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93 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
empirical support
Observations that are consistent with what we would expect to experience if a theory is correct or an intervention is effective.
(1) Generally, the duplication of a study to expose or reduce error or the reintroduction or withdrawal of an intervention to increase the internal validity of a quasi-experiment or single-case design evaluation. (2) One possible result in the elaboration model elaboration model that occurs when an original bivariate relationship appears to be essentially the same in the multivariate analysis as it was in the bivariate analysis.
scientific method
An approach to inquiry that attempts to safeguard against errors commonly made in casual human inquiry. Chief features include viewing all knowledge as provisional and subject to refutation, searching for evidence based on systematic and comprehensive observation, pursuing objectivity in observation, and replication.
evidence based practice
Using the best scientific evidence available in deciding how to intervene with individuals, families, groups, or communities.
randomized clinical trials
Experiments that use random means (such as a coin toss) to assign clients who share similar problems or diagnoses into groups that receive different interventions. If the predicted difference in outcome is found between the groups, it is not plausible to attribute the difference to a priori differences between two incomparable groups.
Characteristics of persons or things.
A mental image that symbolizes an idea, an object, an event, or a person.
critical social science
A paradigm distinguished by its focus on oppression and its commitment to use research procedures to empower oppressed groups.
The logical model in which specific expectations of hypotheses are developed on the basis of general principles.
dependent variable
That variable that is assumed to depend on, or be caused by, another
A tentative and testable prediction about how changes in one thing are expected to explain and be accompanied by changes in something else.
hypothesis testing
the determination of whether the expectations that a hypothesis represents are actually found to exist in the real world.
A closed system of beliefs and values that shapes the understanding and behavior of those who believe in it.
An approach to explanation in which we attempt to explain a single case fully, using as many explanatory factors as may be necessary.
independent variable
a variable whose values are not problematical in an analysis but are taken as simply given.
the logical model in which general principles are developed from specific observations.
An approach to social research that focuses on gaining an empathic understanding of how people feel inside, seeking to interpret individuals’ everyday experiences, deeper meanings and feelings, and idiosyncratic reasons for their behaviors.
An approach to explanation in which we attempt to discover factors that can offer a general, though imperfect, explanation of some phenomenon.
Information we gather by experience in the real world that helps us build a theory or verify whether it is correct when testing hypotheses.
A model or frame of reference that shapes our observations and understandings.
A paradigm introduced by August Comte that held that social behavior could be studied and understood in a rational, scientific manner—in contrast to explanations based in religion or superstition.
A paradigm that rejects the notion of a knowable objective social reality.
probabalistic knowledge
Knowledge based on probability that enables us to say that if A occurs, then B is more likely to occur. It does not enable us to say that B will occur, or even that B will probably occur.
qualitative research methods
Research methods that emphasize depth of understanding and the deeper meanings of human experience, and that aim to generate theoretically richer, albeit more tentative, observations.
quantitative research methods
Research methods that emphasize precise, objective, and generalizable findings.
variables that change together in a consistent, predictable fashion.
A systematic set of interrelated statements intended to explain some aspect of social life or enrich our sense of how people conduct and find meaning in their daily lives.
Logical groupings of attributes.
an arrangement that makes it impossible for a researcher to link any research data with a given research participant.
assent form
A brief consent form that a child can understand and sign before participating in a study; it uses simpler language than consent forms for adults about the features of the study that might affect their decision about whether they want to participate in it.
A promise by the researcher not to publicly identify a given research participant’s data.
consent form
A form that human subjects sign before participating in a study that provides full information about the features of the study that might affect their decision about whether to participate—particularly regarding its procedures, potential harm, and anonymity and confidentiality.
institutional review board
An independent panel of professionals that is required to approve the ethics of research involving human subjects.
cohort study
A study in which some specific group is studied over time, although data may be collected from different members in each set of observations.
ecological fallacy
Erroneously drawing conclusions about individuals based solely on the observation of groups.
longitudinal study
A study design that involves the collection of data at different points in time
panel study
Longitudinal studies in which data are collected from the same sample at several points in time.
A fault of some researchers: a strict limitation (reduction) of the kinds of concepts to be considered relevant to the phenomenon under study.
trend studies
longitudinal studies that monitor a given characteristic of some population over time.
units of analysis
The "what" or "whom" being studied.
The mental process whereby fuzzy and imprecise notions (concepts) are made more specific and precise
curvilinear relationship
A relationship between two variables that changes in nature at different values of the variables.
direct behavioral observation
A source of data, or type of data collection, in which researchers watch what people do rather than rely on what they say about themselves or what others say about them.
direct observation
A way to operationally define variables based on observing actual behavior.
mediating variable
the mechanism by which an independent variable affects a dependent variable.
moderating variable
A variable that influences the strength or direction of a relationship between independent and dependent variables.
negative relationship
A relationship between two variables in which one variable increases in value as the other variable decreases.
operational definition
The concrete and specific definition of something in terms of the operations by which observations are to be categorized.
the process of developing operational definitions.
positive relationship
A relationship between two variables in which one variable increases in value as the other variable also increases in value (or one decreases as the other decreases).
The process of regarding as real things that are not real.
Variables that change together in a consistent, predictable fashion.
a way to operationally define variables according to what people say about their own thoughts, views, or behaviors.
self-reports scales
A source of data in which research subjects all respond in writing to the same list of written questions or statements that has been devised to measure a particular construct.
spurious relationship
A relationship between two variables that are no longer related when a third variable is controlled; the third variable explains away the original relationship.
Logical groupings of attributes.
acquiescent response set
A source of measurement error in which people agree or disagree with most or all statements regardless of their content.
That quality of a measurement device that tends to result in a misrepresentation of what is being measured in a particular direction
coefficient alpha
A statistic for depicting the internal consistency reliability of an instrument; it represents the average of the correlations between the subscores of all possible subsets of half of the items on the instrument.
concurrent validity
A form of criterion-related validity examining a measure’s correspondence to a criterion that is known concurrently.
construct validity
The degree to which a measure relates to other variables as expected within a system of theoretical relationships and as reflected by the degree of its convergent validity and discriminant validity.
content validity
the degree to which a measure covers the range of meanings included within the concept.
convergent validity
The degree to which scores on a measure correspond to scores of other measures of the same construct.
criterion-related validity
The degree to which a measure relates with some external criterion.
cultural bias
A source of measurement error or sampling error stemming from researcher ignorance or insensitivity regarding how cultural differences can influence measurement or generalizations made to the entire population when certain minority groups are inadequately represented in the sample.
discriminant validity
The degree to which scores on an instrument correspond more highly to measures of the same construct than they do to scores on measures of other constructs.
face validity
what quality of an indicator that makes it seem a reasonable measure of some variable.
factor analysis
A statistical procedure that identifies which subsets of variables or items on a scale correlate with each other more than with other subsets. In so doing, it identifies how many dimensions a scale contains and which items cluster on which dimensions.
factorial validity
Whether the number of constructs and the items that make up those constructs on a measurement scale are what the researcher intends.
internal consistency reliability
A practical and commonly used approach to assessing reliability that examines the homogeneity of a measurement instrument by dividing the instrument into equivalent halves and then calculating the correlation of the scores of the two halves.
interrater reliability
The extent of consistency among different observers in their judgments, as reflected in the percentage of agreement or degree of correlation in their independent ratings.
known groups validity
a form of criterion-related validity that pertains to the degree to which an instrument accurately differentiates between groups that are known to differ in respect to the variable being measured.
parallel-forms reliability
Consistency of measurement between two equivalent measurement instruments. Consistency of measurement between two equivalent measurement instruments.
predictive validity
A form of criterion-related validity involving a measure’s ability to predict a criterion that will occur in the future.
random error
A measurement error that has no consistent pattern of effects and that reduces the reliability of measurement.
That quality of measurement method that suggests that the same data would have been collected each time in repeated observations of the same phenomenon.
self-reports scales
A source of data in which research subjects all respond in writing to the same list of written questions or statements that has been devised to measure a particular construct.
The ability of an instrument to detect subtle differences.
social desirability bias
A source of systematic measurement error involving the tendency of people to say or do things that will make them or their reference group look good.
systematic error
An error in measurement with a consistent pattern of effects.
test\-retest reliability
Consistency, or stability, of measurement over time.
The use of more than one imperfect data-collection alternative in which each option is vulnerable to different potential sources of error.
A descriptive term used of a measure that accurately reflects the concept that it’s intended to measure.
closed-ended question
the respondent is asked to select an answer from among a list provided by the researcher.
contingency question
A survey question that is to be asked of only some of the respondents, depending on their responses to some other question.
double-barreled question
Asking for a single answer to a question that really contains multiple questions
A type of composite measure that summarizes several specific observations and represents some more general dimension.
Likert scale
a type of composite measure that use such response categories as strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree.
open-ended questions
questions for which respondents are asked to provide their own answer
Testing out a scale or questionnaire in a dry run to see if the target population will understand it and not find it too unwieldy, as well as to identify any needed modifications.
A document that contains questions and other types of items that are designed to solicit information appropriate to analysis.
A type of composite measure composed of several items that have a logical or empirical structure among them.
semantic differential
A scaling format that asks respondents to choose between two opposite positions.