Research methods and ethics

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Aim
A statement of what a study is being carried out to find.
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Hypothesis
A testable statement of the difference between the conditions in an experiment. It describes how the independent variable will affect the dependent variable.
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Independent variable
The factor which is changed by the researcher in an experiment to make two or more conditions.
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Dependent variable
The factor which is measured in an experiment
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Experimental design
The way that participants are used in different conditions in an experiment. They may all do all conditions or different participants may do each condition.
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Independent groups design
Different participants are used in each condition in an experiment.
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Repeated measures design
The same participants are used in all the conditions in an experiment.
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Mode
An average that is the most common score or response in a set.
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Median
An average that is the middle number in a set of scores when they are put in order from smallest to largest.
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Mean
An average that is calculated by adding up all the scores in a set and dividing by the number of scores.
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Range
A way to show how spread out a set of results is by looking at the biggest and smallest scores.
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Case study
A research method studying an individual or a small group and gathering in-depth and detailed information using different means.
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Qualitative
Data involving stories or attitudes
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Quantitative
Data that involves numbers and statistics, such as percentages
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Generalisability
Refers to studies of studies and whether they can be said to be true of people other than those that were studied.
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Reliability
Refers to whether findings from a study would be found again if the study was repeated.
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Subjectivity
Where the researcher is somehow affecting the information that is gathered, perhaps by their interpretation.
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Objectivity
Where the researcher's views do not affect the information that is gathered.
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Content analysis
A research method used to measure the number of times something comes up in a book, newspaper, article, television programme, etc.
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Questionnaire
A research method using written questions.
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open (-ended) questions
Questions that ask for description and detail.
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Closed questions
Simple questions with few possible answers.
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Likert-style questions
Statements with a ranked answer scale from 'strongly agree' to 'strongly disagree'.
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Rank-style questions
Questions with points either in order that can be chosen or that can be put in order.
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Standardised instructions
Guidance for participants that is the same for everyone.
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Response bias
The patterns that participants fall into when answering a questionnaire, for example by always saying 'yes' or trying to guess the aim.
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Social desirability bias
When participants give the answers they think will be acceptable to other people to make themselves look better.
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Control group
A group that does not receive an experimental condition. This group provides a baseline against which to compare those participants who do experience a condition of the experiment.
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Extraneous variables
Any variables that might affect the results of the study that may not be controlled.
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Demand characteristics
When we change our behaviour to meet the demands of the situation.
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Informed consent
An individual's right to know what will happen in an experiment, and its aims, before agreeing to participate.
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Right to withdraw
A participant's right to leave a study at any time and their ability to do so.
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Privacy
An ethical guideline for studies that involve people as participants, which ensures that their names must not be recorded and they must not be identifiable. Privacy is linked to confidentiality.
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Confidentiality
An ethical guideline for studies that involve people as participants, which ensures that information gained must not be shared with others without permission. Confidentiality is linked to privacy.
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Competence
A psychologist's ability to conduct a study.
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Consent
Permission to take part in a study.
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Deception
Being lied to.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

A testable statement of the difference between the conditions in an experiment. It describes how the independent variable will affect the dependent variable.

Back

Hypothesis

Card 3

Front

The factor which is changed by the researcher in an experiment to make two or more conditions.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The factor which is measured in an experiment

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The way that participants are used in different conditions in an experiment. They may all do all conditions or different participants may do each condition.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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