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Research Methods Definitions Notes

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Research methods definitions Reliability: the extent to which a method of measurement or a research study produces consistent findings across situations or over time - repetition Validity: the extent to which something is true. This may be applied to a measurement tool, such as a psychological test, or to the 'trueness' of an experimental procedure , both in terms of what goes on within the experiment (internal validity) and its relevance to other situations (external validity) - are you measuring what you claim to?
Natural experiment: a type of experiment in which use is made of some naturally occurring variables Non-directional hypothesis: a prediction that there will be a difference or correlation between two variables, but no statement about the duration of the difference Directional hypothesis: a prediction that there will be a difference or correlation between variables and a statement of the direction of the difference Independent measures: a research design in which each participant is in one condition only. Each separate group of participants experiences different levels of the independent variable - sometimes referred to as an unrelated or between-subjects design Behavioural category: a way in which the types of behaviour that are expected to be observed are organised and clearly defined using observation criteria to increase the reliability of the observation Operationalization of variables: the process of defining the variables Demand characteristics: features of an experimental situation used by participants to work out what is expected of them and to behave as they think they are expected to Measure of central tendency: any means of representing the mid-point of a set of data, such as the mean, median and mode Measure of dispersion: any means of expressing the spread of the data, such as range or standard deviation Statistically significant: the idea that the results from a study are not due to chance but by the manipulation of an independent variable in an

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