Research Methods in FCS
Family and Consumer
Semesters - Tuesday Evenings
5:20-7:55pm in 209
Schrank Hall South
Instructor: David D. Witt,
Key Terms - Part 3
- Case study: An intensive study of a specific
individual or specific context.
- Content analysis: The analysis of text
documents. The analysis can be quantitative,
qualitative, or both. Typically, the major purpose
of content analysis is to identify patterns in
- Data audit: A systematic assessment of data and
data collection procedures conducted to establish
and document the credibility of data collection
processes and potential inaccuracies in the data.
- Direct observation: The process of observing a
phenomenon to gather information about it. This
process is distinguished from participant
observation in that a direct observer does not
typically try to become a participant in the
context and does strive to be as unobtrusive as
possible so as not to bias the observations.
- Ethnography: Study of a culture using
qualitative field research.
- Field research: A research method in which the
researcher goes into the field to observe the
phenomenon in its natural state.
- Grounded theory: An iterative qualitative
approach that includes initial generative
questions, gathering qualitative data, identifying
theoretical concepts, verifying emerging concepts
in data, reconsidering theoretical concepts, and
so on, until a detailed theory that is grounded in
observation is achieved.
- Indirect measure: An unobtrusive measure that
occurs naturally in a research context.
- Participant observation: A method of qualitative
observation in which the researcher becomes a
participant in the culture or context being
- Phenomenology: A philosophical perspective as
well as an approach to qualitative methodology
that focuses on people’s subjective experiences
and interpretations of the world.
- Qualitative data: Data in which the variables
are not in a numerical form, but are in the form
of text, photographs, sound bytes, and so on.
- Qualitative measures: Data not recorded in
- Secondary analysis: Analysis that makes use of
already existing data sources.
- Unobtrusive measures: Methods used to collect
data without interfering in the lives of the
- Unstructured interviewing: An interviewing
method that uses no predetermined interview
protocol or survey and in which the interview
questions emerge and evolve as the interview
- Control group: A group, comparable to the
program group that did not receive the program.
- Experimental group: the "PROGRAM" group that
- Covariation: A criterion for establishing a
causal relationship that holds the cause and
effect must be related or co-vary.
- Instrumentation threat: A threat to internal
validity that arises when the instruments (or
observers) used on the posttest and the pretest
- Plausible alternative explanation: Any other
cause that can bring about an effect that is
different from your hypothesized or manipulated
- Posttest-only nonexperimental design: A research
design in which only a posttest is given. It is
referred to as non-experimental because no control
- Posttest-only randomized experiment: An
experiment in which the groups are randomly
assigned and receive only a posttest.
- Pre-post nonequivalent groups quasi-experiment:
A research design in which groups receive both a
pre- and posttest, and group assignment is not
randomized, and therefore, the groups may be
nonequivalent, making it a quasi-experiment.
- Regression artifact: A statistical phenomenon
that causes a group’s average performance on one
measure to regress toward or appear closer to the
mean of that measure than anticipated or
predicted. Regression occurs whenever you have a
nonrandom sample from a population and two
measures that are imperfectly correlated.
- Resentful demoralization: A social threat to
internal validity that occurs when the comparison
group knows what the program group is getting and
becomes discouraged or angry and gives up.
- Selection bias: Any factor other than the
program that leads to posttest differences between