Ethics and Research

  • Internal Review Board - Scholars and researchers across various disciplines who check proposed research studies to ensure that the procedures are not unduly harmful to participants, that appropriate procedures will be followed to obtain participants' informed consent, and that participants' privacy and anonymity are assured.
  • Professional Code of Ethics -Code of ethical standards that governs research involving human subjects and/or research involving animal subjects

Research Types

  • Quantitative Research -used to answer questions about relationships among measured variables with the purpose of explaining, predicting, and controlling phenomena.
  • Quantitative Research -used to answer questions about the complex nature of phenomena, often with the purpose of describing and understanding the phenomena from the participants' point of view.

Data Collection Methods

  • Random Assignment -the process of assigning individuals at random to groups or to different groups in an experiment
  • Outcome Measure -the response, criterion, or post test
  • Group Comparisons -the process of a researcher obtaining scores for individuals or groups on the dependent variable and comparing that means and variance both within a group and between groups.


  • Participant observer -takes part in activities in the setting they observe to learn more about the situation.
  • Non-participant observer -visits a site and records notes without becoming involved in the activities of the participants.


  • Cross-sectional survey design - used to collect data about current attitudes, opinions, or beliefs at one point in time.
  • Longitudinal survey design -used to study individuals over time.


  • Instrument -a tool for measuring, observing, or documenting quantitative data.


  • Validity -the extent to which inferences are appropriate, meaningful, and useful
  • Reliability -the extent to which scores are free from error


  • Population -a large group of individuals to whom the results of a study can be generalized
  • Subject -person from whom data are collected
  • Target population -the group to whom the results are intended to be generalized.
  • Probability sampling -method of sampling in which subjects are selected randomly from a population in such a way that the researcher knows the probability of selecting each subject.
  • Sampling frame -the group to whom the researcher has access and from which the actual sample will be drawn.
  • Sampling error -the difference between the 'true' result and the 'observed' result that can be attributed to using samples rather then populations.
  • Sampling bias -the difference between the 'observed' and the 'true' results that is attributed to the sampling mistake of the researcher.

Descriptive Statistics

  • Statistics -procedures that summarize and analyze quantitative data
  • Descriptive statistics - statistical procedures that summarize a set of numbers in terms of central tendency, variation, or relationships.
  • Frequency distribution -an organization of the data set indicating the number of times (i.e.) frequency each score was present.
  • Range -the difference between the highest and lower scores.

Reporting Results

  • P-Value -represents probability and is a number between zero and one.
  • ANOVA analysis - used to examine the differences in the means of several different groups at once. 
  • Two Sample T-test -used to comparing two random samples of independent variables.
  • One Sample T-test -used to compare your sample data to a known standard (usually population data). 
  • Chi Squared Tests - statistical method used to compare observed and hypothesized data.  The purpose of the test is to find out if there is a statistically significant difference between the data that you observe in an experiment and the data that you hypothesize.