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Flashcards in Research Methods Key Vocab Deck (49)
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1

Aims

A statement of what the researchers intend to find out in a research study.

2

Bar Chart

A graph used to represent the frequency of data; the categories on the x-axis have no fixed order and there is no true zero.

3

Behavioural Categories

Dividing a target behaviour into a subset of specific and operationalised behaviours.

4

Bias

A systematic distortion.

5

Calculated value

The value of a test statistic calculated for a particular data set.

6

Case Study

A research investigation that involves a detailed study of a single individual, institution or event. They provide a rich record of human experience but are hard to generalise from.

7

Closed Questions

Questions that have a predetermined range of answers from which respondents select one. Tend to produce quantitative data.

8

Confederate

An individual in a study who isn't a real participant and has been instructed how to behave by the investigator (essentially an actor).

9

Confidentiality

Concerns the communication of personal information from one person to another, and the trust that the information will be protected.

10

Confounding variable

A variable that affects the independent variable. Changes caused by this made to the dependent variable create a meaningless outcome. Caused by an error in the design.

11

Content Analysis

A kind of observational study in which behaviour is observed indirectly in written or verbal material such as interviews, conversations, books, diaries or TV programmes.

12

Continuous Variable

A variable that can take on any value within a certain range. The rating (1-10) of how much you like football is continuous whereas the football team a person supports isn't. The latter could be arranged in any order.

13

Control Group

The group of subjects that don't get the treatment being studied. This is then compared to the experimental group which does get the treatment to see if the treatment has had an effect.

14

Controlled Observation

A form of investigation in which behaviour is observed but under conditions where certain variables have been organised by the researcher.

15

Correlation

Determining the extent of an association between two variables; variables may not be linked at all (zero correlation), they may both increase together (positive correlation) or as one co-variable increases, the other decreases (negative correlation).

16

Correlation Coefficient

A number between -1 and +1 that tells us how closely the co-variables in a correlational analysis are associated.

17

Cost-benefit Analysis

A systematic approach to estimating the negatives and positives of any research.

18

Counterbalancing

An experimental technique used to overcome order effects when using a repeated measures design. It ensures that each condition is tested first or second in equal moments.

19

Co-variable

The two measured variables in a correlational analysis. The variables must be continuous.

20

Covert Observation

Observing people without their knowledge. Knowing that behaviour is being observed is likely to alter a participant's behaviour.

21

Critical Value

In an inferential test, the value of the test statistic that must be reached to show significance.

22

Curvilinear Correlation

A non-linear relationship between covariables.

23

Debriefing

A post-research interview designed to inform participants of the actual meaning of the study and to restore them to the state they were in at the start of the study.

24

Deception

A participant isn't told the true aims of the study and thus cannot give truly informed consent.

25

Demand Characteristics

A cue that makes participants unconsciously aware of the aims of a study or helps participants work out what the researcher expects to find.

26

Dependent Variable

The variable that is tested so ultimately depends on the independent variable.

27

Directional Hypothesis

States the directed of the predicted difference between two conditions or two groups of participants.

28

Ecological Validity

How realistic the conditions and settings of studies are.

29

Effect Size

A measure of the strength of the relationship between two variables.

30

Ethical Guidelines (Code of Conduct)

A set of principles designed to help professionals behave honestly and with integrity.