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Research Methods

  • Date Submitted: 03/20/2010 05:17 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 30.8 
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Placebo effect

Definition: A phenomenon which occurs as a result of an experiment and/or a patient’s belief that a treatment has had an effect on his/her condition.

Example: A research participant might be treated for anxiety and he/she is given a sugar pill, which looks like anxiety medication. The patient’s anxiety may go away merely because his/her expectation of the tablet’s effect.


Definition: The precision to which a particular test or research measures what it was intended to measure. It is important for results to be valid in order for them to be applied elsewhere.

Example: if a study which tests the relationship between concentration   and stress   demonstrates that participants who are exposed to stress perform considerably worse on a test than participants who were not exposed to stress – then these   findings   have to be further examined using criteria and implementation processes outside the original environment in order for the findings to   be proven valid and be generalised.

Informed consent

Definition: A process in which a research participant gives permission or confirms his/her willingness to participate in the research. This occurs once the participant has been informed about all aspects of the   experiment that are relevant to his/her decision to participate.

Example:   A consent form is given to participants before   the start of a research which   involves the patients being deprived of sleep. The participant much read the form and understand the aim   and all other   aspects of the research   before giving consent and confirming that he/she will participate in   the study.


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