEVEL

### Card 3

#### Front

Research whose goal is to find a solution to a particular real-world problem.

#### Back

### Card 4

#### Front

A claim in which two variables, in which the value (level) of one variable is said to vary systematically with the value of another variable.

#### Back

### Card 5

#### Front

In a repeated-measures design or quasi-experiment, a threat to internal validity that occurs when a systematic type of participant drops out of a study before it ends.

#### Back

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