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Key terms

The following are terms that you looked at in AS you will need to hang on to them for A2. Psya4 requires you to look at research methods into a little bit more detail. We look at operationalising these key terms over the term. Root Term Terms Definition

PSYA1 Terms
Aim Hypothesis Experimental, Alternative (any
hypothesis other than the null)

A general statement about the purpose of an experiment A precise testable statement about the expected outcome of an investigation Predicts the nature or direction of the outcome. Direction of the outcome is not specified but go in either direction (more or less) This tends to state there will no difference relationship between the variables being investigated. Two or more measurements or observation of the same psychological event will be consistent with each other The ability to replicate the results of a study Consistency of a measure within a test The degree of agreement between different observers The tendency of experimenters to find what they expect or want to show The degree to which the results reflect realistic behaviour The extent to which an instrument accurately reflects the concepts it is intended to measure. A research study or experiment has internal validity if the outcome is the result of the variables that are manipulated in the study The extent to which findings can be generalised to settings other than the research settings The most basic way to measure validity is by carrying out the eyeball test. That is does the test look as if it is measuring what it is supposed to measure? Comparing the results from the new experiment with results from older experiments that are known to have good validity. The ability of the results to predict performance on future tests. Do you think

(a.k.a one tailed)

Non directional
(a.k.a two tailed)

Null hypothesis Reliability Internal reliability External reliability Inter-rater reliability Experimenter bias Experimental realism Validity Internal validity External validity Face validity

Concurrent validity

Predictive validity

External Validity

Ecological validity
(a.k.a environmental validity)

your GCSE results had good predictive validity for youre A levels? The extent to which the methods, materials and setting of the experiment can be generalised to findings of other settings, The extent to which the study will match the real world situation to which it is meant to be applied to. The tendency of humans to present themselves in the best possible light. Responses may be influenced by this tendency. There is a difference in what people say they do and what they actually do. The extent to which the results of the study can be generalised to people/animals beyond the sample. The extent to which the findings apply at all times, not just the specific time/season the study is connected in. A measurable characteristic or value that can differ from one person to another or have multiple values The variable that the researcher manipulates and which is assumed to directly effect on the dependent variable. Think the IV as the cause. The variable that is affected by the changes in the independent variable. Think the DV as the effect A general term for any variable other than the IV and DV that might affect the DV. An EV that is important enough to provide alternative explanation for the effect of the outcome. The process of devising a way of measuring a variable Variables connected with the research settings. For example temperature, instructions, time of the day and lighting, materials. They are controlled by standardising the investigation Variables connected with the research participants. For example, intelligence, age, gender and personality. They are controlled through experimental design, such as the matched pair design. Randomly assigning participants to conditions help reduces bias, Cues in the environment that help the participant work out what the research hypothesis is. Can lead to social desirability effects where the participant behaves in a way that support the hypothesis or the screw you effect where participants

Mundane realism Social desirability

Population validity Temporal validity Variable Independent variable

(a.k.a IV)

Dependent variable
(a.k.a DV)

Extraneous variables
(a.k.a EV)

Confounding variable Operationalising Situational Variables

Participant Variables

Demand characteristics

Investigator effects

Single blind Technique Double blind technique Sampling Random Opportunity


Ethical guidelines Consent

Deception Debriefing Withdrawal


deliberately disrupt the research The influence of the researcher whereby their expectations of what the research outcome should be could lead to the self-fulfilling prophecy. Researcher may behave in such a way that may bring about their prediction. Can help control demand characteristics. A procedure in which participants do not know that hypothesis and nor do they know what condition they are in. Can help control investigator effects. A procedure in which participants and research assistants do not know that hypothesis and nor do they know what condition they are in. A sample in which every member of the target population has an equal chance of being selected. This has a high population validity A sample that consists of those people available to the researcher. There is a high chance the sample will be biased leading to low population validity. The researcher would advertise their research and the people who respond would be the sample. Usually the same type of people volunteer for these types of research leading to low population validity as there is a high chance of bias. Tell the researcher what they should do to conduct research that is ethically acceptable When the participant consents to take part in the research, their consent must be informed, i.e. the aims if the research should be made clear. If the research involves children under 16 years consent must be obtained from their parents or guardians Information must not be withheld from participant, nor should they be misled about the nature of research. Following an investigation, participants should be fully informed about the nature of the research, Participants have the right to withdraw at any time, regardless of whether they have been paid for their participation. They can also withdraw at the final stage of the research in this case all data or information collected from them must be destroyed. DPA requires you to maintain the confidentiality of those people about whom you have collected information on. Participants have the right to confidentiality; if this cannot be assured then they must be informed of this prior to commencing the

Protection of participants Observational research

Giving Advice

Colleagues Ethical Issues Remember D.I.P


Informed consent

Protection of participant

Retrospective informed consent

Prior general consent Presumptive consent

study. Participants must be protected from physical or mental harm including undue stress. The risk of harm must not be greater that the harm they are exposed to in everyday lie. Must protect the privacy and psychological wellbeing of those observed. Were consent has not been obtained, privacy is an important issue. They should not be observed in situations they would not normally expect others to observe their behaviour Sometimes during the course of the research a physical and or psychological problems may be identified by the researcher. The participant may seek advice from the researcher. Where the problem may be serious and if the researcher is unqualified to advice then appropriate source of professional advice must be suggested. You are responsible for the ethical conduct of your own research and that of your colleagues. These occur when the researcher is in a dilemma between what he needs to do to conduct the research and the rights and dignity of the participants. Deception is an ethical issue because it prevents the participant from giving informed consent ultimately finding themselves in research against their wishes. This may mean the participant becomes distrusting of psychologists in the future. Lack of informed consent means again participants have not agreed to be in the research finding themselves in research against their wishes. Participants have the right not to be harmed as a result of participating in a piece of research. If they are harmed they may suffer long tern effects which could impact their lives. In milligrams research some of the participants were traumatised by the research. Once the true nature of the research has been revealed the participants should be given the right to withdraw their data. Menges (1973) Reviewed 1000 research studies in America revealed 80% involved not telling participant full information about the study Obtaining prior consent from participants to be involved in research that involved in deception Taking a random sample of the target

Pilot studies Control group Experimental Methods Think of C.R.M Laboratory experiment Field experiment Natural experiment Experiment Experimental design
(Think of R.I.M)

Repeated measured design Independent measures design Matched pairs design

Order effects


Observer bias

population and introducing them to the research, including any deception involved if they agree they have to give consent to the research, Then the researcher can generalise to the entire population assuming they would do the same. Researchers test the reliability of data collection tool and should make any changes before they carry out the full experiment Participant in this group do not receive the experimental treatment so they can act as a comparison or a baseline. Control, randomisation and manipulation of variable. An experiment that is carried out in a controlled environment (EVs are reduced) where the IV is manipulated. An experiment that is takes place in a natural environment but the IV is still manipulated by the researcher. Researcher takes advantage of naturally occurring variables. Not a true experiment as variation of the IV is done naturally. A research investigation in which variables are manipulated to see their effect The method of control imposed by the experimenter to control participant variables. Participant takes part in both conditions of the IV acting as their own control in effect. Participants take part in either the experimental or the control condition. Participants are matched as closely as possible with a participant in the other condition (age, gender, personality or traits obtained via inventories) They are then randomly allocated to one condition or the other. A confounding effect that can occur when a repeated measures design is employed. If the participants always complete one condition first, by time they get to the second condition they may experience order effect, such as practice, boredom and fatigue. This could then affect their performance. The method used to balance order effects in the repeated measures design. Half the participant would complete the experiment in one sequence-for example condition A first followed by condition B. The other half would do condition B first followed by Condition A This happens when an observer makes their own particular interpretation of the behaviour they observe.

Naturalistic observation

Controlled observation

Participant observation Non participant observation Disclosed observation Undisclosed observation Structured observation

Unstructured observation Inter-observer reliability Correlational study Positive correlation

Negative correlation

Surveys and interviews

Open question Closed Question

Case studies Quantitative Data Measures of

Idiographic Mean

Involves the researcher observing naturally occurring behaviour. Can be used in quasi experiments such as natural experiment. Offer an alternative to the artificiality of the laboratory experiment and can produce with high ecological validity. A controlled observation is one where the researcher attempts control certain variables. Control of the environment can be achieved by carrying out an observation in a laboratory. Ainsworth (1970) Requires the researcher to actually join the group or take part in the situation they are studying Based on observations made from a distance or from outside the group or situation being studied An observation in which the participants are aware that they are being observed. This is also known as overt observation. An observation in which the participants are not aware that they are being observed. This is known as a covert observation Before the research begins they determine precisely what behaviours are to be observed and make a checklist to record the frequency of the behaviour being observed. No predetermined plan record behaviour as they occur The extent to which a data collection tool used by a group of observers produces similar results. An investigation into positive relationships of two variables As one variable increases the other variable increases. For example, as the level of secure attachment increases the number of smiles given increases. As one variable increases the other variable decreases. For example, Dillalla, (1988) found the longer children spent in day care (increasing variable>time) the less pro-social behaviour they displayed (decreasing variable). Questions that require the respondent to write their own answer in words. This produces qualitative data. Questions that require the respondent to choose from a limited number of fixed responses set by the researcher. Relating to individual cases or events Analysis that focuses more on numerical data. Is the statistical average. It is calculate by

central tendencies Median

Measures of dispersion Graphs

Mode Range Standard deviation Histogram Bar chart Scattergram

Qualitative Data Content analysis Coding

adding up all the scores in a set of data and dividing by the number of scores. Is the central value of a data set it is calculated by putting the data in order and then finding the middle score. Even scores present add and divide by 2 the two middle scores Is the most frequently occurring score. Is the difference between the higher score and the low score Measures how widely spread the values are around the mean. Provides a visual illustration of the distribution of data items in a data set Are useful for comparing classes or groups. Gives a visual picture of the relationship between two variables helps the interpretation of the correlation coefficient. Analysis that focuses more on words rather than numbers. Researcher looks for themes and categories in any text (even adverts) and counts how many times they appear in the text The process of taking raw data and transferring it into a format that can be used for data analysis

PSYA2 Terms
Probability Null hypothesis Level of significance Type 1 error Type 2 error Statistics (quantitative data) Descriptive Parametric tests A numerical measure of chance. It represents how likely it is that something will happen. There is no difference between variables in the population The level at which the null hypothesis is accepted or rejected. The error that occurs when the null hypothesis is rejected but it should of have been retained The error that occurs when the null hypothesis is retained but it is false. Techniques used to summarise data PT can only be used when a number of criteria about the data are fulfilled. One of the key criteria is level of measurement of the data: such as interval data or ratio data. These can be used when any of the criteria for a parametric data. Most non-parametric tests can use interval/ratio/ordinal/nominal data. Such as Spearmans rho, Mann-Whitney, Wilcoxon and chi-squared.

Non-parametric tests

Qualitative data


Interpretive phenomenological analysis Grounded theory

The view that humans are different from other natural phenomena because of language and self-consciousness. Understanding human experience requires an understanding of the influence of these factors Analysis explores how participants make sense of the world Starts with coding each line of text. On further analysis the codes start to combine into larger constructs. These constructs can in turn, be explored and links between them studied. Any theories that emerge are grounded to the data. Analysis of speech or written discourse To tell the reader what the report is about To provide the reader with a brief summary of the study To introduce the background and rationale of the study To describe how the study was done To summarise the findings To discuss the findings and their implications To inform the reader about the sources of information Can be used for detailed information not in the report A term that is used to refer to views being based on observable phenomena and not on personal opinion, prejudices or emotion A view that suggests that experience is central to the development and formation of knowledge, and thus central to the scientific method. Experiences or evidence arises out of experiments not intuition or revelation. The ability for procedures and or findings to be reproduced or repeated Based on reason The ability to show that a theory is false A shared set of assumptions about the subject matter of a discipline and the methods used to study it. A periodic scientific publication which acts as a permanent record of research. The scrutiny of research by independent experts


Discourse analysis Title Abstract Introduction Method Results Discussion References Appendices


Objectivity Empiricism

Replicability Scientific process Rational Falsifiability Paradigm Journal Peer review