Flashcards in General Deck (128):
What is a confounding variable?
Any variable that varies systematically with the independent variable and may have an effect on the dependant variable
What is a dependent variable?
The variable measured by the experimenter
What is an experiment?
A research method where casual conclusions can be drawn because the independent variable has been directly manipulated to observe a causal effect on the dependent variable
What is a hypothesis?
A testable statement about the assumed relationship between two variables
What is an independent variable?
An event that is directly manipulated by the researcher in order to observe it's effects on another variable
What does it mean to operationalise a variable?
Ensuring it is in a form where it can be easily tested
What are standardized procedures?
A set of prodedures that is the same for all participants in order to be able to repeat the study
What is valid consent?
Participants must be given full information about the study to make an informed decision about whether to participate
What is external validity?
How much the study can be generalised to wider society
What are the different types of external validity?
Population: Generalised to other groups of people
Ecological: Generalised to other settings
What are extaneous variables?
They do not vary systematically with the independent variable but still have an effect on the dependent variable
What is internal validity?
The degree to which the observed effect was due to manipulated variables rather than other factors
What is mundane realism?
How much a study mirrors the real world
What is validity?
If the observed effect is a genuine one
Why is mundane realism important?
So we can generalise the findings of the study to the real world
What is an alternative hypothesis?
Any hypothesis except the null hypothesis
What is a confederate?
Someone in the study that is not a real participant and has been told how to behave by the researcher
What is a directional hypothesis?
A hypothesis that states the direction of the potential difference between two variables
What is a non-directional hypothesis?
A hypothesis that predicts there will be a difference between two variables but does not state the diretion of this difference
What is a null hypothesis?
An assumption that there will be no relationship between two variables
What is a pilot study?
A small-scale trial run of the study to make improvements to the design
When should a directional hypothesis be used?
When previous research suggests the findings will go in a particular direction
What is the purpose of a pilot study?
To make improvements to the design of an experiment such as if the participants don't understand something
What is experimental design?
A set of procedures used to control the influance of factors such as participant variables
What are the types of experimental design?
What is repeated measures experimental design?
All participants take part in all levels of the independent variable
What is the independent groups experimental design?
Participants are placed in seperate groups with each group doing a different level of the IV
What is matched pairs experimental design?
Participants are matched on key characteristics and then each member of the pair does a different level of the IV
What are the disadvantages of using repeated measures?
Order effect: Order of conditions may affect performance
Practice effect: They may do better on the second test as they are less anxious
Boredom effect: Doing the same test again may make them bored
It's easier for them to guess the aims of the study
What are order effects?
The order that the participants do the levels of the IV in can impact their performance
What is the practice effect
Participants may do better on the second test as they are less anxious
How can we deal with the disadvantages of repeated measures?
Two tests could be used that are slightly different but measure the same thing
Creating a cover story to stop them guessing the true aims of the study
What is counter balancing?
Switching which level of the IV is tested first and last so that order isn't a confounding variable
What are the disadvantages of independent groups?
More participants are needed
What are participant variables?
Different characteristics of each participant that may affect their performance
How can we deal with the disadvantages of independent groups?
Randomally allocate participants
What are the disadvantages of using matched pairs?
Time consuming and difficult to match participants on key traits
Not possible to control all participant variables
How can we deal with the disadvantages of matched pairs?
Restrict the number of characteristics you match on
Conduct a pilot study to consider the key variables
What is a lab experiment?
An environment that can be controlled by the researcher
What is a feild experiment?
Working with partcipants in an environment that is more familiar to them but less easily controlled
What are the advantages of a lab experiment?
It's easier to control confounding or extraneous variables
What are the disadvantages of a lab experiment?
Participants may demonstrate artifical behaviour
May be impractial to take it into a lab setting
What are the advantages of a feild experiment?
Behaviour is more natural
We can examine behaviour in a wider range of contexts
What are the disadvantages of a feild experiment?
More difficult to measure variables
More difficult to control confounding varibles
Can't bring our bulky equiptment
What is a quasi experiment?
The independent variable is not manipulated by the researcher
Why is it not possible to draw cause and effect conclusions from quasi experiments?
There may be confouding varibles
Participants are not randomally allocated
May lack population validity
What are demand characteristics?
Where the participant is unconsciouslly aware of the aims of the study and the researcher helps them behave in the way they expect
What is researcher bias?
Anything the researcher does that will have an effect on the participant's performance other than what was intended
How can we deal with demand characteristics and researcher bias?
Single blind design
Double blind design
What is a single blind design?
Where the participant is not aware of the aims of the study
What is a double blind design?
Both participant and person conducting the research ar not aware of the true aims
What is experimental realism?
If the task is engaging enough the participant will not play attention to the fact that they are being observed
What is genralisation?
Applying the findings of a particular study to the target population
What is a sampling frame?
The source material that the sample is drawn from
What is a target population?
The group of people that the researcher is interested in. The sample is drawn from this
What is opportunity sampling?
Where you recruit people who are most conveniant
What are the advantages of opportunity sampling
Quick and easy
What are the disadvantages of opportunity sampling?
Sample may be biased as it is drawn from a small proportion of the population such as only people from urban areas
What are the advantages of random sampling?
Unbiased as all members of the target population have an equal change of being selected
What are the disadvantages of random sampling?
You need a list of all the members of a target population
What is snowball sampling?
Current participants recruit further participants from people they know
What are the advantages of snowball sampling?
Researcher can get acces to difficult groups of people like drug addicts
What are the disadvantages of snowball sampling?
The sample is unlikely to be represntative of the target population
What is self-selected sampling?
The study is advertised and participants volunteer
What are the advantages of self-selected sampling?
Wide variety of volunteers
What are the disadvantages of self-selected sampling?
Volunteer bias as only a certain type of person will voluneteer
They are more likely to be highly motivated
What is stratifyed sampling?
Subgroups in the target population are identifyed and participants are taken from the groups in perportion to the wider population
What are the advantages of stratifyed sampling?
More representative of the wider population
What are the disadvantages of stratifyed sampling?
What is systematic sampling?
Using a per-determined system to select particpants like every 6th name
What are the advantages of using systematic sampling?
What is an ethical issue?
A conflict between what the researcher wants and the rights of the participants
What is confidentiality?
Communicaton of personal information from one person to another and the trust that that information will be protected
What is deception?
When the participant is not told the true aims of the study meaning that they can't give valid consent
What is risk of harm?
During the study, participants should not experiance any negative emotional or physical effects beyond what would be normal for them to experiance
How can we deal with valid consent?
Participants are asked to formally indicate their agreement to study such as by signing a legal document with comprehensive details of the study
Or gain presumptive consent
What is presumptive consent?
Ask a similar group of people to the participants if they would be willing to take part and then generalise their awnsers to the participants as it's presumed they would also agree
How can we deal with the issue of deception?
Go to an ethics committee
Debreif the participants after the study
What is participant observation?
The observer is part of the group being observed
What is non-participant observation?
The researcher observes from a distance and doesn't interact with the participants
What is an unstructured observation?
The observer records all relevent behaviour with no system
What is structured observation?
Systems are used to organise behaviour such as behaviour catergories and sampling
How can behavioural catergories be used in strucured observation?
Dividing the target behaviour into specific, operationalised behaviours
How can sampling be used in strucured observation?
Event sampling: Counting the number of times an event occurs
Time sampling: Recording behaviours at a given time fram such as every 30 seconds
What is observer bias?
Their expectations affect what they observe so validity is reduced
What is social desirability bias?
A change in the way people behave or awnser questions in order to present themselves in a good light
What is an interview?
A face to face meeting where the interviewer gathers data
What is a questionaire?
Data collected through the use of written questions
What is a semi-structured interview?
The interviewer starts out with some general aims and the awnsers of the participant guide them to more questions
What is a structured interview?
Any interview where the questions are decided in advance
What is interviewer bias?
The expectations of the interviewer impact the participant's behaviour
What are the advantages of using self-report techniques?
It allows us to see how people think and feel as well as their experiances and attitudes
What are the disadvantages of using self-report techniques?
Social desirability bias
Sample may not be representative as only motivated people would take part
What are the advantages of using structured interviews?
Questions are standardised so people can be compared
What are the disadvantages of using structured interviews?
If the interviewer behaves differently on different occasions it has low reliability
What are the advantages of using semi- structured interviews?
More detailed information can be obtained as the questions can be adapted
What are the disadvantages of using semi- structured interviews?
Questions may lack objectivity
What is internal reliability?
A measure if something is consistant within itself
What is external reliability?
The degree to which it can be generalised
What methods are used to assess reliability?
Split half method
Test retest method
What is the split-half method?
Used to test internal reliability
Participants are divided in half and scores compared
What is the test-retest method?
Used to test external validity
Participants are given the samr questionaire twice after a significant ammount of time has passed
What is face validity?
If the self-report technique looks like it measures what the researcher intended it to measure
What is content validity?
Looking at your method of measurement and deciding if it measures the intended content
What is concurrent validity?
Compairing the current research method with previously validated ones
What is predictive validity?
If the scores predict what you expected them to predict
What is a case study?
A single detailed study of one participant
What is a content analysis?
Behaviour is observed indirectly through material such as diaries, books and TV shows
What is a longitudinal study?
A study conducted over a long period of time monitoring participants as they age, normally using repeated measures
What are the advantages of longitudinal studies?
Control of participant variables
What are the disadvantages of longitudinal studies?
They may become aware of the research aims
What is an EEG
Records the elecrical activity of different parts of the brain
What are CAT scans?
Computed axial tomography
Series of x rays taken and combined in a 3d image after a dye has been injected
What are the advantages of CAT scans?
Useful in revealing abnormal brain structures
What are the disadvantages of CAT scans?
Gives out a lot of radiation and only provides strutural information
What are MRI scans?
Magnetic response imaging
A magnetic feild changes the alinement of atoms in the brain so signals can be used to map it's structure
What are the advantages of MRI scans?
Detailed image of the soft tissue
What are the disadvantages of MRI scans?
They take a long time and can be uncomfortable
What are PET scans?
Positron emission tomography
Radioactive traser is mapped by detectors as it is taken up by active areas of the brain
What are the advantages of PET scans?
They can reveal chemical information and show brain action
What are the disadvantages of PET scans?
Participant injected with a radioactive substance
What are the measures of central tendency?
What can be said about the mean average?
Most sensative but can be easily distorted by extreme values
Can't be used with nominal data
What can be said about the mode?
Unaffected by extreme values and can be used with nominal data
Not useful if there is more than one mode
What can be said about the median?
Not as sensative or affected by exteme values
What is a skewed distribution?
There are exteme values to one side fo the mid-score
What is a positively skewed distribution?
Most scores are bunched towards the left