The Vocabulary of Research  Scientific Inquiry

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The Vocabulary of Research Scientific Inquiry

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1. The Vocabulary of Research (Scientific Inquiry)

2. Research Terminology Jeopardy

3. What is the letter p? The letter of the alphabet that is associated with tests of statistical significance that indicates what level of chance the research is willing to take that his/her research findings didn’t happen by chance Such as .05 (5 out of 100) or .001 (1 out of 1,000)

4. What is the letter r? In corerrelational research, the letter used to show the degree of relationship among variables

5. What is the letter t? A type of statistical test used to determine if the difference in two sets of scores happened by chance or not.

6. What is the letter F? A type of statistical test used to determine if the difference in three or more sets of scores happened by chance or not.

7. What is the letter ? (alpha)? A greek letter that is sometimes used instead of p to show the level of probability associated with a test of statistical significance.

8. What is a Control Group? A group in an experimental study that receives no treatment.

9. What is an Experimental Group? The group in an an experiment that receives a new treatment

10. What is an Independent Variable? A variable that precedes, influences or predicts the outcome of the study. The researcher manipulates this variable, or in the case of preexisting variables that cannot be manipulated (sex, race, etc), selects the variable for inclusion in the study.

11. What is a Dependent Variable? The variable that the researcher measures; it is caused by the independent variable. Sometimes called the outcome variable--measures the effect of whatever experiment you've performed. For example, if you're studying the effects of fertilizer on plant growth, this variable would be the height of the plant. (The amount of fertilizer you gave would be the independent variable.)

12. What are Confounding Variables? A variable, other than those being explored in a given study, that affects the research outcomes. There are three types: Intervening: other variables such as motivation or intelligence are at play Organismic: physical traits such as poor eyesight or hearing are at play Extraneous: Fatigue, room temperature, distractions, etc. are at play

13. What is a Problem? The topic being investigated once it has been refined.

14. What is a Problem Statement? A sentence or paragraph that explains the purpose of a given investigation.

15. What are Assumptions? Something believed to be true, but not actually verified; are normally listed in chapter 1 of a thesis or dissertation.

16. What are Limitations? Natural conditions that restrict the scope of a study and may affect its outcome.

17. What is Generalizability? The extent to which findings from a given study can be applied to other settings and populations

18. What is a Likert scale? A scale used to assess attitude or opinion; subjects respond by indicating how strongly they agree or disagree with a statement provided.

19. What is Nominal data? Categorical data where the order of the categories is arbitrary and has no true meaning other than classification One number is not better or higher than another number Social Security number Drivers License number Male (1) or Female (2)

20. What is Ordinal data? A scale that expresses data as rankings, rather than scores A, B, C, D, F Socio Economic Status Professorial ranks

21. What is Interval data? Measurement scales expressed in equal number units, but not having a true zero point (achievement tests, aptitude scores) IQ score Learning style Temperature

22. What is Ratio data? Measurement scales expressed in equal number units, but having a true zero point Test score Salary Weight Distance For all practical purposes interval data and this type of data are treated the same statistically

23. What is a Population? The total group to whom research findings are to be generalized. A precisely defined set of objects, people, groups, or societies.

24. What is a Sample? A group selected from a much larger population.

25. What is a Hypothesis? A testable statement of a predicted relationship or difference among selected variables.

26. What is a Null Hypothesis? A hypothesis that states that no differences or relationship exists among specified variables. Also called the statistical hypothesis. From a logic and statistics standpoint, you can reject or fail to reject this type of hypothesis.

27. What is Meta-Analysis? Research that synthesizes the results of a number of previous studies. (simple answer) A statistical process for identifying significant trends from a number of studies that might not be readily apparent in only one or two studies. (complex answer)

28. What is Validity? The degree to which a measurement instrument measures what it is intended to measure (instrument) The degree to which a research study has true and accurate findings (research)

29. What is Reliability? An index of the consistency of data or test results; results should very nearly be the same, time after time.

30. What is Internal Validity? The degree to which the effects of extraneous variables have been controlled in a study.

31. What is External Validity? The extent to which findings of a particular study can be generalized elsewhere.

32. What is Statistically Significance? The probability that a particular research finding has happened by chance. If the probability of this happening is very low, then the research can claim to be:

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