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Flashcards in Research methods Deck (58):
1

Research Methods

The process by which information or data is collected usually for the purpose of testing a hypothesis and/or theory.

2

Correlation

A mathematical technique in which a researcher investigates an association between two variable called co-variables.

3

Correlation Coefficient

A number between -1 and +1 that represents the direction and strength of a relationship between co-variables.

4

Descriptive statistics

Graphs, tables and summary statistics (measures of central tendency and measures of dispersion.)

5

Inferential statistics

Use of statistical tests to tell whether the differences/relationships found are statistically significant or not.

6

Case studies

An in-depth investigation, description and analysis of a single individual, group, institution or event.

7

Content Analysis

A research technique that enables the indirect study of behaviour by examining communications that people produce EG texts, emails, TV, film and other media.

8

Coding

The stage of a content analysis in which the communication to be studied is analysed by identifying each instance of the chosen category.

9

Thematic analysis

A inductive and qualitative approach to analysis that involves identifying implicit or explicit ideas within the data. Themes will often emerge once the data has been coded.

10

Reliability

Refers to how consistent the findings from an investigation/ measuring device are. A measuring device is reliable if it produces consistent results every time it is used.

11

Test-retest Reliability

A method of assessing the reliability of a questionnaire/ psychological test by assessing he same person on 2 separate occasions. This shows to what extent the test produces the same answers.

12

Inter-Observer Reliability

The extent to which there is agreement between 2 or more observers involved in observations of a behaviour. This is measured by correlating the observations of 2 or more observers. A general rule is that if total no. of agreements/total no. of observations > +.80 the data has high inter-observer reliability.

13

Ecological Validity

The extent to which findings from a research study can be generalised to other settings and situations. A form of external validity.

14

Temporal Validity

The extent to which findings from a research study can be generalised to other historical times/eras. A form of external validity.

15

Concurrent Validity

The extent to which a psychological measure relates to an existing similar measure.

16

Face Validity

A basic form of validity in which a measure is scrutinised to determine whether it appears to measure what it is supposed to measure. EG does a test of anxiety actually test anxiety?

17

Validity

The extent to which an observed effect is genuine. Does it measure what it was supposed to measure and can it be generalised beyond the research setting?

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Internal Validity

Whether effects observed in an experiment are due to the manipulation of the IV and not some other factor. EG demand characteristics lower internal validity.

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External Validity

Validity relating to factors outside the investigation EG generalising to other settings.

20

Statistical tests

Used in psychology to determine whether a significant difference or correlation exists and whether the null hypothesis should be rejected/accepted.

21

Levels of measurement

Quantitative data can be classified into types/level s of measurement. EG. nominal, ordinal and interval.

22

Chi-Squared

A test for an association between 2 variables or conditions. Data should be NOMINAL level using an INDEPENDEN GROUPS DESIGN.

23

Sign Test

A statistical test used to analyse the difference in scores between related items. Data should be nominal.

24

Mann-Whitney

A test for significant difference between 2 sets of scores. Data should be at least ORDINAL level using an INDEPENDENT GROUPS DESIGN.

25

Wilcoxon

A test for significant difference between 2 sets of scores. Data should be at least ORDINAL level with a MATCHED PAIRS DESIGN.

26

Spearman's Rho

A test for correlation when data is at least ORDINAL level.

27

Pearson's R

A parametric test for correlation when data is at interval level.

28

Related-t-Test

A parametric test for difference between two sets of scores. Data must be INTERVAL with a REPEATED MEASURES/ MACHED PAIRS DESIGN.

29

Unrelated-t-Test

A parametric test for difference between 2 sets of scores. Data must be INTERVAL with an INDEPENDENT GROUPS DESIGN.

30

Probability

A measure of the likelihood that a particular event will occur where 0 indicates statistical impossibility and 1 statistical certainty.

31

Significance

A statistical term that tells us how sure we are that a difference/correlation exists. A 'significant' result means the researcher can reject the null hypothesis.

32

Critical Value

When testing a hypothesis the numerical boundary between the acceptance and rejection of the null hypothesis.

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Type 1 Error

The incorrect rejection of a true null hypothesis (a false positive.)

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Type 2 Error

The failure to reject a false null hypothesis (a false negative)

35

Abstract

The Key details of the research report.

36

Introduction

A look at past research on a similar topic. Includes the aims and hypothesis.

37

Method

A description of what the researchers did including design, sample, apparatus/materials, procedure, ethics.

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Results

A description of what the researchers found including descriptive and inferential statistics.

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Discussion

A consideration of what the results of a research study tells us in terms of psychological theory.

40

References

List of sources that are referred to/ quoted in the article.

41

Paradigm

A set of shared assumptions and agreed methods within a scientific discipline.

42

Paradigm Shift

The result of a scientific revolution: a significant change in the dominant unifying theory within a scientific discipline.

43

Objectivity

When all sources of personal bias are minimised so as not to distort or influence the research process.

44

The empirical method

Scientific approaches that are based on the gathering of evidence through direct observation and experience.

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Replicability

The extent to which scientific procedures and findings can be repeated by other researchers.

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Falsifiability

The principle that a theory cannot be considered scientific unless it admits the possibility of being proved untrue (false.)

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Experimental Method

Involves the manipulation an IV to measure the effect on the dependent variable.

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Aim

A general statement of what the researcher intends to investigate; the purpose of the study.

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Hypothesis

A clear, precise testable statement that states the relationship between the variables o be investigated. Stated t the outset of any study.

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Directional Hypothesis

States the direction of the difference/relationship.

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Non-directional hypothesis

Does not state the direction.

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Variables

Any 'thing' that can vary/change within an investigation.

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Independent Variable

Some aspect of the experimental situation that is manipulated by the researcher/changes naturally so the effect on the DV can be measured.

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Dependent Variable

The variable that is measured by the researcher. Any effect on the DV should be caused by the change in the IV.

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Operationalisation

Clearly defining variables in terms of how they can be measured.

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Extraneous Variable

Any variable other than the IV that may have an effect on the DV if not controlled. Do not vary systematically with the IV.

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Confounding Variables

Any variable other than the IV that may effect the DV so we can't be sure of the true source of changes to the DV. Vary systematically with the IV.

58

Demand Characteristics

Any cue from the researcher/ research situation that may be interpreted by participants as revealing he purpose of the investigation, which leads to participants changing their behaviour.