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PSY213 Research Methods Key terms.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Giampaolo Moraglia

PSY213Chapter2–Keyterms Theory Coherent set of related concepts that seeks to organize and explain data Data Information gathered from research Quantitative development Changes occurring with age, in number or amount of something, such as how many items can be remembered Qualitative development Changes occurring at successive times of like, in kind, nature, structure, or organization of phenomena, such as stages of development Meta theory Hypothesis about the operation of the universe, which embraces a group of theories having similar assumptions and values Model Concrete image/other representation of a theory, which helps in understanding meaningful relationships among data. Mechanistic perspective Meta theory, based on the machine as a metaphor, that views development as a response to internal and external stimuli and studies phenomena by analyzing the operation of their component parts. Information-processing theory Study of mental processes that underlie intelligent behaviour; these involve manipulation of symbols and perceptions to acquire, store, retrieve info and solve problems Organismic perspective Meta theory that views development as internally initiated and controlled and as occurring in a universal sequence of qualitatively different stages culminating in full maturation Stage Specific pattern of behaviour typical of a certain period of development, which leads to a qualitatively different, usually more advanced pattern of behaviour Contextual perspective Meta theory that views development as the product of an ongoing process of interaction between an individual and the context within which the individual acts to achieve goals Valid With regard to research, yielding conclusions appropriate to the phenomena and population under study Reliable With regard to research method/tool, consistent in measuring performance Quantitative research Research that focusses on change in degree or amount, such as numbers of learning experiences. Qualitative research Research that focusses on changes in kind, such as new behaviours/new stages. One example would be moving from preoperational stage to concrete operational stage. Scientific method System of established principles and processes of scientific inquiry, including careful observation and recording of data, testing of alternative hypotheses, and wide spread dissemination of findings and conclusions so that other scientists can check, analyze, and repeat, learn from, and build on the results. External validity Generalizability of experimental results beyond the study situation Sample Group of research participants chosen to represent a population under study Random selection Technique used to ensure representativeness of a sample by giving each member of a population an equal chance to be selected. Random sample Type of study sample in which representativeness is ensured through random selection Naturalistic observation Method of research in which people’s behaviour is noted and recorded in natural settings without the observer’s intervention/manipulation Laboratory observation Research method in whic
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