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Flashcards in research Deck (49):

What is a directional hypothesis?

Participants A will be better at DV than ps B


Non directional hypothesis...

There will be a significant difference


What does operationalise mean?

You make variables clear and measurable, this is important to make variables in a form that can be tested


Null hypothesis

There will be no difference


What is a situational variable?

aspects of the research situation that may influence the DV


What are experimenter variables?

Effects of the experimenters expectations which are communicated to the ps intentionally or unintentionally


What are participant variables

Aspects of the ps characteristics which might influence the DV


What are confounding variables?

Variable that is not the IV but varies systematically, therefore may cause the DV to change


How might experimenters control the effects of demand characteristics?

Double blind techniques, involve confederates that can help control the situation


What is order effect?

Extraneous Variable arising from the order in which conditions are presented e.g fatigue effect


What is counterbalancing?

An experimental technique used to overcome order effects, ensures each condition is tested in equal amounts


Lab experiment

Experiment carried out in controlled setting

Strengths- high internal validity
Weaknesses- low ecological validity


Field experiment

Controlled experiment conducted OUTSIDE a lab , IV is still manipulated by experimenter

Strengths- higher ecological validity and realism, more natural and representative
Weaknesses- less control of extraneous variables and more time consuming and have ethical issues as some may not be aware they are being observed


Natural experiment

Investigates relationship between IV and DV in natural environment

Strengths- allows research where IV can't be manipulated for ethical or practical reasons, high ecological validity

Weaknesses- casual conclusions can't be drawn because IV is not changed there may be individual differences


Quasi experiment

IV is naturally occurring but DV may be experimented in a lab

Strengths- allows comparison between types of ppl

WeAknesses- participants may be aware they are being studied
DV may be artificial reducing ecological validity


What is independent groups?

Two groups are used, one for each condition

Strengths- only requires one set for one condition

Weaknesses- researcher cannot control the effects of p variables


Matched participants

Two groups are matched to be as similar as possible

Strengths- lower risk of demand characteristics
Fewer ps variables
Weaknesses- very time consuming, impossible to control all ps variables


Repeated measures

One group of ps used in both conditions

Strengths- requires few ps, reduces effects of individual differences

Weaknesses- order effects may occur and demand characteristics


Internal reliability

assesses consistency of results, control and realism


external reliability

the extent to which a measure varies from one use to another, generalisation to other situations


Why might and experiment often lack ecological validity?

It may not be appropriate to generalise it, especially to every day life


What is the issue with informed consent and how can we deal with it?

May give away aims

Retrospective consent


Issue with confidentiality and privacy

Difficult to guarantee because it's unpredictable

Can stop study


Naturalistic observation

Everything is left as it is normally in an everyday setting

High in ecological validity as the participants are unaware


May not have consent and little control


Controlled observation

Researcher regulates aspects of the environment, useful for focusing on certain behaviour

Unnatural environment

Lacks validity as behaviour is less natural


Covert observation

Participants are unaware therefore it's more natural, however there are ethical issues


Overt observation

Participants are aware that they are being observed, this is less natural

Awareness is not an issue


Participant observation

Participant is part of a group being observed, may provide better insights

Issues of participant awareness


Non participant observation

More objective, not part of a group


Observation design: structured

A system is used enabling the observer to be more objective rather than being overwhelmed by information


Unstructured design

Useful when observing behaviour for the first time, observer records everything


Behavioural checklist

Dividing a behaviour into a subset of specific and operationalised behaviour


Time sampling design

An observational technique in which the observer records behaviour in a given time frame


Event sampling

Observational technique in which a count is kept of the number of times a certain behaviour occurs


Self report technique

Any method which states their opinions on thoughts for example with questionnaires or interviews

Access to what people think and feel

lacks validity as some people don't know what they feel


Structured interviews

Pre determined question, face to face

Can be easily repeated so answers can be easily compared so easier to analyse

May be interviewer bias


Unstructured interview

New questions are developed throughout the interview

More information can be obtained than in structured

Require interviewers with more skills therefore are more expensive to produce



Designed to collect information about a topic, they are always predetermined

It can be distributed to a large number of people quickly and cheaply

Respondents may be more willing to give personal information

only people who have the time fill them in, answers may not be truthful


Closed questions

Questions that have a predetermined range of answers

Answers are easy to analyse

Forced to select answers that don't reflex their real thoughts


Open questions

Respondents provide their own answers

Can gain new insights

Less literate respondents may find it difficult to answer


Qualitative data

Non numerical data


quantitative data

Data in numbers


What is a case study?

Depth study on one person or a small group, they are longitudinal meaning they occur over long periods of time


strengths of case studies.

Provides detailed info

Provides insight for further research

Permits investigation of otherwise impractical or unethical situations


Weaknesses of case studies

Can't generalise to a wider population

Researchers own subjective feeling may influence the case study

Difficult to replicate

Time consuming


What is dispersion?

How 'spread out' data is


What does standard deviation tell you?

On average how close to the mean all of your scores are, the higher the standard deviation the more variation you have in your data


Primary data

Researcher has control over data

Expensive process


Secondary data

It's simpler to access someone's data if cheaper and less time is needed

Data may not fit the needs of the study