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# Week 2

### Research Methods in Psychology - Psychology 1A

Question | Answer |
---|---|

Theory | systematic way of organising and explaining observations |

Standardised procedures | procedure that is the same for all participants except where variation is introduced to test a hypothesis |

Generalisability | the applicability of a study's finding to the entire population of interest |

Objective measurement | measures that are reliable and valid |

Hypothesis | a tentative belief or educated guess that purports to predict or explain the relationship between two or more variables |

Quantitative research | involves using experiments of surveys to gather data that can be statistically analysed to test particular hypotheses |

Qualitative research | exploring a research topic through methods such as interviews, observation and case studies to gain a richer understanding of the relevant phenomena |

Mixed methods | a research approach that involves researchers collecting, analysing, and integrating both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study |

Variable | any phenomenon that can differ, or vary, from one situation to another or from one person to another |

Continuous variable | a variable that can be placed on a continuum (eg. degree of optimism, intelligence, shyness, or rate of recovery) |

Categorical variable | comprised of groupings or categories, such as state, species or whether or not a person has had a heart attack |

Population | a group of people or animals of interest to a researcher from which a sample is drawn |

Sample | subgroup of the population likely to be representative of the population as a whole |

Sampling bias | occurs when the sample is not representative of the population as a whole |

Internal validity | the extent to which a study is methodologically adequate |

External validity | the extent to which the findings of a study can be generalised to situations outside the laboratory |

Measure | a concrete way of assessing a variable |

Reliability | a measure's ability to produce consistent results |

Retest reliability | refers to the tendency of a test to yield relatively similar scores for the same individual over time |

Internal consistency | a measure is internally consistent if several ways of asking the same question yield similar results |

Interrater reliability | if two different interviewers rate an individual on some dimension, both should give the person similar scores |

Validity | -refers to the measure's ability to assess the variable it is supposed to assess - the extent to which a study adequately addresses the hypothesis it attempts to address |

Scientific approach | has three main goals: description, prediction, and understanding |

Experimental research | - investigators manipulate some aspect of a situation and examine the impact on the way participants respond - can establish cause and effect |

Independent variable | - the variable an experimenter manipulates, or the effects of which the experimenter assesses - outside participants' control |

Dependent variable | the response the experimenter measures to see whether the experimental manipulation had an effect |

Steps in conducting an experiment... | - framing a hypothesis - operationalising variable - developing a standardised procedure - applying statistical techniques to the data - drawing conclusions |

Demand characteristics | the way participants' perceptions of the researcher's goals influence their responses |

Control group | participants are not exposed to experimental manipulation |

Blind studies | participants (and often researchers) are kept unaware of important aspects of the research |

Placebo effect | a phenomenon in which an experimental intervention produces an effect because participants believe it will produce an effect |

Single-blind studies | participants are kept blind to crucial information, such as the condition to which they are being exposed |

Double-blind studies | both participants and researchers are blind to who has been exposed to which experimental condition until the research has been completed |

Confounding variables | variables that produce effects that are confused or confounded with the effects of the independent variable |

Descriptive research | attempts to describe phenomena as they exist rather than to manipulate variables |

Case study methods | in-depth observation of one person or a small group of individuals |

Researcher/observer bias | results in systematic errors in measurement due to investigators seeing what they expect to see |

Naturalistic observation | in-depth observation of a phenomenon in its natural setting |

Observer effects | presence of an observer may alter the behaviour of participants |

Survey research | research asking questions of a large sample of people, usually about their attitudes or behaviours, using questionnaires or interviews |

Random sample | sample selected from general population in a relatively arbitrary way that does not introduce any systematic bias |

Stratified random sample | a sample selected to represent subpopulations proportionately, randomising only within groups (such as age or race) |

Correlational research | -attempts to determine the degree to which two or more variables are related and can be used to predict one another - does not imply causation |

Correlate | assess the extent to which being high or low on one measure predicts being high or low on the other |

Correlation coefficient | - measures the extent to which to variables are related - can be either positive or negative - vary between +1.0 and -1.0 |

Positive correlation | the higher individuals measure on one variable, the higher they are likely to measure on the other |

Negative correlation | the higher participants measure on one variable, the lower they will measure on the other |

Strong correlation | one with a value close to either positive or negative 1.0 |

Weak correlation | hovers close to zero, either on the positive or the negative side |

Descriptive statistics | numbers that describe the data from a study in a way summarises their essential features |

Frequency distribution | -a method of organising the data to show how frequently participants received each of the many possible scores - represents the way scores were distributed across the sample |

Measures of central tendency | mean, median and mode |

Mean | statistical average of the scores of all participants |

Median | refers to the score that falls in the middle of the distribution of scores |

Mode | the most common score observed in the sample |

Variability | how much participants' scores differ from one another |

Standard deviation (SD) | the amount the average participant deviates from the mean of the sample |

Normal distribution | scores of most participants fall in the middle of the bell-shaped distribution, and progressively fewer participants have scores at either extreme |

Inferential statistics | procedures for assessing whether the results obtained with a sample are likely to reflect characteristics of the population as a whole |

Range | shows the difference between the highest and lowest value observed on the variable |

Statstical significance | the likelihood that results of a study occurred simply by chance or whether they reflect true properties of the population |

Probability value (p value) | -represents the probability that any positive findings obtained with the sample were just a matter of chance - Psychologists accept p values that fall below .05 (5%) - the smaller the p value, the more certain you can feel about the results |

Effect size | indicates the magnitude of the experimental effect or the strength of the relationship |

Cohen's d | difference |

Pearson's r | correlation |