6.9 Knowledge Is Power Terminology List

Knowledge Is Power: Tips for Deconstructing Research Articles and Finding
Useful Information (AHEAD 2015)
Dr. Sally Scott & Dr. David Parker
Frequently Used Research Terms:
Case study – The use of one/a few structured narratives to report
illustrative examples of a phenomenon
Control group design – Random assignment of similar participants to
different study groups that permits greater comparison of a given variable
(i.e., the “treatment”)
Effect size –The proportion of variance in the dependent variable due to
differences in the independent variable
Empirical: Findings are supported by the results of rigorous research
(a/k/a “evidence-based”)
Grounded theory – An approach for developing theory that is "grounded in
data systematically gathered and analyzed" (Strauss & Corbin, 1994).
Member checking – Seeking participants’ feedback on the accuracy of your
interpretation of their statements/experiences (a/k/a “phenomenological
Meta-analysis: A study about studies; uses careful methodology to extract
themes or findings from an entire body of research about a given topic
Mixed methods – The use of both quantitative and qualitative methods in
the same study
Null hypothesis – In a quantitative study, the initial assumption that any
relationships or differences are due to chance
Participants/subjects/“n”: The people who were studied
Peer-reviewed journal: A journal that only publishes articles that have
been “vetted” by fellow researchers or leaders in the field during a “blind
review” process
Pilot study: An initial study with a small “n” designed to try out research
methods and instruments for a larger study
Qualitative – In-depth exploration of a given phenomenon through
interviews with/observations of a smaller group (“purposive sample”)
whose “lived experience” helps researchers identify common themes
Quantitative – Collection of numerical data that permits statistical
determination of significance
Independent variable: a variable that is manipulated in an experiment (i.e.,
the “treatment”)
Dependent variable: a variable that is measured but not manipulated in a
research study (i.e., a result)
Research methodologies: Various ways to collect and analyze data for a
Seminal article: A groundbreaking and rigorous article that remains
important to cite for many, many years
Statistical significance – A term used to describe an observed difference or
relationship among variables that is unlikely to be due to chance
Replicate – Conducting a new study that closely follows an earlier study’s
research design to determine if similar results will be found
“Thick” descriptions – Reporting illustrative details from various sources
(e.g., quotes, observations, descriptions of artifacts) to create a vivid
depiction of a person, place, or event
Triangulation – A process of using multiple perceptions to clarify meaning,
verifying the repeatability of an observation or interpretation
Authors (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th
ed). Washington, D.C.: APA.
Denzin, N.K., & Lincoln, Y.S. (2003). Strategies of qualitative inquiry (2nd ed.).
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Harris, M.B. (1998). Basic statistics for behavioral science research. Needham
Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Miles, M.B., & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA:
Sage Publications.
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