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Flashcards in Research Methods Deck (75):

What is an appetitive stimulus?

An event that an organism will seek out.


What is an aversive stimulus?

An event that an organism will avoid.


What is a baseline?

The normal frequency of a behaviour before some intervention.


What is the case study approach?

A descriptive research approach that involves intensive examinations of one or a few individuals


What is a changing-criterion design?

A type of single-subject design where the effect of the treatment is demonstrated by how closely the behaviour matches a criterion that is systematically altered.


What is a comparative design?

A type of control group design where different species constitute one of the independent variables.


What is a contingency?

A predictive relationship between two events so that the occurrence of one event predicts the probable occurrence of the other.


What is a control group design?

A type of experiment where subjects are randomly assigned to a experimental or a control group.


What is covert behaviour?

Behaviour that can be subjectively perceived only by the person performing the behaviour.


Give two other names for covert behaviour.

Private events or private behaviour.


What is a cumulative recorder?

A device that measures total number of responses over time and provides a graphic depiction of the rate of behaviour.


What is a dependent variable?

The aspect of the experiment that is allowed to vary to determine if it is affected by changes in the independent variable.


What is deprivation?

The prolonged absence of an event that tends to increase the appetitiveness of that event.


What is descriptive research?

Research that focuses on describing the behaviour and the situation within which it occurs.


Define duration.

The length of time that a individual repeatedly or continuously performs a certain behaviour.


What is an establishing operation?

A procedure that affects the appetitiveness or aversiveness of a stimulus.


Define functional relationship. (2)

The relationship between changes in an independent variable and changes in a dependent variable, or a cause and effect relationship.


What is an independent variable?

The aspect of an experiment that is made to systematically vary across the different conditions in an experiment.


Define intensity.

The force or magnitude of a behaviour.


What is interval recording?

The measurement of whether or not a behaviour occurs within a series of continuous intervals.


Define latency.

The length of time required for a behaviour to begin.


What is a multiple baseline design?

A type of single-subject design where a treatment is instituted at successive point in time for two or more persons, settings, or behaviours.


What is naturalistic observation?

A descriptive research approach that involves the systematic observation and recording of behaviour in it's natural environment.


Define overt behaviour.

Behaviour that had the potential for being directly observed by an individual other than the one performing the behaviour.


What is rate of response?

The frequency with which a response occurs in a certain period of time.


Define response.

A particular instance of a behaviour.


What is a reversal design?

A type of single-subject design that involves repeated alternations between a baseline period and a treatment period.


What is satiation?

The prolonged exposure to (or consumption of) an event that tends to decrease the appetitiveness of that event.


What is a single-comparison design?

A type of single-subject design where behaviour in a baseline condition is compared to a behaviour in a treatment condition.


What is a single-subject design?

A research design that requires only one or a few subjects in order to conduct an entire experiment.


Give two other names for a single-subject design.

Single case or small n design.


What is spatial contiguity?

The extent to which events are situated close to each other in space.


Define speed.

The amount of time required to perform a complete episode of a behaviour from start to finish.


What is a variable?

A characteristic of a person, place, or thing, that can change over time or from one situation to another.


In a psychology experiment, what the the dependent variable always?

A type of behaviour.


In behavioural research, the dependent variable is almost always a ___ and the independent variable is ___.

Behaviour, environmental event.


What is a stimulus?

Any event that can potentially influence behaviour.


Why are stimuli sometimes referred to as cues?

Because a stimulus serves as a signal for the occurrence of a certain behaviour.


Define temporal contiguity.

The extent to which events occur close together in time.


Which is more likely to cause learning; spatial or temporal contiguity?

Temporal contiguity.


What does an unambiguous definition ensure?

Our measurements of the behaviour are consistent across time and settings.


Why is rate a favoured among radical behaviourists?

It is highly sensitive to the influence of other variables.


Fluency measures of learning are a basic aspect of a behavioural approach to instruction known as:

Precision learning.


What does a cumulative recorder consist of?

A roll of paper that unravels at a slow, constant pace and a moveable pen that makes tracks across it.


The steeper the line, the ___ the rate of response.



Name some ways in which we can measure responses. (5)

Rate of response, intensity, duration, latency, and speed.


Why can duration measures of response by problematic?

They do not indicate certain qualities of the behaviour.


Give some advantages of interval recording. (2)

You don't have to record every single response, and it is useful when it is difficult to tell when the behaviour starts and stops.


What is time-sample recording a variant of?

Interval recording.


What happens in time-sample recording?

We measure whether or not a behaviour occurs during each interval within a series of discontinuous intervals.


What is the topography of a behaviour?

The physical form of the behaviour.


What kind of behaviour can be assessed by number of errors?

A behaviour where responses can be right or wrong.


Give a major problem with the naturalistic approach to observing behaviour.

It leaves us uncertain as to which variables are most important in determining the behaviour.


What do descriptive research methods not allow us to do?

Draw conclusions about the causes of behaviour.


What is the most common type of experimental design?

Control group designs.


When do we use a comparative design?

When we want to test an evolutionary hypothesis about the differences in selective pressures for a particular trait between species.


What is the main difference between comparative designs and standard control group designs?

Comparative designs do not have a control group that receives no treatment.


Give some negatives of the control group design. (3)

Needs a large number of subjects, gives little attention to individuals, and lack of flexibility due to measuring effects only at the end of the experiment.


Give a problem specific to comparative control group designs.

Species can differ in more ways than their learning capacity.


In a simple-comparison (AB) design, behaviour in a ___ condition is compared to behaviour in a ___ condition.

Baseline, treatment.


What occurs in a self-punishment procedure?

People apply an aversive consequence to themselves each time they engage in an unwanted target behaviour.


Define reactivity.

Where the act of closely monitoring the behaviour can result in improvement.


Why is the simple-comparison design a poor experimental design?

It doesn't clearly demonstrate a functional relationship between the IV and DV.


What kind of design is a simple-comparison design?

A single-subject design.


When should a simple-comparison design be used?

When you have limited resources and time for investigating a treatment effect and are interested in seeing if there is some kind of improvement.


Give two other names for the reversal design.

ABA or ABAB design.


How is a functional relationship demonstrated in a reversal design?

If the behaviour changed each time the treatment is instituted and withdrawn.


Give some strengths of the reversal design.

It allows an entire experiment to be conducted with a single subject, and statistical tests are not needed to determine if the changes in behaviour are meaningful.


What are some disadvantages of the reversal design? (3)

If the behaviour doesn't revert to it's original baseline level when treatment is withdrawn, we don't know if the treatment was effective, it is ethically troubling to remove an effective treatment, and the design is inappropriate when we want a long-lasting effect


What design can be used to demonstrate a functional relationship between treatment and behaviour where the reversal design is not appropriate?

The multiple-baseline design.


Describe a multiple-baseline design.

A treatment is instituted at successive points in time for two or more persons, settings, or behaviours.


Why is the multiple-baseline design a good alternative to the reversal design?

We don't have to worry about withdrawing the treatment to determine its effectiveness.


Give limitations of the multiple-baseline design.

We need more that one person, setting or behaviour to apply the treatment, and the treatment effect may generalise across the different settings or behaviours before the treatment is instituted.


When do we use the changing-criterion design?

Where the treatment is not intended to cause a large immediate change in behaviour, but a gradual one.


Give four advantages of using animals in research.

We can control their genetic makeup and learning history, researchers can more strictly control the experimental environment, and we can do research with animals they we cannot do with humans.