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GLOSSARY

These terms below are from the book:
Educational Research
Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Approaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABack

Abstract — brief summary of what is in an article

A-B-A design — a single-case experimental design in which the response to the experimental treatment condition is compared to baseline responses taken before and after administering the treatment condition

A-B-A-B design — an A-B-A design that is extended to include the reintroduction of the treatment condition

Accessible population — the research participants who are available for participation in the research

Achievement tests — tests that are designed to measure the degree of learning that has taken place after person has been exposed to a specific learning experience

Acquiescence response set — tendency to either agree or to disagree

Across-stage mixed model research — quantitative and qualitative approaches are mixed across at least two of the stages of research

Action research — applied research focused on solving practitioner’s local problems

Active consent — a process whereby consent is provided by signing a consent form (compare to passive consent)

Additive and interactive effects — refers to the fact that the threats to internal validity can combine to produce an additive or multiplicative bias

Alpha level — see significance level

Alternative hypothesis — statement that the population parameter is some value other than the value stated by the null hypothesis

Ambiguous temporal precedence — the inability to specify which variable is the cause and which is the effect

Amount technique — manipulating the independent variable by giving the various comparison groups different amounts of the independent variable

Analysis of covariance — a statistical method that can be used to statistically equate groups that differ on a pretest or some other variable; a statistical method that used to examine the relationship between one categorical independent variable and one quantitative dependent variable controlling for one or more extraneous variables

Analysis of variance — see one-way analysis of variance

Anchor — a written descriptor for a point on a rating scale

Anonymity — keeping the identity of the participant from everyone, including the researcher

Applied research — research focused on answering practical questions to provide relatively immediate solutions

A priori codes — codes that were developed before examining the current data

Aptitude tests — tests that focus on information acquired through the informal learning that goes on in life

Archived research data — data originally used for research purposes and then stored

Assent — agreeing to participate after being informed of all the features of the study that could affect the participant’s willingness to participate

Assessment — gathering and integrating data to make educational evaluations

Attrition — loss of people who do not complete the experiment

Axial coding — the second stage in grounded theory data analysis


BBack

Backstage behavior — what people say and do only with their closest friends

Bar graph — a graph that uses vertical bars to represent the data

Baseline — the behavior of the participant prior to the administration of a treatment condition

Basic research — research aimed at generating fundamental knowledge and theoretical understanding about basic human and other natural processes

Biased sample — a sample that is systematically different from the population

Boolean operators — words used to create logical combinations

Bracket — to suspend your preconceptions or learned feelings about a phenomenon


CBack

Carryover effect — a sequencing effect that occurs when performance in one treatment condition is influenced by participation in a prior treatment condition(s)

Case — a bounded system

Case study research — a form of qualitative research that is focused on providing a detailed account and analysis of one or more cases

Categorical variable — a variable that varies in type or kind

Causal-comparative research — a form of nonexperimental research in which the primary independent variable of interest is a categorical variable

Causal description — describing the consequences of manipulating an independent variable

Causal explanation — explaining the mechanisms through which and the conditions under which a causal relationship holds

Causal modeling — a form of explanatory research where the researcher hypothesizes a causal model and then empirically tests the model. Also called structural equation modeling or theoretical modeling.

Causal-comparative research — a form of nonexperimental research where the primary independent variable of interest is categorical

Cause and effect relationship — relationship in which one variable affects another variable

Cell — a combination of two or more independent variables in a factorial design

Census — a study of the whole population rather than a sample

Changing-criterion design — a single-case experimental design in which a participant’s behavior is gradually altered by changing the criterion for success during successive treatment periods

Checklist — a list of response categories that respondents check if appropriate

Chi-square test for contingency tables — statistical test used to determine whether a relationship observed in a contingency table is statistically significant

CIJE — an annotated index of articles from educational journals

Closed-ended question — a question that forces participants to choose a response

Cluster — a collective type of unit that includes multiple elements

Cluster sampling — type of sampling in which clusters are randomly selected

Coding — marking segments of data with symbols, descriptive words, or category names

Coefficient alpha — a formula that provides an estimate of the reliability of a homogeneous test or an estimate of the reliability of each dimension in a multidimensional test

Cohort — any group of people with a common classification or common characteristic

Collective case study — studying multiple cases in one research study

Compatibility thesis — the idea that quantitative and qualitative methods are compatible

Complete participant — researcher becomes member of group being studied and does not tell members they are being studied

Complete-observer — researcher observes as an outsider and does not tell the people they are being observed

Comprehensive sampling — including all cases in the research study

Concurrent validity evidence — validity evidence based on the relationship between test scores and criterion scores obtained at the same time

Confidence interval — a range of numbers inferred from the sample that has a certain probability or chance of including the population parameter

Confidence limits — the endpoints of a confidence interval

Confidentiality — not revealing the identity of the participant to anyone other than the researcher and his or her staff

Confounding variable — a type of extraneous variable that was not controlled for and is the reason a particular “confounded” result is observed; a confounding variable systematically varies with the independent variable and also influences the dependent variable

Constant — a single value or category of a variable

Constant comparative method — data analysis in grounded theory research

Construct validity — the extent to which a higher-order construct is represented in a particular study

Content-related evidence — validity evidence based on a judgment of the degree to which the items, tasks, or questions on a test adequately represent the construct domain of interest

Contextualization – the identification of when and where an event took place

Contingency question — an item that directs participants to different follow-up questions depending on their response

Contingency table — a table displaying information in cells formed by the intersection of two or more categorical variables

Control group — the group that does not receive the experimental treatment condition

Convenience sampling — people who are available, volunteer, or can be easily recruited are included in the sample

Convergent evidence — validity evidence based on the relationship between the focal test scores and independent measures of the same construct

Co-occurring codes — sets of codes that partially or completely overlap

Correlation coefficient — an index that indicates the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables

Correlational research — a form of nonexperimental research in which the primary independent variable of interest is a quantitative variable

Corroboration – comparing documents to each other to determine whether they provide the same information or reach the same conclusion

Counterbalancing — administering the experimental treatment conditions to all comparison groups, but in a different order

Criterion — the standard or benchmark that you want to predict accurately on the basis of the test scores

Criterion of falsifiability — the property that statements and theories should be refutable

Criterion-related validity evidence — validity evidence based on the extent to which scores from a test can be used to predict or infer performance on some criterion such as a test or future performance

Critical case sampling — selecting what are believed to be particularly important cases

Critical theory — see orientational research

Cronbach’s alpha — see coefficient alpha

Cross-case analysis — searching for similarities and differences across multiple cases

Cross-sectional research — data are collected at a single point in time

Culture — a system of shared beliefs, values, practices, perspectives, folk knowledge, language, norms, rituals, and material objects and artifacts that the members of a group use in understanding their world and in relating to others

Current index to journals in education — see CIJE


DBack

Data set — a set of data

Data triangulation — the use of multiple data sources

Debriefing — a poststudy interview in which all aspects of the study are revealed, any reasons for deception are explained, and any questions the participant has about the study are answered.

Deception — misleading or withholding information from the research participant

Deductive reasoning — the process of drawing a specific conclusion from a set of premises

Deductive method — a top-down or confirmatory approach to research

Dehoaxing — informing study participants about any deception used and the reasons for its use

Deontological approach — an ethical approach tat says ethical issues must be judged on the basis of some universal code

Dependent variable — a variable that is presumed to be influenced by one or more independent variables

Description — attempting to describe the characteristics of a phenomenon

Descriptive validity — the factual accuracy of an account as reported by the researcher

Descriptive research — research focused on providing an accurate description or picture of the status or characteristics of a situation or phenomenon

Descriptive statistics — statistics that focus on describing, summarizing, or explaining data

Desensitizing — helping study participants deal with and eliminate any stress or other undesirable feelings that the study might have created

Determinism — the proposition that all events have causes

Diagnostic tests — tests designed to identify where a student is having difficulty with an academic skill

Diagramming — making a sketch, drawing, or outline to show how something works or to clarify the relationship between the parts of a whole

Differential attrition — a differential loss of participants from the various comparison groups; participants who drop out are different from those who stay in the study

Differential influence — when the influence of an extraneous variable is different for the various comparison groups

Differential selection — selecting participants for the various treatment groups that have different characteristics

Direct effect — the effect of the variable at the origin of an arrow on the variable at the receiving end of the arrow

Directional alternative hypothesis — an alternative hypothesis that contains either a greater than sign (>), or a less than sign (<)

Discriminant evidence — evidence that the scores on your focal test are not highly related to the scores from other tests that are designed to measure theoretically different constructs

Disordinal interaction effect — an interaction effect that occurs when the lines on a graph plotting the effect cross

Disproportional stratified sampling — type of stratified sampling in which the sample proportions are made to be different from the population proportions on the stratification variable

Double negative — a sentence construction that includes two negatives

Double-barreled question — a question that combines two or more issues or attitude objects

Duplicate publication — publishing the same data and results in more than one journal or in other publications


EBack

Ecological validity — the ability to generalize the study results across settings

Educational resources information center — see ERIC

Effect size indicator — a measure of the strength of a relationship

Element — the basic unit that is selected from the population

Emic perspective — the insider’s perspective

Emic term — a special word or term used by the people in a group

Empirical — based on observation, experiment, or experience

Empirical statement — a statement based on observation, experiment, or experience

Empiricism — the idea that knowledge comes from experience

Enumeration — the process of quantifying data

Epistemology — the study of how knowledge is generated and justified

Equal probability selection method — any sampling method where each member of the population has an equal chance of being selected

Equivalent-forms reliability — the consistency of a group of individuals’ scores on two equivalent forms of a test measuring the same thing

ERIC — a database containing information from CIJE and RIE

Error — the difference between a person’s true score and his or her observed score

Essence — the invariant structure of the experience

Ethical skepticism — an ethical approach that says concrete and inviolate moral codes cannot be formulated

Ethics — the principles and guidelines that help us to uphold the things we value

Ethnocentrism — judging people from a different culture according to the standards of your own culture

Ethnography — a form of qualitative research focused on describing the culture of a group of people; the discovery and comprehensive description of the culture of a group of people; it’s a form of qualitative research focused on describing the culture of a group of people

Ethnohistory — the study of the cultural past of a group of people

Ethnology — the comparative study of cultural groups

Etic perspective — an external, social scientific view of reality

Etic term — outsider’s words or special words that are used by social scientists

Evaluation — determining the worth, merit, or quality of an evaluation object

Event sampling — observing only after specific events have occurred

Exempt studies — studies involving no risk to participants and not requiring full IRB review

Exhaustive — a set of categories that classify all of the relevant cases in the data; property that the response categories include all possible responses; they cover the complete range of data values

Expectancy data — data illustrating the number or percentage of people that fall into various categories on a criterion measure

Expedited review — a process by which a study is rapidly reviewed by fewer members than constitute the full IRB board

Experiment — an environment in which the researcher objectively observes phenomena that are made to occur in a strictly controlled situation in which one or more variables are varied and the others are kept constant

Experimental group — the group that receives the experimental treatment condition

Experimental control — eliminating any differential influence of extraneous variables

Experimental research — research in which the researcher manipulates the independent variable

Experimenter effect — the unintentional effect that the researcher can have on the outcome of a study

Explanation — attempting to show how and why a phenomenon operates as it does

Explanatory research — testing hypotheses and theories that explain how and why a phenomenon operates as it does

Exploration — attempting to generate ideas about phenomena

Extended fieldwork — collecting data in the field over an extended period of time

Extraneous variable — A variable that may compete with the independent variable in explaining the outcome; any variable other than the independent variable that might influence the dependent variable

External criticism — determining the validity, trustworthiness, or authenticity of the source

External validity — the extent to which the study results can be generalized to and across populations of persons, settings, times, outcomes, and treatment variations; NOTE: a good synonym for external validity is “generalizing validity” because that’s what it’s about.

Extreme case sampling — identifying the “extremes” or poles of some characteristic and then selecting cases representing these extremes for examination


FBack

Facesheet codes — codes that apply to a complete document or case

Factor analysis — a statistical procedure that analyzes correlations among test items and tells you the number of factors present. It tells you whether the test is unidimensional or multidimensional

Factorial design — a design in which two or more independent variables, at least one of which is manipulated, are simultaneously studied to determine their independent and interactive effects on the dependent variable; note: participants must be randomly assigned to the levels of at least one of the independent variables.

Factorial design based on a mixed model — a factorial design in which different participants are randomly assigned to the different levels of one independent variable but all participants take all levels of another independent variable

Field notes — notes taken by observer

Filter question — see contingency question

Focus group — a moderator facilitates a discussion with a small group of people

Formative evaluation — evaluation focused on improving the evaluation object

Fraudulent activity — fabrication or alteration of results

Frequency distribution — arrangement in which the frequencies of each unique data value are shown

Frontstage behavior — what people want or allow us to see

Full board review — review by all members of the IRB

Fully anchored rating scale — all points are anchored on the rating scale

Fundamental principle of mixed research — Advises researchers to mix research methods or procedures in a way that the resulting mixture or combination has complementary strengths and nonoverlapping weaknesses; the researcher should use a mixture or combination of methods that has complementary strengths and nonoverlapping weaknesses


GBack

General linear model — a mathematical procedure that is the “parent” of many statistical techniques (see special case of the general linear model)

Generalize — making statements about a population based on sample data

Going native — identifying so completely with the group being studied that you can no longer remain objective

Grounded theory — a qualitative approach to generating and developing a theory from the data that the researcher collects; a general methodology for developing theory that is grounded in data systematically gathered and analyzed

Group moderator — the person leading the focus group discussion

Grouped frequency distribution — the data values are clustered or grouped into separate intervals and the frequencies of each interval are given


HBack

Heterogeneous — a set of numbers with a great deal of variability

Histogram — a graphic that shows the frequencies and shape that characterize a quantitative variable

Historical research — research about events in the past; the process of systematically examining past events or combinations of events to arrive at an account of what happened in the past

History — any event, other than a planned treatment event, that occurs between the pretest and posttest measurement of the dependent variable and influences the post measurement of the dependent variable

Holism — the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Holistic description — the description of how members of groups interact and how they come together to make up the group as a whole

Homogeneity — in test validity, refers to how well the different items in a test measure the same construct or trait

Homogeneous sample selection — selecting a small and homogeneous case or set of cases for intensive study

Homogeneous — a set of numbers with very little variability

Homogeneous test — a unidimensional test in which all the items measure a single construct

Hypothesis — a prediction or educated guess

Hypothesis — a prediction or guess of the relation that exists among the variables being investigated; the formal statement of the researcher’s prediction of the relationship that exists among the variables under investigation

Hypothesis testing — the branch of inferential statistics that is concerned with how well the sample data support a null hypothesis and when the null hypothesis can be rejected


IBack

Incompatibility thesis — the proposition that one cannot mix quantitative and qualitative research

Independent variable — a variable that is presumed to cause a change in another variable

Indirect effect — an effect occurring through an intervening variable

Inductive reasoning — reasoning from the particular to the general

Inductive codes — codes that are generated by a researcher by directly examining the data

Inductive method — a bottom-up or generative approach to research

Inductive reasoning — reasoning from the particular to the general

Inferential statistics — the division of statistics focused on going beyond the immediate data and inferring the characteristics of population based on samples; statistics that go beyond the immediate data and infer the characteristics of populations based on samples

Influence — attempting to apply research to make certain outcomes occur

Informal conversational interview — spontaneous, loosely structured interview

Informed consent — agreeing to participate in a study after being informed of its purpose, procedures, risks, benefits, alternative procedures, and limits of confidentiality

In-person interview — an interview conducted face-to-face

Instrumental case study — interest is in understanding something more general than the particular case

Instrumentation — any change that occurs in the way the dependent variable is measured

Instrumental case study — interest is in understanding something more general than the particular case

Institutional review board — see IRB

Intelligence — the ability to think abstractly and to learn readily from experience

Interscorer reliability — the degree of agreement or consistency between two or more scorers, judges, or raters

Interaction effect — when the effect of one independent variable depends on the level of another independent variable

Intercoder reliability — consistency among different coders

Interim analysis — the cyclical process of collecting and analyzing data during a single research study

Internal consistency — the consistency with which a test measures a single construct

Internal criticism — the reliability or accuracy of the information contained in the sources collected

Internal validity — the ability to infer that a causal relationship exists between two variables. NOTE: a good synonym for internal validity would be “causal validity” because that’s what it’s all about.

Internet — a network consisting of millions of computers and tens of millions of users all over the world, all of which are interconnected to promote communication

Interpretive validity — accurately portraying the meaning given by the participants to what is being studied

Interrupted time-series design — a design in which a treatment condition is assessed by comparing the pattern of pretest responses with the pattern of posttest responses obtained from a single group of participants

Interval scale — a scale of measurement that has equal intervals of distances between adjacent numbers

Intervening variable — a variable that occurs between two other variables in a causal chain; it’s a mediating variable

Interview — a data-collection method where interviewer asks the interviewee questions

Interview guide approach — specific topics and/or open-ended questions are asked in any order

Interview protocol — data-collection instrument used in an interview

Interviewee — the person being asked questions

Interviewer — the person asking the questions

Intracoder reliability — consistency within a single individual

Intrinsic case study — interest is in understanding a specific case

Investigator triangulation — the use of multiple investigators in collecting and interpreting the data

IRB — the institutional review committee that assesses the ethical acceptability of research proposals

Item stem — the set of words forming a question or statement


KBack

k — the size of the sampling interval used in systematic sampling

Known groups evidence — evidence that groups that are known to differ on the construct do differ on the test in the hypothesized direction

Kuder-Richardson formula 20 — a statistical formula used to compute an estimate of the reliability of a homogeneous test


LBack

Laboratory observation — observation done in lab or other setting set up by the researcher

Leading question — a question that suggests a certain answer

Level of confidence — the probability that a confidence interval to be constructed from a random sample will include the population parameter

Life-world — an individual’s inner world of immediate experience

Likert scale — a summated rating scale (see summated rating scale)

Line graph — a graph that relies on the drawing of one or more lines

Loaded question — a question containing emotionally charged words

Logic of significance testing — understanding and following the steps shown in Table 16.3

Longitudinal research — data are collected at multiple time points and comparisons are made across time

Low-inference descriptors — description that is phrased very similarly to the participants’ accounts and the researchers’ field notes

Lower limit — the smallest number on a confidence interval


MBack

Main effect — the effect of one independent variable

Manipulation — an intervention studied by an experimenter

Marginal mean — the mean of scores in the cells of a column or a row

Margin of error — one half of the width of a confidence interval

Master list — a list of all the codes used in a research study

Matching — equating the comparison groups on one or more variables that are correlated with the dependent variable

Matching variable — the variable the researcher uses in the control technique called matching in order to eliminate it as an alternative explanation

Maturation — any physical or mental change that occurs over time in a participant and affects the participant’s performance on the dependent variable

Maximum variation sampling — purposively selecting a wide range of cases

Mean — the arithmetic average

Measure of central tendency — the single numerical value considered most typical of the values of a quantitative variable

Measure of variability — a numerical index that provides information about how spread out or how much variation is present

Measurement — assigning symbols or numbers to something according to a specific set of rules

Measures of relative standing — provide information about where a score falls in relation to the other scores in the distribution of data

Median — the 50th percentile

Mediating variable — see intervening variable

Memoing — recording reflective notes about what you are learning from the data

Mental Measurements Yearbook — one of the primary sources of information about published tests

Meta-analysis — a quantitative technique used to integrate and describe the results of a large number of studies

Method of data collection — technique for physically obtaining data to be analyzed in a research study

Method of working hypotheses — attempting to identify all rival explanations

Methods triangulation — the use of multiple research methods

Mixed method research — research in which the researcher uses the qualitative research paradigm for one phase of a research study and the quantitative research paradigm for a different phase of the study; a quantitative phase and a qualitative phase are included in the overall research study

Mixed model research — research in which the researcher uses both qualitative and quantitative research within a stage or across two of the stages in the research process; quantitative and qualitative approaches are mixed within or across the stages of the research process

Mixed purposeful sampling — the mixing of more than one sampling strategy

Mixed research — research in which quantitative and qualitative techniques are mixed in a single study; research that involves the mixing of quantitative and qualitative methods or paradigm characteristics

Mode — the most frequently occurring number

Moderator variable — a variable that changes the relationship between other variables; it’s a variable that is involved in an interaction effect; see interaction effect

Mortality — see attrition

Multigroup research design — a research design that includes more than one group of participants

Multiple-baseline design — a single-case experimental design in which the treatment condition is successively administered to different participants, or to the same participant in several settings, after baseline behaviors have been recorded for different periods of time

Multiple operationalism — the use of several measures of a construct

Multiple regression — regression based on one dependent variable and two or more independent variables

Multiple time-series design — an interrupted time-series design that includes a control group to rule out a history effect

Multiple-treatment interference — occurs when participation in one treatment condition influences a person’s performance in another treatment condition

Mutually exclusive — property that categories or intervals do not overlap; response categories that are separate and distinct


NBack

n — the sample size

N — the population size

Naturalistic observation — observation done in “real world” settings

Naturalistic generalization — generalizing on the basis of similarity

Negative criticism – Establishing the reliability or authenticity and accuracy of the content of the documents and other sources used by the researcher

Negative case sampling — selecting cases that disconfirm the researcher’s expectations and generalizations

Negative correlation — the situation when scores on two variables move in opposite directions

Negative-case sampling — locating and examining cases that disconfirm the researcher’s expectations

Negatively skewed — skewed to the left

Network diagram — a diagram showing the direct links between variables or events over time

Nominal scale — a scale of measurement that uses symbols, such as words or numbers, to label, classify, or identify people or objects

Nondirectional alternative hypothesis — an alternative hypothesis that includes the “not equal” sign

Nonequivalent comparison-group design — a design consisting of a treatment group and a nonequivalent untreated comparison group both of which are administered pretest and posttest measures

Nonexperimental research — research in which the independent variable is not manipulated and there is no random assignment to groups

Normal distribution — a unimodal, symmetric, bell-shaped distribution that is the theoretical model of many variables

Norming group — the specific group for which the test publisher or researcher provides evidence for test validity and reliability

Norms — the written and unwritten rules that specify appropriate group behavior

Null hypothesis — a statement about a population parameter

Numerical rating scale — a rating scale with anchored endpoints


OBack

Observation — unobtrusive watching of behavioral patterns of people

Observer-as-participant — researcher spends limited about of time observing group members and tells members they are being studied

Official documents — anything written, photographed, or recorded by an organization

One-group pretest-posttest design — a research design in which a treatment condition is administered to one group of participants after pretesting, but before posttesting on the dependent variable

One-group posttest-only design — administering a posttest to a single group of participants after they have been given an experimental treatment condition

One-stage cluster sampling — a set of clusters is randomly selected and all of the elements in the selected clusters are included in the sample

One-way analysis of variance — statistical test used to compare two or more group means

Open coding — the first stage in grounded theory data analysis

Open-ended question — a question that allows participants to respond in their own words

Operationalism — representing constructs by a specific set of steps or operations

Opportunistic sampling — selecting cases when the opportunity occurs

Oral histories — interviews with a person who has had direct or indirect experience with or knowledge of the chosen topic

Order effect — a sequencing effect that occurs from the order in which the treatment conditions are administered

Ordinal interaction effect — an interaction effect that occurs when the lines on a graph plotting the effect do not cross

Ordinal scale — a rank-order scale of measurement

Orientational research — research done for the purpose of advancing an ideological position. Sometimes called critical theory research.

Outcome validity — the ability to generalize across different but related dependent variables

Outlier — a number that is very atypical of the other numbers in a distribution


PBack

Panel study — study in which the same individuals are studied at successive points over time

Paradigm — see research paradigm

Parameter — a numerical characteristic of a population

Partial correlation — used to examine the relationship between two quantitative variables controlling for one or more quantitative extraneous variables

Partially spurious — when the relationship between two variables is partially due to one or more third variable

Partial correlation — used to examine the relationship between two quantitative variables controlling for one or more quantitative extraneous variables

Partial publication — publishing several articles from the data collected in one large study; is generally not unethical for large studies

Partial regression coefficient — the regression coefficient obtained in multiple regression

Participant feedback — discussion of the researcher’s conclusions with the actual participants

Participant-as-observer — researcher spends extended time with the group as an insider and tells members they are being studied

Passive consent — a process whereby consent is given by not returning the consent form (compare to active consent)

Path coefficient — a quantitative index providing information about a direct effect

Pattern matching — predicting a pattern of results and determining whether the actual results fit the predicted pattern

Peer review — discussing one’s interpretations and conclusions with one’s peers or colleagues

Percentile rank — the percentage of scores in a reference group that fall below a particular raw score; percentile ranks divide a distribution into 100 equal parts

Performance measures — a test-taking method in which the participants perform some real-life behavior that is observed by the researcher

Periodicity — the presence of a cyclical pattern in the sampling frame

Personal documents — anything written, photographed, or recorded for private purposes

Personality — the relatively permanent patterns that characterize and can be used to classify individuals

Phenomenology — a form of qualitative research in which the researcher attempts to understand how one or more individuals experience a phenomenon; the description of one or more individuals’ consciousness and experience of a phenomenon

Physical data — any material thing created or left behind by humans that might provide information about a phenomenon of interest to a researcher

Pilot test — a preliminary test of your questionnaire

Point estimate — the estimated value of a population parameter

Point estimation — the use of the value of a sample statistic as the estimate of the value of a population parameter

Population — the complete set of cases; it’s the large group to which a researcher wants to generalize the sample results

Population validity — the ability to generalize the study results to individuals who were not included in the study

Positive correlation — the situation when scores on two variables move in the same direction

Positive criticism — ensuring that the statements made or the meaning conveyed in the various sources is correct

Positively skewed — skewed to the right

Post hoc fallacy — making the argument that because A preceded B, A must have caused B

Post hoc test — a follow-up test to the analysis of variance

Posttest-only control-group design — administering a posttest to two randomly assigned groups of participants after one group has been administered the experimental treatment condition

Posttest-only with nonequivalent groups design — comparing posttest performance of a group of participants who have been given an experimental treatment condition with a group that has not been given the experimental treatment condition

Power — the likelihood of rejecting the null hypothesis when it is false

Practical significance — a conclusion made when a relationship is strong enough to be of practical importance

Pragmatism — the philosophical position that what works is what is important

Pragmatist philosophy — a philosophy that says to use what works

Prediction — attempting to predict or forecast a phenomenon

Predictive research — research focused on predicting the future status of one or more dependent variables based on one or more independent variables

Predictive validity evidence — validity evidence based on the relationship between test scores collected at one point in time and criterion scores occurring at a later time

Presence or absence technique — manipulating the independent variable by presenting one group the treatment condition and withholding it from the other group

Presentism – the assumption that the present-day connotations of terms also existed in the past

Pretest-posttest control-group design — a research design that administers a posttest to two randomly assigned groups of participants after both have been pretested and one of the groups has been administered the experimental treatment condition

Primary source — a source in which the creator was a direct witness or in some other way directly involved or related to the event

Primary data — original data collected as a part of a research study

Principle of evidence — the philosophical idea that research provides evidence, not proof

Probabilistic — stating what is likely to occur, not necessarily what will occur

Probabilistic cause — changes in variable A tend to produce changes in variable B; it’s a cause that usually produces an outcome

Probability value — the probability of the result of your research study, or an even more extreme result, assuming that the null hypothesis is true

Probability proportional to size — a type of two-stage cluster sampling where each cluster’s chance of being selected in stage one depends on its population size

Probes — prompts to obtain response clarity or additional information

Problem of induction — things that happened in the past might not happen in the future

Projective measures — a test-taking method in which the participants provide responses to ambiguous stimuli

Proportional stratified sampling — type of stratified sampling in which the sample proportions are made to be the same as the population proportions on the stratification variable

Prospective study — another term applied to a panel study

Purpose of a research study — a statement of the researcher’s intent or objective of the study

Purposive sampling — the researcher specifies the characteristics of the population of interest and locates individuals with those characteristics


QBack

Qualitative interview — an interview providing qualitative data

Qualitative observation — observing all potentially relevant phenomena

Qualitative research — research relying primarily on the collection of qualitative data

Qualitative research question — an interrogative sentence that asks a question about some process, issue, or phenomenon to be explored

Qualitative researcher — a researcher who focuses on exploration or theory generation using qualitative data

Qualitizing — converting quantitative data into qualitative data

Quantitative interview — an interview providing qualitative data

Quantitative observation — standardized observation

Quantitative variable — a variable that varies in degree or amount

Quantitative research — research that relies primarily on the collection of quantitative data

Quantitative research question — an interrogative sentence that asks a question about the relationship that exists between two or more variables

Quantitative researcher — a traditional researcher who focuses on testing hypotheses using quantitative data

Quantitizing — converting qualitative data into quantitative data

Quasi-experimental research design — an experimental research design that does not provide for full control of potential confounding variables primarily because it does not randomly assign participants to comparison groups

Questionnaire — a self-report data collection instrument filled out by research participants

Quota sampling — the researcher determines the appropriate sample sizes or quotas for the groups identified as important and takes convenience samples from those groups


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Random assignment — a procedure that makes assignments to conditions on the basis of chance and in this way maximizes the probability that the comparison groups will be equated on all extraneous variables

Random selection — randomly selecting a group of people from a population

Range — the difference between the highest and lowest numbers

Ranking — the ordering of responses into ascending or descending order

Rate — the percentage of people in a group who have a specific characteristic

Rating scale — a continuum of response choices

Ratio scale — a scale of measurement that has a true zero point as well as the characteristics of the nominal (labeling), ordinal (rank ordering), and interval (equal distance) scales

Rationalism — the philosophical idea that reason is the primary source of knowledge

Reactivity — an alteration in performance that occurs in people as a result of being aware of participating in a study

Reference group — the norm group that is used to determine the percentile ranks

Reflexivity — self-reflection by the researcher on his or her biases and predispositions

Regression analysis — a set of statistical procedures used to explain or predict the values of a dependent variable on the basis of the values of one or more independent variables

Regression artifacts —the tendency of very high scores to become lower and very low scores to become higher on posttesting of other or the original measure

Regression coefficient — the predicted change in Y given a one unit change in X

Regression-discontinuity design — a design that assesses the effect of a treatment condition by looking for a discontinuity in regression lines between individuals who score lower and higher than some predetermined cutoff score

Regression line — the line that best fits a pattern of observations

Regression equation — the equation that defines the regression line

Reliability — the consistency or stability of test scores

Reliability coefficient —a correlation coefficient that is used as an index of reliability

Repeated sampling — drawing many or all possible samples from a population

Repeated-measures design — a design in which all participants participate in all experimental treatment conditions

Replication logic — the idea that the more times a research finding is shown to be true with different sets of people, the more confidence we can place in the finding and in generalizing beyond the original participants

Replication — research examining the same variables with different people and, often, in slightly different ways

Representative sample — a sample that resembles the population

Research design — the outline, plan, or strategy used to answer a research question

Research ethics — a set of principles to guide and assist researchers in deciding which goals are most important and in reconciling conflicting values

Research hypothesis — the hypothesis of interest to the researcher and the one he or she would like to see supported by the study results

Research literature — set of published research studies on a particular topic

Research method — overall research design and strategy

Research paradigm — a perspective based on a set of assumptions, concepts, and values that are held by a community of researchers

Research plan — the outline or plan that will be used in conducting the research study

Research problem — An education issue or problem within a broad topic area

Research proposal — a written document that summarizes the prior literature, identifies the research topic area and the research questions to be answered, and specifies the procedure that will be followed in obtaining an answer to these research questions

Research purpose — see purpose of a research study

Research question —see quantitative research question and see qualitative research question

Research topic — the broad subject matter area to be investigated

Researcher bias — obtaining results consistent with what the researcher wants to find

Researcher-as-detective — metaphor applied to the researcher when searching for cause and effect

Resources in education — see RIE

Response rate — the percentage of people in a sample that participate in a research study

Response set — the tendency to respond in a specific direction regardless of content

Retrospective research — the researcher starts with the dependent variable and moves backward in time

Retrospective questions — questions asking people to recall something from an earlier time

RIE — an index of abstracts of research reports

Rule of parsimony — preferring the most simple theory that works


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Sample — the set of elements taken from a larger population; a subset of cases drawn from a population

Sampling — the process of drawing a sample from a population

Sampling error — the difference between a sample statistic and a population parameter

Sampling frame — a list of all the elements in a population

Sampling with replacement — it is possible for elements to be selected more than once

Sampling without replacement — it is not possible for elements to be selected more than once

Sampling interval — the population size divided by the desired sample size; it is symbolized by “k”

Sampling distribution — the theoretical probability distribution of the values of a statistic that results when all possible random samples of a particular size are drawn from a population

Sampling error — the difference between a sample statistic and the corresponding population parameter

Sampling distribution of the mean — the theoretical probability distribution of the means of all possible random samples of a particular size drawn from a population

Scatterplot — a graph used to depict the relationship between two quantitative variables

Science — an approach for the generation of knowledge

Secondary data — existing data originally collected or left behind at an earlier time by a different person for a different purpose

Secondary source — a source that was created from primary sources, secondary sources, or some combination of the two

Segmenting — dividing data into meaningful analytical units

Selection-history effect — occurs when an event occurring between the pretest and posttest differentially affects the different comparison groups

Selection-instrumentation effect — may exist if the nature of the dependent variable or the way it is measured varies across the nonequivalent groups

Selection-maturation effect — occurs when different comparison groups experience a different rate of change on a maturation variable

Selection-regression effect — may exist if the two groups are from different populations such as the experimental treatment group being from a population of individuals with low reading scores and the comparison group being from a population of individuals with high reading scores

Selective coding — the final stage in grounded theory data analysis

Self-report V a test-taking method in which the participants check or rate the degree to which various characteristics are descriptive of themselves

Semantic differential — a scaling technique in which participants rate a series of objects or concepts

Sequencing effects — biasing effects that can occur when each participant must participate in each experimental treatment condition

Shared beliefs — the specific cultural conventions or statements that people who share a culture hold to be true or false

Shared values — the culturally defined standards about what is good or bad or desirable or undesirable

Significance level — the cutoff the researcher uses to decide when to reject the null hypothesis; also called the alpha level

Significance testing — a commonly used synonym for hypothesis testing; NOTE: in significance or hypothesis testing, the researcher sets the significance (alpha) level, analyzes the data to obtain the probability value, and then the researcher compares the empirical probability value with the preset significance level to determine whether the finding is statistically significant

Simple random sample — a sample drawn by a procedure where every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected

Simple cases — when there is only one independent variable and one dependent variable

Simple case of causal-comparative research — when there is one categorical independent variable and one quantitative dependent variable

Simple case of correlational research — when there is one quantitative independent variable and one quantitative dependent variable

Simple random sampling — the term usually used for sampling without replacement

Simple regression — regression based on one dependent variable and one independent variable

Single-case experimental designs — designs that use a single participant to investigate the effect of an experimental treatment condition

Skewed — not symmetrical

Snowball sampling — each research participant is asked to identify other potential research participants

Social desirability response set — the tendency to provide answers that are socially desirable

Sourcing – information that identifies the source or attribution of the document

Spearman-Brown formula — a statistical formula used for correcting the split-half reliability coefficient (because of the shortened test length created by splitting the full length test into two equivalent halves)

Special case of the general linear model — one of the “children” of a broader statistical procedure known as the general linear model (GLM)

Split-half reliability — a measure of the consistency of the scores obtained from two equivalent halves of the same test

Spurious relationship — when the relationship between two variables is due to one or more third variables

Standard deviation — the square root of the variance

Standard error — the standard deviation of a sampling distribution

Standard scores — scores that have been converted from one scale to another to have a particular mean and standard deviation

Standardization — presenting the same stimulus to all participants

Standardized open-ended interview — a set of open-ended questions are asked in a specific order and exactly as worded

Starting point — a randomly selected number between one and k

States — distinguishable, but less enduring ways in which individuals vary

Statistic — a numerical characteristic of a sample

Statistical conclusion validity — the ability to infer that the independent and dependent variables are related and the strength of that relationship

Statistically significant — a research finding is probably not attributable to chance; it’s the claim made when the evidence suggests an observed result was probably not just due to chance (i.e., there is a real relationship present)

Stratification variable — the variable on which the population is divided

Stratified sampling — dividing the population into mutually exclusive groups and then selecting a random sample from each group

Structural equation modeling — see causal modeling

Subculture — a culture embedded within a larger culture

Summated rating scale — a multi-item scale that has the responses for each person summed into a single score

Summative evaluation — evaluation focused on determining the overall effectiveness and usefulness of the evaluation object

Survey research — a term applied to nonexperimental research based on questionnaires or interviews

Synthesis – the selection, organization, and analysis of the materials collected

Systematic error — an error that is present every time an instrument is used

Systematic sample — a sample obtained by determining the sampling interval, selecting a random starting point between 1 and k, and then selecting every kth element


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Table of random numbers — a list of numbers that fall in a random order

Target population — the larger population to whom the study results are to be generalized

Telephone interview — an interview conducted over the phone

Temporal validity — the extent to which the study results can be generalized across time

Testing — measurement of educational variables

Test-retest reliability — a measure of the consistency of scores over time

Testing — any change in scores obtained on the second administration of a test as a result of having previously taken the test

Tests in Print — A primary source of information about published tests

Theoretical sensitivity — when a researcher is effective at thinking about what kinds of data need to be collected and what aspects of already collected data are the most important for the grounded theory

Theoretical saturation — occurs when no new information or concepts are emerging from the data and the grounded theory has been validated

Theoretical validity — the degree to which a theoretical explanation fits the data

Theory — an explanation or an explanatory system that discusses how a phenomenon operates and why it operates as it does; a generalization or set of generalizations used systematically to explain some phenomenon

Theory triangulation — the use of multiple theories and perspectives to help interpret and explain the data

Think-aloud technique — has participants verbalize their thoughts and perceptions while engaged in an activity Third variable — a confounding extraneous variable

Third variable problem — an observed relationship between two variables that may be due to an extraneous variable

Three necessary conditions — the three things that must be present if you are to contend that causation has occurred

Time-interval sampling — checking for events during specific time intervals

Traits — distinguishable, relatively enduring ways in which one individual differs from another

Transcription — transforming qualitative data into typed text

Treatment variation validity — the ability to generalize across variations of the treatment

Trend study — independent samples are taken from a population over time and the same questions are asked

t-test for correlation coefficients — statistical test used to determine whether a correlation coefficient is statistically significant

t-test for independent samples — statistical test used to determine whether the difference between the means of two groups is statistically significant

t-test for regression coefficients — statistical test used to determine whether a regression coefficient is statistically significant

Two-stage cluster sampling — a set of clusters is randomly selected and then a random sample of elements is drawn from each of the clusters selected in stage one

Type I error — rejecting a true null hypothesis

Type II error —failing to reject a false null hypothesis

Type technique — manipulating the independent variable by varying the type of variable presented to the different comparison groups

Typical case sampling — selecting what are believed to be average cases

Typology — a classification system that breaks something down into different types or kinds


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Unrestricted sampling — the technical term used for sampling with replacement

Upper limit — the largest number on a confidence interval

Utilitarianism — an ethical approach that says judgments of the ethics of a study depend on the consequences the study has for the research participants and the benefits that may arise from the study


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Vagueness – uncertainty in the meaning of words or phrases

Validation — the process of gathering evidence that supports inferences made on the basis of test scores

Validity coefficient — a correlation coefficient computed to provide validity evidence, such as the correlation between test scores and criterion scores

Validity — the accuracy of the inferences, interpretations, or actions made on the basis of test scores

Validity evidence — empirical evidence and theoretical rationales that support the inferences or interpretations made from test scores

Variable — a condition or characteristic that can take on different values or categories

Variance — a measure of the average deviation from the mean in squared units


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Web surveys — participants read and complete a survey form that is developed for and located on the web

Within-stage mixed model research — quantitative and qualitative approaches are mixed within one or more of the stages of research


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Y-intercept — the point where the regression line crosses the Y-axis


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Z-score — a raw score that has been transformed into standard deviation units