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Research Design

Midterm Textbook Learning Guide

TermDefinition
research an organized process for collecting knowledge
theory a group of logically related statements that explains things that have occurred in the past and predicts things that will occur in the future
scientific method a set of steps followed by scientists to ensure a common basis for conducting research
non-experimental research research in which no manipulation of variables is involved and no cause-and effect relationship is studied
descriptive research research that describes a phenomenon without attempting to determine what causes the phenomenon
historical research a methodology for examining how events that have occurred in the past affect events in the present and future
correlational research a method of research used to determine relationships between two or more variables
correlation coefficient an index of the strength of a relationship between two variables; it ranges in value from +1.00 to -1.00 and can be positive or negative
qualitative research research that examines phenomena within the cultural and social context in which it take place
experimental research research that examines cause-and-effect relationships through the use of control and treatment groups
true experimental research research in which a cause and effect is unambiguously tested
quasi-experimental research research that is done when groups are preassigned to “treatments,” such as gender, social class, and neighborhood; also known as post hoc research
basic research pure research which adds to the base of information in a field but has no immediate application
applied research research that has an immediate application
chance the unassuming explanation for differences between groups that implies that the differences are accounted for by variables other than those being studied
variable a class of outcomes that can take on more than one value; these are what researchers study
measurement assignment of values to objects, events, or outcomes according to rules
dependent variable the outcome variable of research; dependent variables are observed for effects resulting from the influence of another factor, the independent variable(s)
independent variable a variable controlled by the researcher in an attempt to test the effects on some outcome, the dependent variable; owing to their manipulation and exposure to groups and individuals at the discretion of the researcher
factorial design a research design in which more than one independent variable is studied in various combinations with others
confounding when variables compete to explain the effects found in a study
control variable a variable that has a potential influence on the dependent variable
extraneous variable a variable that has an unpredictable impact on the dependent variable
moderator variable a variable that is related to the variables of interest masking the true relationship between the independent and dependent variables
null hypothesis a statement of equality between groups in an investigation; it serves as a starting point for observing the effects of the independent variable(s) on the dependent variable
research hypothesis a statement of inequality between groups in an investigation; they suggest directional or nondirectional relationships between variables
nondirectional research hypothesis a research hypothesis that posits an inequality (such as a difference between groups) but makes no suggestion of the direction of that difference (such as more than or less than)
directional research hypothesis a research hypothesis that posits an inequality between groups with direction to that difference (such as more or less than)
population the entirety of some group
sample a representative portion of a population
generalizability the ability to draw inferences and conclusions from data
statistical significance the degree of risk you are willing to take that you will reject a null hypothesis when it is actually true
significance level the amount of risk one is willing to take that the null hypothesis is true even though it is rejected
ABDs “all but dissertation,”which characterizes a surprisingly large number of graduate students who finish everything but the final document
general sources general information usually available through newspapers, periodicals, or broad indices
secondary sources secondhand sources of historical data, such as newspaper clippings and summary statistics
primary sources people or documentation which presents firsthand information URL - uniform resource locator
blind review the process through which journal articles are reviewed wherein the reviews don’t know the identity of the article’s author(s)
abstract a brief summary of a journal article which appears before the actual article or in a collection
browser a software tool used to tour and work with the world wide web
internet a worldwide online network of networks
network a collection of computers that are connected to one another
electronic mail (e-mail) a method of communicating and sharing information electronically
electronic newsgroups places where information can be posted and shared among internet users newsgroup - a discussion group on the internet
news reader a software program (usually part of an internet browser such as explorer or netscape) which allows you to access and read news
listserv an automated mailing list for receiving mail and information about a particular topic
institutional review board a group of people who review research proposals for the safety an confidentiality of participants
Created by: ryanriggs_90