Basic Research Terminology -A study, investigation, or a research project. -Subjects (sometimes abbreviated as ss) or the study participants: the people who are being studied. -Respondents or, sometimes, informants: when the subjects provide information to the researchers.
- Researcher , investigator, or scientist : is the person who undertakes the research. - Principal investigator or project director; the main person directing the investigation when a study is under taken by a research team
ØConcepts: Ø - Conceptualization refers to the process of developing and refining abstract ideas. Ø Scientific res. Is almost always concerned with abstract rather than tangible phenomena.
Ø Variables: -Within the context of a research investigation, concepts are referred to as variables. - Is something that varies or differs from one person to another. - All research activity is aimed at trying to understand how or why things vary and to learn how differences in one variable are related to differences in another.
-A variable, then, is any quality of person, group or situation that varies or takes on different values. -Categorical variables: place individuals into categorical ( as: pregnant / not pregnant, male/ female, single/ married/ divorced/ widowed).
- Attribute variables: are often inherent ch. Such as age, blood type, health beliefs. Ø Heterogeneity: when an attribute is extremely varied in the group under study, the group is said to be heterogeneous with respect to that variable
ØHomogeneity: when the members of the group are highly similar to one another with respect to that variable, the group is described as homogeneous. Ø Demographic variables: - Are ch. ch or attributes of the subject that are collected to describe the sample.
Dependent variables and Independent variables. Ø Independent variable Ø Dependent variable Presumed cause. presumed effect. • Variability in the dependent variable is presumed to depend on variability in the independent variable.
Ø The dependent variable is the variable the researcher is interested in understanding explaining, or predicating. Ø Dependent is the response, behaviors or out come that the researcher wants to predict or explain.
Ø The dependent variable is the “effect’’ or the variable that is influenced by the researcher’s manipulation (Control) of the independent variable. Ø The designation of a variables as independent or dependent is a function of the role that the variable plays in a particular investigation.
Operational Definitions: Ø The researcher usually clarifies and define the variable under investigation. Ø The definition must specify how the variable will be observed and measured in the actual research situation. Ø It is a specification of the operations that the researcher must perform to collect the required information.
Ø This operational definition clearly indicated to both the investigator and to the consumer what is meant by the variable weight. Ø Precision in defining the terms has the advantage of communicating exactly what the terms mean. -Data: - singular, datum) Are the pieces of information obtained in the course of the investigation
Relationship: • Refers to a bond or connection between two variables or more. Ø Example: v Height: taller people will weigh more than shorter people. v Metabolism: the lower a person’s metabolic rate, the more he or she will weigh. v Caloric intake: people with higher caloric intake will be heavier than those with lower caloric intake. v Exercise: the greater the amount of exercise, the lower the person’s weight.
• Variables can be related to one another in different ways: 1. Cause – and – effect (or causal relationships). ( as natural phenomena) – eating more calories causes weight gain. 2. Functional relationship • Control - Research control attempts to eliminate any contaminating factors that might obscure the relationship between the variables that are of central interest.