Write a response to each of the following items. If you have doubts about the
correctness of your answers, share them with other members of your small group
or one of the instructors of the course. If many of your responses are not
correct, it indicates that you probably need more study of research procedures
than will be provided in this course. In this case you should purchase a general
research methods textbook (such as Borg & Gall) to study this quarter along
with the other readings of the course.
Principle: A null hypothesis usually indicates that there is no difference
between groups or no relationship between variables. Example: There is no
difference in test scores between men and women.
Score: 1 / 1
Give an example of an operational definition.
Principle: An operational definition indicates how you intend to measure the
variable. Example: Depression is the number of times you cry per week.
What is ERIC used for?
ERIC is a computerized data base used to search for educational literature.
Give an example of a stratified random sample.
Principle: A stratified random sample is a sample in which the elements are
randomly selected from many subgroups of the total population. Example: Taking a
random sample of 50 men and 50 women.
Give an example of a purposive sample.
Principle: A purposive sample is a sample in which subjects are chosen
specifically for information they can provide. Example: Select the four high
school principals who have been the most out-spoken concerning a certain issue,
with two being in favor and two against the issue.
Score: 0 / 1
What is the main advantage of longitudinal research?
The advantage of longitudinal research is that since you are studying the
same subjects for a long period of time you can study growth in the subjects.
What is the purpose of having a control group in a research study?
A control group is used so you can evaluate whether changes in the
experimental group(s) are due to the treatment which the control group does not
receive or to other factors which are similar for the control group and the
Give an example of triangulation as used in qualitative research.
Principle: Triangulation is gather the same data using many sources or using
many methods to establish the reliability and validity of the data gathered.
Example: Asking the student, the student's teacher and other students in the
student's class to evaluate how a student participates in class.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of participant observation?
By becoming part of the group that you are observing, you can participate in
the dynamics of what the group is experiencing from within the group, observing
things that an "outsider" would never be aware of.
Why is informed consent important in research?
Human subjects should not be subjected to research conditions that might have
a detrimental effect on them unless they (or their guardians) have given their
consent, after being informed of what will happen to them and the potential
How can a test be made more reliable?
The most common ways of increasing reliabiliy of measurement are to have more
samples of the trait being measured (longer tests or more observations) or to
objectify or standardize the measurement procedure and/or scoring (e.g., check
list, multiple choice items, video tape observations).
Give an example of evidence that would support the construct validity of a
Principle: Construct validity is measured by determining whether the results
of your measurement are consistent with other data that are theorized as being
related to what is being measured. Example: An IQ test that gives verbal and
quantitative scores should expect the verbal scores to be more predictive of
verbal-type schoolwork and the quantitative score to be more predictive of
What might cause a research study to lack internal validity?
Principle: Studyies lack internal validity when the conclusions are not
correct because of other factors not studied in the research. Example: If a
study claimed that men get higher grades than women but the sample was not
representative because it had more "bright" men than "bright" women than in the
population, then IQ is the cause, not gender and the study lacks internal
What might cause a research study to lack external validity?
Principle: A study lacks external validity if the sample used in the study is
not similar to the group to which the conclusions are made by the authors of the
study or by others. Example: A study based on children in the USA may not have
external validity when applied to children in France.