# Research Methods

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- Created by: JasmineRender
- Created on: 24-04-15 11:56

Independent Variable

The variable manipulated by the experimenter that is presumed to have a direct effect on the dependent variable.

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Dependent Variable

In an experiment, the variable that is assumed to be directly affected by changes in the independent variable.

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Extraneous Variable

Anything that can affect the dependent variable that is not the independent variable (e.g. instructions aren't clear enough, participants are really tired etc.).

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Laboratory Experiment

The researcher works in a carefully controlled environment, setting up different situations to see if they make people react in different ways.

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Field Experiment

The researcher studies people in their normal environment, setting up different situations to see if they make people react in different ways.

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Natural Experiment

The researcher studies pre-existing groups of people to see whether they react to situations in different ways depending on their group characteristics.

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Target Population

A group of people who share a given set of characteristics about which a researcher wishes to draw conclusions.

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Random Sampling

Every person or item in a given target population has an equal chance of being selected for inclusion.

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Opportunity Sampling

A researcher selects anyone who is available to take part in a study from a given population, such as staff or students within a particular college.

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Volunteer Sampling

Participants select themselves to take part in a study, often by replying to an advertisement.

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Investigator Effects

Anything the researcher does that increases extraneous variables.

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Demand Characteristics

This is when the participant has worked out the aim of the experiment and changes their behaviour accordingly.

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External Validity

The extent to which the results of a study can be generalised or extended to others and other situations.

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Internal Validity

This occurs when a researcher controls all extraneous variables and the only variable influencing the results of a study is the independent variable.

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Population Validity

Can what happens with the selected sample in the investigation be generalised to other populations?

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Ecological Validity

Can what happens in the environment of the investigation be generalised to other environments.

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Pilot Study

A small scale trial study that is carried out before the main study begins.

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Hypothesis

A precise statement that the researcher makes before the study begins, predicting the outcome of the study.

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Directional Hypothesis

States which group will score higher or lower (e.g. X will by higher than Y).

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Non-directional Hypothesis

Only predicts a difference between the conditions, but will not say which group will score higher or lower (e.g. There will be a difference between X and Y).

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Independent Groups Design

Different groups of participants are used for each condition of the experiment.

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Repeated Measures Design

The same group of participants are used for all the conditions of the experiment.

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Matched Pairs Design

Different participants are used for each part of the experiment, but they are matched for relevant characteristics.

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Random Allocation

A strategy for randomly determining the order of presentation of experimental conditions by, for example, drawing lots or tossing a coin.

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Counterbalancing

Counterbalancing involves equal numbers of participants undertaking required tasks in different orders. It will show whether the order effects the outcome of the experiment.

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Mean

Calculated by adding all the scores in a data set together and dividing by the number of scores.

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Median

This is calculated by putting all the scored in a data set in order, and identifying the score in the middle. In an even data set, the two middle scores are added together and divided by 2.

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Mode

This is the most commonly occurring score. In some data sets, there may be more than one mode.

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Standard Deviation

This gives us the average distance of each score from the mean, therefore, it tells us something about how representative the mean is as a typical score.

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A High Standard Deviation

This would indicate that the mean is not so representative as a typical score. This is because a high score indicates a high average distance between each score and the mean.

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A Low Standard Deviation

This would indicate that the mean is more representative as a typical score. This is because a low score indicates a low average distance between each score and the mean.

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Range

This is calculated by subtracting the lowest score from the highest score. The higher the range, the less representative the median is.

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Open Question

A question where a researcher does not restrict the range of available answers.

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Closed Question

A question where the researcher determines the range of possible answers (e.g. tick boxes).

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Structured Interview

An interview with questions that are decided in advance in order to structure and categorise the interviewees response.

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Semi-structured Interview

An interview with some prepared questions by the interviewer and additional questions that provide opportunities for the interviewee to expand their answers.

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Correlation Co-efficient

The strength of a correlation is expressed by the correlation coefficient. It is always a figure between +1 and -1 where +1 represents a positive and correlation and -1 a negative. The closer it is to 0, the weaker the correlation.

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## Other cards in this set

### Card 2

#### Front

In an experiment, the variable that is assumed to be directly affected by changes in the independent variable.

#### Back

Dependent Variable

### Card 3

#### Front

Anything that can affect the dependent variable that is not the independent variable (e.g. instructions aren't clear enough, participants are really tired etc.).

#### Back

### Card 4

#### Front

The researcher works in a carefully controlled environment, setting up different situations to see if they make people react in different ways.

#### Back

### Card 5

#### Front

The researcher studies people in their normal environment, setting up different situations to see if they make people react in different ways.

#### Back

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