psych301 study ch-5

psych301 study ch-5 - Chapter 5 Descriptive Research Key...

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Chapter 5 Descriptive Research Key Terms: descriptive research demographic research epidemiologic research survey cross sectional design successive independent samples design longitudinal/panel design sampling probability samples error of estimation (also called Margin of Error) epsem sampling ( E qual P robability SE lection M ethod) simple random sampling sampling frame stratified random sample proportionate sampling method cluster sampling multistage sampling nonprobability sample convenience sampling frequency distribution (measures of) central tendency Mean Median Mode (measures of) variability range variance standard deviation normal distribution z score skewed distribution positive skew negative skew
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Descriptive research is conducted to get basic information about any number of variables. It is not focused on testing theories or the relationship between variables. However, it is common to measure many different variables so that you can see whether the values of one variable are different at differing values of some other variable. For example, we might not only want to know what percent of people have been drunk in the past month, but we might want to also know what this percentage is for people under 10 years old, those 11-12 years old, those 13-15 years old, and so forth. Even though it does not focus on testing theories, it can be a good source for developing new theories or hypotheses. There are three main topic areas of descriptive research Demographic research assesses typical kinds of information that can be used to categorize or describe pretty much anyone. For example, everybody can be described by variables such as age, gender, ethnicity, whether they are employed or not. Epidemiologic research focuses on describing variables related to medical diseases, medical conditions, sickness, death, or psychiatric diagnoses. It is very important for determining what outcomes are affecting society, and also what new threats might be emerging (flu epidemics, west nile virus, meningitis), as well as those whose rates are decreasing (polio), even eradicated (smallpox, though some governments retain the live virus). Psychological variables . These are factors related to people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They might include opinions about immigration, their attitudes toward a particular ethnic group, their behaviors regarding substance use, criminal activity, or sexual activity. Surveys Surveys are the primary method of collecting descriptive information about people. The key point about a survey is that the participants are required to provide the information. The information is not provided by simple observation or other archival data. Self-report questionnaires are one way to do surveys. Participants are responsible for reading the information, understanding the question, and formulating an answer. They are fast and easy to give to lots of participants, but there is the risk that participants might not understand the questions. In an
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psych301 study ch-5 - Chapter 5 Descriptive Research Key...

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