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Basic Concepts and Terminology 1


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research fundamentals
research should be free, based on sound empirical observation methods, and published subject to blind peer review
hypothesis
proposed relationship between variables that's being tested in a research project
zero hypothesis
assumption that the hypothesis is false and there's no relationship between the variables (point of departure in all research)
interpretive hypothesis
conceptual hypothesis that states a conjecture about what something might mean
explanatory hypothesis
empirical hypothesis stating that X is caused or made possible by Y
predictive hypothesis
empirical hypothesis stating that in conditions ABC, X will (tend to) occur
descriptive hypothesis
empirical hypothesis stating that all Xs have features F or belong to class Y
falsifiability
when a hypothesis can be conceivably proved wrong
dependent variable
the variable we are trying to assess, as caused by another variable
independent variable
measured factor influencing the dependent variable; what we manipulate (change) to see how that affects the dependent variable
correlation
statistical relationship between variables or data that reveals whether or not those are connected
correlational relationship
any relationship where a change in one variable coincides with a change in another variable
causal relationship
relationship between variables where a change in one causes a change in the other
causal mechanism
the exact way in which one thing causes another
reverse causality
where we think that A is causing B, but in fact the opposite is the case
spurious relationship
false, mistaken association between variables (where the effect is actually due to a third variable)
confounding factor
("intervening variable") external variable which affects the dependent variable and obscures the relationship under examination
inductive reasoning
reasoning where concrete observations in the real world are used to formulate general rules or laws
intervening variable
("confounding factor") an external variable which affects the dependent variable and obscures the relationship under examination
deductive reasoning
reasoning where general laws or rules are used to predict likely outcomes in the real world