Psychological Discovery 3
Quantitative research. Measuring variables for individuals participants to obtain
scores, usually numerical values, that are submitted to
statistical analysis for summary and interpretation.
Qualitative research. Making observations that are summarised and interpreted in
a narrative report.
Research strategy. General approach to research determined by the kind of
question that the research study hopes to answer.
Sample. Group of people who participate in a study.
Population. All of the people about whom a study is meant to generalise.
Random sample. Achieved through random selection in which each member
of the population is equally likely to be chosen.
Subject variable. Characteristic inherent in the subjects that cannot be
Alternative Idea that it is possible that some other, uncontrolled,
explanation. extraneous variable may be responsible for the observed
Static item. Used on a checklist on which attributes that will not change
Action item. Type of item to note the presence/absence of behaviours.
Partially open winded ‘other’ option to closed questions.
Rating scale. Numerical scale on which survey respondents indicate the
direction and strength of their response.
Loaded question. Non neutral/emotionally laden terms.
Double-barrelled Asks more than one thing.
Response bias. Tendency to consistently give the same answer to all almost
all items on a survey.
Sampling bias. Tendency for one group to be overrepresented in a sample.
Socially desirable Response given because respondent believes it is deemed
response. appropriate by society.
Causality. Assumption that a correlation indicates a causal relationship
between two variables.
Directionality. The inference made with respect to the direction of a causal
relationship between two variables.
Third-variable Correlation between two variables being dependent on
problem. another variable.
Person-who Arguing that a well-established statistical trend is invalid
argument. because we know a person who went against the trend.
Selecting research participants
o Probability sampling – each member of the population has a known
probability of being selected.
Representative sample – a sample that is like the population. Random selection – each member of the population is likely to
Stratified random sampling – ensures that subgroups/strata are
Cluster sampling – clusters of participants that represent the
population are being used.
o Nonprobability sampling – individual members of the population do
not have an equal/known likelihood of being selected.
Convenience sampling – participants obtained wherever they
can be found and typically wherever is convenient for the
Quota sampling – ensuring that the sample is like the
population on certain characteristics but uses convenience.
Research methods in science
o Observational method – making observations of human/animal
Naturalistic observation – observing behaviour in their normal
Laboratory observation – observing behaviour in a more
contrived and controlled situation.
o Case study method – in-depth study of one or more individuals.
o Survey method – questioning an individual on a topic and then
describing their responses.
Predictive (relational) methods:
o Correlational method – assesses the degree of relationship between two
Positive correlation – increase in one = increase in other.
Negative correlation – increase in one = decrease in other.
o Quasi-experimental method – compares naturally occurring groups of
individuals e.g. whether alcohol consumption in a fraternity differs
from not in one.
o Experimental method – allows a researcher to establish a cause and
effect relationship through manipulation of a variable and control of
Descriptive. Observational. Allows description of behaviour(s).
Case study. Does not support reliable predictions.
Survey. Does not support cause and effect explanations.