Research Methods Midterm


a formal statement of how concepts are related


a general category of ideas that are represented by our variables


a prediction of how concepts are related that is often deducted from a theory

descriptive research

research where the goal is to describe the characteristics of a population (i.e., not test a hypothesis)

explanatory research

research where the goal is to explain the relationship between variables (i.e., to test a hypothesis)

qualitative research

studies of differences in the kind or quality of behavior

quantitative research

studies of differences in the amount of behavior

basic research

research conducted to increase the body of knowledge of a discipline

applied research

the use of basic research findings to improve conditions in real-world settings

cross-sectional research

the study of people of different ages

longitudinal research

the study of the same people over time or at different stages in their lives

laboratory research

systematic observation of behavior conducted in a controlled setting (lab)

peer reviewed

the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published in a journal or as a book (internet definition)

independent variable

the variable manipulated by the researcher and expected to influence the dependent variable

dependent variable

measures of behaviors or mental processes expected to be affected by independent variables

moderating variable

variables that increase, decrease, or reverse the relationship between the independent and dependent variables

mediating variable

a variable that is assumed to be a predictor of one or more dependent variables and, at the same time, is predicted by one or more independent variables

controlled experiments

experiments conducted in a laboratory

field experiments

experiments conducted in the natural setting

confounding variable

variables that systematically vary with the independent variable and may cause changes in the dependent variable

independent groups design

an experiment where different groups of participants are independently assigned to treatment groups

demand characteristics

refers to an experimental artifact where participants form an interpretation of the experiment's purpose and subconsciously change their behavior to fit that interpretation (internet definition)

single blind study

participant does not know which group they are in (control or experimental)

double blind study

neither participants or research assistant knows which group participants are in (control or experimental)

factorial design

multiple independent variables in a single study (internet definition)

main effect

in ANOVA, the effects of each independent variable of the dependent variable

interaction effect

the effect of combinations of levels of independent variables on the dependent variable

within subjects design (repeated measures design)

in experimental design, a dependent groups design where more than one measure has been taken on the same individuals

matched groups design

a dependent-groups experimental design where participants are matched or made equivalent on a variable(s) that is correlated with the dependent variable

carryover effects

changes in the dependent variable caused by the order of presentation of the levels of the independent variable


requires that each condition occurs equally as often, and precedes and follows all other conditions the same number of times

mixed factorial design

an experimental design using between- and within-participants variables

applied behavior analysis

the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior (internet defin


behavior that operates on the environment to produce effects of consequences


natural level of a behavior


periods of time in which the individual is studied to see how his or her behavior changes when different treatments are introduced, withdrawn, or changed

quasi experiment

a non experimental design where comparison groups are not formed by the researcher and, therefore, are not under the control of the researcher

time series design

quasi-experimental designs in which measures are taken both before and after a treatment or event has occurred

nonequivalent groups design

a non experimental design where changes in behavior among groups that differ at the outset of the study are compared

case study

detailed studies of a single individual

correlational study

a non experimental approach that assess the relationship between two or more variables

observational research

systematic observations of behavior

naturalistic observation

the observation of behavior in its natural environment

reactivity effect

well suited for studying behaviors that we fear would be altered or not occur at all if the participants knew they were being observed

participant observation

observational research where the researcher is part of the group being observed


a method of data collection where questions are asked in an interview of with a questionnaire


collection of data by asking questions


collection of data by having respondents read the questions and write their responses

focus group

a facilitated interview of a small group of people