Chapter 3 - Research Design

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Chapter 3

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Steps for Resolving the Causality Problem 1. Demonstrate that a relationship exists between the key variables 2. Specify the time order of the relationship 3. Eliminate rival causal factors
rival causal factors variables that could conceivable explain away the original relationships the researchers had claimed
spurious relationship a false relationship; one that is not caused by the believed variables but can be explained by other variables
internal validity accuracy within the study itself
external validity accuracy in the ability to generalize or infer findings from a study to a larger population
history specific events other than the treatment that during the course of a study may be responsible for producing the results
maturation biological or psychological changes in the respondents during the course of a study that are not due to the treatment variable
testing (pretest bias) the bias and foreknowledge introduced to respondents as a result of having been pretested
instrumentation changes in the measuring instrument during the course of a study that invalidate comparisons
statistical regression tendency of groups that have been selected for study on the basis of extreme high or low scores to regress (fall back) toward the mean (average) on second testing
selection bias involves choosing nonequivalent groups for comparison
experimental mortality loss of subjects over the course of time
selection-maturation interaction combination of errors introduced by selection bias plus the differential maturation of groups
testing effects pretest effects or bias that is introduced as a result of having occurred events that actually occurred before the reference period
reactivity atypical or artificial behavior produced by respondent's awareness of being studied
multiple-treatment interference outcome produced by combinations of treatments; it may be difficult to isolate the specific combinations responsible
Hawthorne Effect (named for an experiment at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric Company). Subjects behave atypically if aware of being studied
halo-effect observer bias; observers follow an initial tendency to rate certain objects or subjects in a biased manner
post hoc error incorrect assumption that because one variable precedes another in time, it is the cause of the outcome
placebo effect tendency of control groups to react to believed treatment in a positive manner
double-blind experiment neither the subjects nor administrators in an experiment know which group is receiving the treatment
research designs a major way of controlling for invalidity in research; a means of excluding rival causal factors
experimental designs random assignment to treatment and control groups and include the classical, posttest-only control group, and Solomon four-group designs
Quasi-experimental designs these do not use random assignment groups and instead employ matching or other means of obtaining equivalence groups; include time-series and counterbalanced designs
preexperimental designs lack any equivalence of groups and include one- and two-group ex post facto and one-group before-after designs
classical experimental design contains 3 key elements: equivalence, pretests and posttests, experimental and control groups
equivalence the attempt on the part of the researcher to select and assign subjects to comparison groups in such a manner that they can be assumed to be alike in all major respects
randomization the random assignment of subjects from a similar population to one or the other groups to be compared in such a way that each individual has an equal probability of being chosen and an equal probability of being assigned to any of the groups to be compared
matching assuring equivalence by selecting subjects for the second or other comparison groups on the basis of matching certain key characteristics such as age, sex, and race, so that the groups are similar or equivalent with respect to these characteristics
pretest exploratory test of an instrument on subjects who are similar to the group to be studied; observation prior to exposure to treatment
post test measurement after exposure to treatment
experimental group the group exposed to treatment
control group the group that is not exposed to the stimulus or predictor variable
dualistic fallacy the assumption that prisoners (who are supposed to represent criminals) and groups from the general population (all of whom are supposed to represent noncriminals) represent mutually exclusive groups (or are nonoverlapping)
time-series designs measuring a single variable at successive points in time
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