Flashcards by donellasquires, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by donellasquires almost 7 years ago


This serves to provide a practical and user friendly approach to research, particularly in the Social Sciences and is geared towards providing a fundamental understanding of relevant concepts.

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RESEARCH DESIGN - A research design is a systematic plan to study a scientific problem. - A detailed outline of how an investigation will take place. A research design will typically include how data is to be collected, what instruments will be employed, how the instruments will be used and the intended means for analyzing data collected.
Research Methods / Techniques The process used to collect information and data for the purpose of making decisions. The methodology may include publication research, interviews, surveys and other research techniques, and could include both present and historical information.
THEORY A theory is a well-established principle that has been developed to explain some aspect of the natural world. A theory arises from repeated observation and testing and incorporates facts, laws, predictions, and tested hypotheses that are widely accepted
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK - The theoretical framework is the structure that can hold or support a theory of a research study. The theoretical framework introduces and describes the theory which explains why the research problem under study exists.
MODELS A representation of a system that allows for investigation of the properties of the system and, in some cases, prediction of future outcomes. Models are often used in quantitative analysis and technical analysis, and sometimes also used in fundamental analysis.
PARADIGM Thomas Kuhn's (1962, 1970) concept in The Nature of Science Revolution, defines paradigm as the underlying assumptions and intellectual structure upon which research and development in a field of inquiry is based
EXPERIMENT Research method for testing different assumptions (hypotheses) by trial and error under conditions constructed and controlled by the researcher. During the experiment, one or more conditions (called independent variables) are allowed to change in an organized manner and the effects of these changes on associated conditions (called dependent variables) is measured, recorded, validated, and analyzed for arriving at a conclusion
HYPOTHESIS A hypothesis is a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables. A hypothesis is a specific, testable prediction about what you expect to happen in your study. For example, a study designed to look at the relationship between sleep deprivation and test performance might have a hypothesis that states, "This study is designed to assess the hypothesis that sleep deprived people will perform worse on a test than individuals who are not sleep deprived.
RELIABILITY Reliability is the degree to which an assessment tool produces stable and consistent results.
VALIDITY Validity refers to how well a test measures what it is purported to measure.
POPULATION A research population is generally a large collection of individuals or objects that is the main focus of a scientific query. It is for the benefit of the population that researches are done. However, due to the large sizes of populations, researchers often cannot test every individual in the population because it is too expensive and time-consuming. This is the reason why researchers rely on sampling techniques. A research population is also known as a well-defined collection of individuals or objects known to have similar characteristics. All individuals or objects within a certain population usually have a common, binding characteristic or trait.
SAMPLING Sampling is the process of selecting units (e.g., people, organizations) from a population of interest so that by studying the sample we may fairly generalize our results back to the population from which they were chose
VARIABLES Variables can be defined as any aspect of a theory that can vary or change as part of the interaction within the theory. In other words, variables are anything can effect or change the results of a study. Every study has variables as these are needed in order to understand differences
INDEPENDENT VARIABLE This is the factor manipulated by the researcher, and it produces one or more results, known as dependent variables. There are often not more than one or two independent variables tested in an experiment, otherwise it is difficult to determine the influence of each upon the final results.
DEPENDENT VARIABLE The dependent variable is the variable that is being measured in an experiment. For example, in a study looking at how tutoring impacts test scores, the dependent variable would be the participants' test scores.
REPRESENTATIVENESS The ability to give a reasonably accurate portrayal of the research subject's characteristics and known diversity. As applied to survey samples, or case-study samples, this is judged by the extent to which key characteristics of the sample are the same as the characteristics of the population from which the sample was selected. In relation to single cases, the criterion would be the typicality of the case selected. The term is also applied to research reports, for example to assess whether verbatim quotations, incidents described in detail, or other selectively reported results reflect the full variety and weight of the results obtained.
RESPONDENT Research respondents are people who agree to take part in a research project such as a survey. For example, if you complete a questionnaire about your working life, and then send it back to a student or academic who uses it to gain information about working life in your particular sector, you will be a research respondent.
QUESTIONNAIRE A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents.
INTERVIEW SCHEDULE An interview schedule is the guide an interviewer uses when conducting a STRUCTURED INTERVIEW . It has two components: a set of questions designed to be asked exactly as worded, and instructions to the interviewer about how to proceed through the questions. The questions appear in the order in which they are to be asked. The questions are designed so they can be administered verbatim, exactly as they are written. The questions need to communicate not only what information is being asked of R ESPONDENTS but also the form or the way in which respondents are Similarly, ...
LIKERT SCALE Likert-type or frequency scales use fixed choice response formats and are designed to measure attitudes or opinions (Bowling, 1997; Burns, & Grove, 1997). These ordinal scales measure levels of agreement/disagreement. A Likert-type scale assumes that the strength/intensity of experience is linear, i.e. on a continuum from strongly agree to strongly disagree, and makes the assumption that attitudes can be measured. Respondents may be offered a choice of five to seven or even nine pre-coded responses with the neutral point being neither agree nor disagree. In it final form, the Likert Scale is a five (or seven) point scale which is used to allow the individual to express how much they agree or disagree with a particular statement. For example: I believe that ecological questions are the most important issues facing human beings today. Strongly agree / agree / don’t know / disagree / strongly disagree Each of the five (or seven) responses would have a numerical value which would be used to measure the attitude under investigation.
DOCUMENT ANALYSIS The detailed examination of documents produced across a wide range of social practices, taking a variety of forms from the written word to the visual image. The significance of the documents may be located in the historical circumstances of production, in their circulation and reception of the item and also the social functions, interpretations, effects and uses that may be associated with them. A wide range of documents is available to the social researcher. Personal items such as diaries, letters, aide-mémoires , shopping lists and photographs produced as part of everyday existence may form a private documentary record, evidence of the way lives are lived and how the social world is engaged with by individuals and social groups at different times and in different places. Life is usually recorded by a birth certificate, accompanied by a passport or identity card and may be concluded by a death certificate. Although involving ...
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