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# Research Method

### Chapter 1 of Oxford Psychology 1 and 2

Term | Definition |
---|---|

The Scientific Method | A logical process of problem-solving applied in all sciences |

Hypothesis | A prediction of the outcomes of research, stated in terms of the influence of the change in the value of the independent variable and dependent variable |

Statistically Significant | When the likelihood of a finding occurring by chance is less than 5 in 100, 5%, p<0.05 |

Independent Variable | The variable that is manipulated by the experimenter who then measures the resulting changes in the dependent variable |

Dependent Variable | The properties which is measured in psychological research, to look for the effects of the independent variable |

Operationalisation | Quantification of a variable |

Extraneous Variables | A variable other than the independent variable that could cause changes in the value of the dependent variable |

Control Variables | A variable that has had the potential effects of an extraneous variable removed from the experiment (usually by the experimental design) |

Confounding Variables | A variable other than the independent variable that has a systematic effect on the value of the dependent variable. If a cofounding variable exists, no valid conclusions about the research can be drawn. |

Population | The group of people about which we wish to draw conclusions |

Sample | The members of a population that have been chosen to take part in the research |

Random Sample | A sampling procedure in which every member of the population has an equal chance at being selected |

Stratified Sample | A sampling process by which the effects of a certain variable can be eliminated as a possible confound on the experiment |

Experimental Group (E-Group) | The group of research participants which is exposed to the independent variable. The results are compared to the control group so that the effects of the independent variable can be determined |

Control Group (G-Group) | The group of research participants which is not exposed in the independent variable. The results are compared with the experimental group so the effects of the independent variable can be determined |

Treatment | A variable that the experimental group participants receive and members of the control group do not |

Random Allocation | A subject selection procedure where all the participants have been selected for an experiment have an equal chance of being in the e-group or c-group |

Repeated Measures Design | A subject selection procedure where each participant is part of both the e-group and the c-group. Also know as 'within participants design' |

Order Effect | Changes in results caused by the sequence of performing tasks in test |

Matched Participant Design | A subject selection procedure which attempts to eliminated co founding variables by 'matching' on key characteristics, each individual in the e-group with the an individual in the c-group |

Independent Group Design | Allocates participants to e-group or c-group, also known as 'between participants design.' |

Cross-Sectional Studies | A form of independent group design where data is collected at one time from the participants of all ages and different age groups are compared |

Nature | The genetic factors that influence a persons development |

Nuture | The environmental factors that influence a persons development |

Twin Studies | A type of family study used to compare similar characteristics between twins |

Genetics | A study of hereditary and the role of genes throughout an individuals life |

Psychosocial Development | A theory that proposes development as ongoing, extending from infancy to old age |

Placebo Effect | Refers to the participants behavior being influenced by their expectations of how they should behave, caused by the belief that they have received some treatment |

Single-Blind Procedure | Allocating participants to groups in such as way that they do not know if they're in the e-group or c-group |

Experimenter Effect | The outcome of the experiment being unintentionally (or even intentionally) influenced by the experimenter |

Double-Blind Procedure | In the experimental process the method of allocating participants in groups so neither the experimenter nor the participants know if they're in the e-group or c-group |

Qualitative Data | Description of the characteristics what is being studied |

Quantitative Data | Measurements (numerical format) about the variables being studies |

Subjective Data | Information about the variable being studied based on opinion with no external yardstick by which they're measured |

Objective Data | Data being measured according to an identifiable external criterion |

Nominal Data | Data that has qualitative rather than quantitative value, where there is no ranking or order of the values implied |

Ordinal Data | Data that has a definite sequence, but the gap between one level and the next is not constant |

Interval Data | Data is measured on a scale where each step is the same value, but zero does not mean the properties doesn't exist |

Ratio Data | Measurements that represent quantities in terms of equal intervals and an absolute zero point of origin |

Natural Environment | A setting that is familiar and where the experiment normally occurs |

Naturalistic observation | Observation of voluntary behaviors occurring with the subjects natural environment |

Structured Interview | Participants are asked a set of pre-determined questions with a fixed choice of response such as yes/no or never/sometimes/often/always |

Questionnairs | Methods of collecting written responses from participants, such as surveys with Likert-type scales |

Longitudinal Studies | A form of repeated measures design where the same participants are investigated over a period of time |

Cross-Sectional Design | A form of independent group design, where data is collected at one time from participants of all ages and different age groups are compared |

Sequential Design | A combination of longitudinal and cross sectional designs, which draws on strengths and eliminates weaknesses of each approach |

Reliability | The extent to which a measure could be expected to produce the same result with the same subject(s) under the same conditions on other occasions |

Validity | The extent to which an instrument measures what it is suppose to measure |

Internal Reliability | The extend to which all the items in a research instrument contribute equally to the final score |

Parallel Form Reliability | Used to assess the consistency of the results of two tests constructed in the same way from the same content domain. The property is measure before treatment and after treatment |

Test-Retest Reliability | The extent to which a test produces the same result if re-administered to the same person under different conditions |

Internal Validity | The extent to which the results gained from the measure are truly due to the variable that it is thought to be measuring |

Content Validity | A form of internal validity which involves examining the instruments to decide whether an item appears to be measuring what it's suppose to. Also known as face validity |

Construct Validity | A form of internal validity which involves deciding whether the test can be used to support the theory that is being tested |

External Validity | Criterion-related validity that refers to the extent to which results from the measure are comparable with other established measured variables |

The Normal Curve | A bell-shaped curve showing a particular distribution of probability over the values of a random variable |

Mean | The average of all scores, calculated by adding up all the scores and dividing by the total number of scores |

Median | The score the occurs exactly half way between the lowest and the highest score |

Mode | The most commonly occurring score in a data set |

Range | The difference between the highest score and the lowest score in a data set |

Variance | A measure of how much, on average, the scores differ from the mean |

Standard Deviation | A measure that tells us how far, on average, scores differ from the mean |

Bimodal Distribution | A distribution where two distinct populations are plotted on the same curve |

Inferential Statistics | Statistical techniques used to make generalizations from samples to populations |

Student T-Test | A statistical inference technique |

Conclusion | The final decision about what the results mean in the experiment. The conclusion must be stated in terms of the original hypothesis |

Correlation | A statistical measure of the extent to which two variables are related, A correlation does not show a cause-effect relationship |

Positive Correlation | A correlation in which two variables change in the same direction - as one increases, the other increases |

Negative Correlation | A correlation in which two variable change in the opposite direction - as one increases, the other decreases |

Strength of Correlation | The strength of the relationship between two variables |

Scatter Diagrams | Diagrams that show the values of the two variables for each participant in the sample by representing the intersection of those two values with a dot on a graph |

Ethical Considerations | A code of ethics designed to protect participants from psychological and physiological harm. These include confidentiality, debriefing, deception in research, informed consent, voluntary participation and withdrawal rights. |

Distress | Refers to the negative psychological response to a perceived stressor |

Debriefing | The experimental process in which after the experiment, the subjects are told the purpose of the research and any deception explained. This is a vital ethical component of any psychological research |

Controlled observation | Observation of voluntary behaviors within a structured environment, such as a laboratory |

Clinical interview | Structured guidelines, but further questioning is used for clarification |