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Research Vocab

Key terms & definitions in research methods

TermDefinition
Experiment This research method tells you if there is a causal relationship between variables
Scattergraph This graph allows you to assess the strength of correlations
Observation This research method involves watching and recording behaviour
Closed These questions require P’s to choose from a number of predetermined responses
Independent Measures Design Where different participants take part in each condition
Independent Variable In an experiment, this is the variable that is manipulated by the experimenter
Overt If a study is conducted in this way the P’s know they are taking part
Field This refers to research carried out in the P’s natural environment
Random Sampling Which this technique each member of the target population has an equal chance of being chosen for the sample
Demand Characteristics These are cues about the study that may convey (show) your aim to the P’s
Correlation This shows you how strongly two variables are related
Ecological Validity If your study is done in an unnatural environment it is likely to lack this
Structured In this sort of interview the questions are predetermined
Covert In this type of study the P’s are unaware that a study is taking place
Reliability This relates to consistent measurement – you can repeat and find the same results
Opportunity Sampling This involves using whichever P’s are available at the time
Interview This research method involves asking questions to P’s
Researcher Bias This can happen when a researcher lacks objectivity
Validity This relates to accurate measurement, whether your study measures what it claims to measure
Open These questions allow P’s to respond however they want
Laboratory This is a specifically designed, controlled environment for conducting research in
Extraneous Variable A variable that will have an effect on the dependent variable unless it is controlled
Quantitative This type of data comes in the form of numbers
Representative This is a feature of a good sample
Dependent Variable In an experiment, this is the variable measured by the experimenter
Matched Pairs Design in which you match P’s on specific characteristics e.g. gender, age, IQ
Central tendency This type of statistic tells you a typical value from a data set
Repeated Measures Design where participants take part in all experimental conditions
Dispersion This type of statistics tells you how spread out the data are
Qualitative This is non-numerical data
Experimental / Alternative Hypothesis This is a prediction of the expected outcome of the study
Questionnaire This research method asks P’s to respond to questions in writing
Hypothesis A specific, testable statement
Operationalised a clearly defined variable with a clear statement of how it will be measured.
Two-tailed This kind of hypothesis will only predict a difference rather than the direction of the difference.
Aim The purpose of a piece of research
Demand characteristics This is when a participant behaves/responds in a way that they think the experimenter wants them to.
Created by: Jgilbertlpa