Research methods A2

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Case studies
An in-depth investigation, description and analysis of a single individual, group, institution or event.
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Content analysis
A research technique that enables the indirect study of behaviour by examining communications that people produce for example in texts, emails, TV, film and other media.
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Coding
The stage of content analysis in which the communication to be studied is analysed by identifying each instance of the chosen categories (which may be words, phrases etc.).
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Thematic analysis
An inductive and qualitative approach to analysis that involves identifying implicit or explicit ideas within the data. Themes will often emerge once the data has coded.
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Reliability
Refers to how consistent the findings from an investigation or measuring device are. A measuring device is said to be reliable if it produces consistent results every time it is used.
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Test-retest reliability
A method of assessing the reliability of a questionnaire or psychological test by assessing the same person on two separate occasions. This shows to what extent the test (or other measure) produces the same answers i.e. is consistent or reliable.
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Inter-observer reliability
The extent of agreement between 2+ observers involved in observation of behaviour, measured by correlating observations. A general rule is if (total number of agreements)/(total number of observations) >0.80, there is high inter-observer reliability.
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Validity
The extent to which an observed effect is genuine - does it measure what is was supposed to measure and can it be generalised beyond the research setting within which it was found.
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Face validity
A basic form of validity in which a measure is scrutinised to determine whether it appears to measure what it is supposed to measure e.g. does a test for anxiety look like is measures anxiety.
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Concurrent validity
The extent to which a psychological measure relates to an existing measure.
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Ecological validity
The extent to which findings from a research study can be generalised to other settings and situayions. It is a form of external validity.
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Temporal validity
The extent to which findings from a research study can be generalised to other historical times and eras. It is a form of external validity.
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Correlation
A mathematical technique in which a researcher investigates an asoociation between two variables called co-variables.
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Correlation coefficient
A number between -1 and +1 that represents the direction and strength of a relationship between two co-variables,
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Statistical tests
Used in psychology to determine whether a significant difference or correlation exists (and consequently, whether the null hypothesis should be rejected or retained).
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Levels of measurement1
Quantitative data can be classified into types or levels of measurement such as nominal, ordinal or interval.
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Probability
A measure of the likelihood that a particular event will occur where 0 indicates statistical impossibility and 1 statistical certainty.
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Significance
A statistical term that tells us how sure we are that there is a difference or correlation exits. A "significant" result means that the researcher can reject the null hypothesis.
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Critical value
When testing a hypothesis, the numerical boundary or cut-off point between acceptance and rejection of the null hypothesis.
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Type I error
The incorrect rejection of a true null hopthesis (a false positive).
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Type II error
The failure to reject a false null hypothesis (a false negative).
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Abstract
The key details of the research report.
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Introduction
A look at past research (theory and/or studies) on a smiliar topic. Includes the aims and hypothesis.
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Method
A description of what the researcher(s) dud, including design, sample, apparatus/materials, procedure and ethics.
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Results
A description of what the researcher(s) found, including descriptive and inferential statistics.
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Discussion
A consideration of what the results of a research study tell us in terms of psychological theory.
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References
List of sources that are referred to or quoted in the article e.g. journal articles books or websites, and their full details.
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Paradigm
A set of shared assumptions and agreed methods within a scientific discipline.
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Paradigm shift
The result of a scientific revolution: a significant change in the dominant unifying theory within scientific discipline.
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Objectivity
When all sources of personal bias are minimised so as not to distort or influence the research process.
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The empirical method
Scientific approaches that are based on the gathering of evidence through direct observation and experience.
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Replicability
The extent to which scientific procedures and findings can be repeated by other researchers.
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Falsifiability
The principle that a theory cannot be considered scientific unless it admits the possibility of being proven untrue (false).
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Card 2

Front

A research technique that enables the indirect study of behaviour by examining communications that people produce for example in texts, emails, TV, film and other media.

Back

Content analysis

Card 3

Front

The stage of content analysis in which the communication to be studied is analysed by identifying each instance of the chosen categories (which may be words, phrases etc.).

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

An inductive and qualitative approach to analysis that involves identifying implicit or explicit ideas within the data. Themes will often emerge once the data has coded.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Refers to how consistent the findings from an investigation or measuring device are. A measuring device is said to be reliable if it produces consistent results every time it is used.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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