Dependent Variable

Control Condition(s) -The total of all variables in an experiment that may be controlled, that is to say, kept constant, in order to permit study of other variables. See also: Experiment

Control Group – A group of subjects in an experimental research project, serving as a control for the experimental research project, serving as a control for the experimental group. The only difference between the groups is one single peculiarity (variable). For example: the experimental group reads a number of articles about a citizen’s responsibility to vote, while the control groups does not. After (for example) one hour, the research results could be attributed to the articles that have been read. See also: Experimental group/Matching

Deduction – The third phase in empirical, scientific research. Deduction means: to proceed from the general to the particular. The most far reaching particularization is the so-called “operational definition.” Example of an operational definition: “ a bear drinker is someone who drinks an average of at least three glasses of bear each day.” By formulating this factor in terms of an operational definition, the phenomenon may be controlled and it becomes possible to measure “beer drinking” objectively. See also: Empirical research/Operational definition

Empirical Model – Summarizing term for the five phases of empirical research. These phrases are, consecutively: observation, induction, deduction, testing, and evaluation. It involves an ideal model and a guide line for research that is qualitatively sufficient and reliable. See also: Testing/Empirical Science

Empirical Research – Research with the object of testing theories and hypotheses against reality. In this connection, reality is presented by experimental objects in a laboratory experiment or sampling of the population studied (or, although not usually, the population itself). In a broader sense, empirical research may also viewed as research with the objective of formulating and testing (second phase) hypotheses or theories. See also: Testing/ Empirical Science

Evaluation – 1. Determination of the value of a research project or a test results.
2. The last phase of an experimental research project. The investigator attempts to place the established experimental results in a larger framework and determine what significance should be attached to them. Frequently, the evaluation phase also involves interpretation and theorizing, as it often appears that the established results may have come into being as a result of influences from various factors. It may sometimes prove very difficult to distinguish between cause and effect. In such instances the investigator expresses opinions concerning the possible coherence of this factors. These opinions are based on assumptions rather than on facts. See also: Empirical Model

Experimental Group – A group of subjects in an experimental research project. This group, as distinct from the control group, possesses one single peculiarity which is the very point of interest. For example: the experimental group is exposed top an exercise, a text, a medicine, a diet etc., to which the control group is not exposed After the study has been completed the differences between the groups are measured. See also: Matching/Control group/Experiment

Operational Definition – A definition often encountered in the social sciences and in marketing research having to do with the operations to be carried out (operations of measurement). The definition involves a concept capable of being measured and, in this manner, made accessible. For example: creativity is what is measured by a creativity test. See also: Deduction/Operationalizing

Postdiction – A “prediction” about the past. Such a prediction may be tested immediately, since the statistical material to be used has already been collected. For example: to develop a formula to determine the annual increase in automobile ownership and, thereafter, test this formula against random years from the past. If the postdiction proves to be true, it confirms the developed formula. See also: Prediction

Prediction – The determine of the size of (statistical) variables at the point in the future. Without the aid of statistics such predictions cannot be tested. Statistics supply the “proof,” “legitimize knowledge.” For this reason, predictions require clear and concise formulation. See also: Postdiction

Testing – 1. To determine if the hypotheses correspond to reality by a way of a (experimental) research project; that is, to determine if the hypotheses as stated is indeed true.
2. In a narrow sense: the statistical testing of research findings. ( Are the established differences between, for example, two measurements, based on true, factual differences or based on coincidence?) See also: Statistical significance/ Experiment/Testing/Error of the second kind

Verification – A prediction preceding a research project must be proven to be either true or not true. The prediction must be realizable; no middle course is possible. For this reason, a prediction must be formulated in as clear and precise manner as is feasible. For example: in the very near future, many people will move. When is the very near future? How much is many? What is meant by moving? (going where?) everything must be clearly defined. See also: Falsification of a hypothesis

Dependent Variable – Syn: Response Variable      The variable in a study of which the values are subject to change as a result of alteration of the independent variable. The dependent variable is not being manipulated by the experimentor, whereas the in variable is. The dependent variable is measured. For example, how does one react to questions (dependent variable) when hungry, distracted by music, with aircraft passing over, etc. See also: Independent Variable

Dummy Variable – Variable expressed on a nominal scale. The values are purely arbitrary. For example: for the sex variable, men may be given the value I and women value II (or vice versa, or any other figure). For the religion variable, Jewish may be given I, Hindu II and Christian III. See also: Nominal Scale/Variable

Endogenous Variable – Endon (Greek) = inside. A variable that exerts influence on the results of a study. This kind of variable occurs within the research situation and, as a rule, involves an undesirable, disturbing influence — for example, poorly formulated questions, an illegible scale. See also: exogenous Variable/Source of Error/Scale

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