Research Methods Key Terms

Experimental method
Involves the manipulation of an independent variable to measure the effect on the dependent variable. Experiments may be lab/field.natural/quasi
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a general statement of what the researcher intends to investigate; purpose of the study
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clear, precise, 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 or relationship
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Non directional hypothesis
does not state the relationship
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any thing that can vary or change within an investigation, variables generally used one experiments to determine if changes in one thing result in changes to another
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Independent variable IV
Some aspect of the experimental situation that is manipulated by the researcher - or changes naturally so the effect on the DV can be measured
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Dependent Variable DV
Variable that is measured by the researcher. Any effect on the DV should be caused by the change in IV
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Clearly defining variable in terms of how they can be measured
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Extraneous variable EV
Any variable other than the IV that may have an effect on the DV if its not controlled. nuisance varibales that do not vary systematically with the IV
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Confounding variabls
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. vary systematically with the iv
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Demand characteristics
any cue from the researcher or from the research situation that may be interpreted by participants as revealing the purpose of the investigation. May lead to a participant chaging their behaviour within the research situation
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Investigator effects
any effect of the investigators behaviour on the researchers outcome. may icnlude everything from the design of the study to the selection of and interaction with participants during the research process
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use of chance in order to control for the effects of bias when designing materials and deciding the order of conditions
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Using excatly the same formalised procedures and instructions for all participants in a research study
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Experimental design
diff ways in which the testing of participants can be organised
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independent groups deisgn
participants are allocated to different groups where each group represents one experimental condition
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repeated measures
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 par 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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attempt to control for the effects of order in a repeated measures design, half the participants experience the conditions in one order and the other half in the oppose order
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lab experiment
controlled environment within 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
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
change in the iV is not brought about by the researcher but would have happened even if the researcher had not been there. researcher records the effect on the DV
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study that is almost an experiment but lacks key ingredients, iv has not been determined by anyone - variables simply exist like being old or young. not an experiment
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group of people who are the focus of the researchers interest, from which a smaller sample is drawn
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group of people who take part in a research investigation. sample is drawn from a target population and is presumed ti eb represnettative of that population i.e. stands fairly for the population being studied
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sampling techniques
method used to select people from the population
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certain groups may be over or under represented within the sample selected, egg, may be too many younger people of one ethnic origin in a small which limits the extent to which generalisations can be made to the target population.
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the extent to which findings and conclusions 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
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ethical issues
these arise when a conflict exists between the rights of participants in research studies and the goals of research studies and the goal of research to produce authentic, valid and worthwhile data
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BPS Code of ethics
a quasi legal documents produced by the BPS that instructs psychologists in the UK about what behaviour is and is not acceptable when dealing with participants. 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 is conducted. aim is to check that procedures, materials, measuring scales etc. 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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convert observation
participants behaviour is watched and recorded without their knowledge and consent
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overt observation
participants is watched and recorded with their knowledge and consent
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participant observation
researcher becomes a member of the group whose behaviour he is watching and recording
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non participant observation
researcher remains outside of the group whose behaviour he is watching and recording
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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 it course
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time sampling
a target individual or group is first established the the researcher records their behaviour in a fixed time frame every 60 secs e.g.
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self report technique
method in which a person is asked to state or explain their feelings opinions behaviours or experiences related to a given topic
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set of written questions used to assess a persons thoughts and or experiences
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Live encounter where one person asks a set of questions to assess an interviewees thoughts and or expires. questions may be pre set or develop as the interview goes along
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open questions
questions where theres no fixed choice of response and repsondnats can answer in any way they wish
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closed qu
questions for which there is a fixed choice of responses detained by the questions setter yes/no
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a mathematical technique in which a researcher investigates an association between two variables, called co variables
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co variables
variances investigated within a correlation for example height and weight, not referred to as the indecent and spender variances because the correlation investigates the association between the variables instead of showing cause and effect
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positive correlation
as one co variable increases so does the other egg, number of people in a room and noise are positively correlated
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negative correlation
as one co variable increases the other decreases. for example number of people in a room and amount of personal space are negatively correlated
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zero correlation
when there s no relationship between the co variables egg, association between the umber of people in a room in manchester and daily rainfall in peru
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qualitative data
datathat is expressed in words and non numerical
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quantitative data
can be counted usually in numbers
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primary data
into that has been obtained first hand by the researcher for the purposes of a research project. data is gathered directly fro participants as part of an experiment, self report or observation
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secondary data
info that has already been collected by someone else and so pre dates the curren research project. in psychology such data might include the work of other psychologists or gov statistics
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meta analysis
research about research, combining results from a number of studies in a particular topic to provide an overall view, quantitative analysis of the results producing an effect size
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descriptive statistics
use of graphs, tables and summary statistics to identify trends and analyse sets of data
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measures of central tendency
general term for any measure of the average value in a set of data
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a type of graph that repressors the strength and direction of a relationship between co variables in a correlation analysis
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bar chart
a type off graph in which the frequency of each variable us reoriented by the height of the bars
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statistical testing
provides a way of determining whether hypotheses should be accepted or rejected. tell ys whether differences or relationships between variables are statistically significant or have occurred by chance
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sign test
used to analyse the difference in scores between related items e.g. the same participant tested twice, data should be nominal or better
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peer review
assessment of scientific work by others who are specialists in the same field to ensure that any research intended for publication is of high quality
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the state iof a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services
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a general statement of what the researcher intends to investigate; purpose of the study



Card 3


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


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Card 4


states the direction of the difference or relationship


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Card 5


does not state the relationship


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