Research Methods Glossary

Alternative Hypothesis
A testable statement about the relationship between two variables.
1 of 69
A systematic distortion
2 of 69
The extent to which something occurs randomly i.e. in the absence of a discoverable cause.
3 of 69
Chi-square test
An inferential test of association or difference for unrelated nominal data.
4 of 69
Closed question
Questions that have a range of answers from which respondents select one.
5 of 69
Concurrent validity
A means of establishing validity by comparing an existing test/questionnaire with one you are interested in.
6 of 69
Construct validity
A means of assessing the validity or trueness of a psychological test by showing the extent to which performance on the test measures an identified underlying construct.
7 of 69
Controlled observation
A form of investigation in which behaviour is observed but under controlled conditions.
8 of 69
Correlational analysis
Determining the extent of a relationship between two variables.
9 of 69
An experimental techniques used to overcome order effects. Counterbalancing ensures that each .condition is tested first or second in equal amounts
10 of 69
Critical value
The value that a test statistic must reach in order for the null hypothesis to be rejected.
11 of 69
A post-research interview to inform the P's of the true nature of the study, to restore them to the state they were in at the start of the study.
12 of 69
Deductive Reasoning
A form of reasoning from the general to the particular e.g. developing a hypothesis from a theory.
13 of 69
Descriptive statistics
Methods of summarising a date set such as measures of central tendency and dispersion and the use of graphs.
14 of 69
Double blind
Neither the P nor the experimenter is aware of the research aims and other important details of a study.
15 of 69
Ethical committee
A group of people within a research institution that must approve a study before it begins.
16 of 69
Ethical guidelines
Concrete quasi-legal documents that help to guide conduct within psychology by establishing principles for standard practice and competence.
17 of 69
Event sampling
An observational technique in which a count is kept of the number of times a certain behaviour (event) occurs.
18 of 69
Experimental condition/group
The condition or group which contains the independent variable.
19 of 69
Experimental design
A set of procedures used to control the influence of factors such as participant variables in an experiment.
20 of 69
Experimental realism
The extent to which Ps become involved in an experiment and are less influenced by cues about how to behave
21 of 69
Experimenter bias
The effect that the experimenter's expectations have on the Ps and thus on the results of the experiment.
22 of 69
Experimenter effects
Anything the experimenter does which has an effect on a Ps performance in a study, other than what was expected.
23 of 69
External reliability
A calculation of the extent to which a measure varies from another measure of the same thing over time. This can be assessed by the test-retest method.
24 of 69
External validity
The degree to which a research finding can be generalised to other setting, other groups of people and over time.
25 of 69
Face validity
A way of establishing validity - it concerns the extent to which a test/questionnaire looks as if it is measuring what it intents to measure.
26 of 69
Hawthorne effect
The tendency for Ps to alter their behaviour merely as a result of knowing they are being observed.
27 of 69
Hypothetico-deductive method
Scientific inquiry in which a hypothesis is put forward in a for that can be falsified by a test. Such a test either falsifies the hypothesis, and so the theory - or supports the theory.
28 of 69
Inductive reasoning
A form of reasoning from the particular to the general e.g. developing a theory on the basis of a series of research studies.
29 of 69
Inferential statistics
Procedures for making inferences about the populations from which samples are drawn.
30 of 69
Inter-interviewer reliability
The extent to which two interviewers produce the same outcome from an interview.
31 of 69
Internal reliabilty
A measure of the extent to which something is consistent within itself. For a psychological test to have high internal reliability all test items should be measuring the same thing.
32 of 69
Internal validity
Whether a study has tested what it set out to test, the degree to which the observed effect was due to the experimental manipulation rather than other factors such as extraneous variables.
33 of 69
Inter-observer reliability
The extent to which there is agreement between two or more observers involved in observations of a behaviour.
34 of 69
Interval data
A level of measurement where units of equal intervals are used, such as when counting correct answers or using any 'public' unit of measuremen.
35 of 69
Interviewer bias
The effect of an interviewer's expectations, communicated unconsciously, on a respondent's behaviour.
36 of 69
Laboratory experiment
Experiments carried out in a controlled setting. They tend to show high internal validity.
37 of 69
Mann Whitney U test
An inferential test of difference for independent groups design
38 of 69
Measure of central tendency
A descriptive statistic that provides information about a 'typical number' for a data set. (mean, median and mode)
39 of 69
Measure of dispersion
A descriptive statistic that provides information about how spread out a set of scores are (range, standard deviation)
40 of 69
Mundane realism
The extent to which the experimental events in a controlled setting are similar to events in the 'real' world.
41 of 69
Negative correlation
Describes a correlation where, as one co-variable increases, the other decreases.
42 of 69
Nominal data
A level of measurement where data is in separate categories.
43 of 69
Null hypothesis
An assumption that there is no relationship in the population from which a sample is taken with respect to the variables being studied.
44 of 69
Observed value
The value of test statistic calculated for a particular data set.
45 of 69
One-tailed test
A form of test used with a directional hypothesis.
46 of 69
Order effect
In a repeated measures design, this is an extraneous variable arising from the order in which conditions are presented e.g. a practice effect or fatigue effect.
47 of 69
Ordinal data
A level of measurement where data are ordered in some way.
48 of 69
A shared set of assumptions about the subject matter of a discipline and the methods appropriate to its study.
49 of 69
Participant effects
This is a general term referring to the fact that Ps react to cues in an experiment and this may affect the validity of the results.
50 of 69
Participant variables
The characteristics of Ps such as their age, gender or intelligence, which might influence the outcome of a study.
51 of 69
Peer review
The practice used by academic journals and research institutions of using experts to assess other experts
52 of 69
In research this refers to all the people about whom we want to make a statement.
53 of 69
Predictive validity
A means of assessing the validity or truth of a psychological test by correlating the results of the test with some later behaviour.
54 of 69
Presumptive consent
A method of dealing with lack of informed consent or deception, by asking people who are similar to the Ps if they would agree to take part in a study - if they agree it is persumed that the real Ps would also agree.
55 of 69
A numerical measure of the likelihood or chance that certain events will occur.
56 of 69
Protection from harm
Steps taken to ensure that, during a research study, Ps do not experience negative physical or psychological effects as a result of research.
57 of 69
Publication bias
The tendency for academic journals to publish only positive findings, or findings that agree with existing theory.
58 of 69
Studies which lack one or more features of a true experiment such as full experimenter control over the IV or random allocation of Ps to conditions. They are 'almost' experiments but cannot show casual relationships.
59 of 69
Quota sample
Groups of Ps are selected according to their frequency in the population - in each group the Ps are selected using opportunity sampling.
60 of 69
Random allocation
Allocating Ps to experimental groups or conditions using random techniques.
61 of 69
Random techniques
Any technique in which there is no systematic attempt to influence the selection or distribution of the items.
62 of 69
Ratio data
A measurement where there is a true zero point as in most measures of physical quantities.
63 of 69
If a finding from a research study is true (valid) then it should be possible to obtain the same finding if the study is repeated. This confirms the validity of the findings.
64 of 69
Representative sample
A sample selected so that it accurately stand for, or represents, the population being studied.
65 of 69
Semi-structured interview
An interview that combines both structured and unstructured interviews. The interviewer has some pre-established questions but also develops questions in response to the answers given.
66 of 69
Significance level
The level of probability at which it has been agreed to reject the null hypothesis.
67 of 69
A statistical term indicating that a set of research findings is sufficiently strong for us to accept the research hypothesis being tested.
68 of 69
Single bline
A type of research design in which the P is not aware of either the research aims or which condition of the experiment they are receiving.
69 of 69

Other cards in this set

Card 2


A systematic distortion



Card 3


The extent to which something occurs randomly i.e. in the absence of a discoverable cause.


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


An inferential test of association or difference for unrelated nominal data.


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


Questions that have a range of answers from which respondents select one.


Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Research methods and techniques resources »