Ninth Edition CoverGraziano & Raulin
Research Methods (9th edition)

Glossary Items Starting with "F"

factor analysis
A variation of multidimensional scaling that is used to identify underlying factors that might account for a wide range of observed characteristics.

factorial ANOVA
Analysis of variance procedure for evaluating factorial designs.

factorial design
Research designs employing more than one independent variable simultaneously. The major advantage of a factorial design is that it can measure the interactive effects of two or more independent variables.

Each of the independent variables is a factor.

Empirically observed events.

factual items
In questionnaires and interviews, factual items are those questions that can be independently verified, such as the respondent's age, gender, and occupation. In contrast, content items cannot be factually verified.

field research
Research conducted outside the laboratory. Field research might include low-constraint research, such as naturalistic or case-study research, or may include higher constraint procedures conducted in natural settings. An advantage of field research is that results more easily generalize because observations are made in a real-world setting.

fields (in computer files)
In data files, the field represents a variable, which has a score for each participant. Normally the fields are shown as columns in a data matrix, and rows represent records.

filler items
Questions in the dependent measure but not scored as part of the dependent measure. Their purpose is to distract participants from the purpose of the study.

floor effect
See scale attenuation effects.

Organizational device that allows one to reach a decision by following a path defined by answers to particular questions. Appendix D  illustrates the use of flowcharts to select the appropriate statistical test for any given research procedure.

A test statistic computed by taking the ratio of two variances. F-ratios are used most often in analysis of variance in which the two variance estimates are based on (1) the difference between group means and (2) the difference among participants within groups.

See F-ratio.

free random assignment
Assignment of participants to groups so that the assignment of any given participant has no effect on the assignment of any other participant.

The number of objects or participants that fall into a specified category. Frequencies represent nominal data.

frequency data
Synonymous with nominal data.

frequency distribution
Organizational device used to simplify large data sets.

frequency polygon
Graph that illustrates a frequency distribution. It is constructed by putting a dot above each possible score (which are listed on the x-axis) at a height that indicates the frequency of that score (which is indicated on the y-axis). The dots are then connected to form a graph of the frequency distribution.

functional theory
Functional theories tend to emphasize equally the inductive and deductive aspects of theory building. Often contrasted with inductive theory and deductive theory.

A philosophical perspective that stresses the need to study how the mind functions. Often contrasted with structuralism.

fundamental research
Another term for basic research.