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Terms Introduce in Prior Chapter

Population all possible values
Sample a portion of the population
Statistical inference generalizing from a
sample to a population
Two forms of statistical inference
Hypothesis testing
Parameter a characteristic of population, e.g.,
population mean
Statistic calculated from data in the sample, e.g.,
sample mean ( )

Hypothesis Testing

Is also called significance testing

Tests a claim about a parameter using
Each element of the procedure must be

Hypothesis Testing Steps

A. Null
B. Alternative hypotheses

Null and Alternative Hypotheses

Convert the research question to null and
alternative hypotheses
The null hypothesis (H0) is a claim of no
difference in the population
The alternative hypothesis (Ha) claims
H0 is false
Collect data and seek evidence against H0
as a way of bolstering Ha (deduction)

Definition: Variables are properties or
characteristics of people or things that vary
in quality or magnitude from person to
person or object to object (Miller &
Nicholson, 1976)

Demographic characteristics
Personality traits
Communication styles or competencies

in order to be a variable, a variable must

vary (e.g., not be a constant), that is, it
must take on different values, levels,
intensities, or states

Variable: any entity that can take on a variety of
different values (Wrench et al, 2008, p. 104)
managerial style
stuttering severity
attributes, values, and levels are the variations in a
Attribute: political party:
Value: Democrat, Republican, Independent, etc.
Attribute: Self-esteem
Level: High, Medium, Low

Independent variable
the variable that is manipulated either by
the researcher or by nature or
independent variables are also called
stimulus input or predictor variables
analogous to the cause in a cause-effect

operationalization of the
independent variable
translating an abstract
concept into a tangible,
observable form in an

Operationalizations can
variations in stimulus
conditions (public schools
versus home schooling)
variations in levels or
degrees (mild vs. moderate
vs. strong fear appeals)
variations based on
standardized scales or
diagnostic instruments
(low vs. high self esteem
variations in intact or
self-selected groups
(smokers vs. non-smokers)

dependent variable
a variable that is observed or measured,
and that is influenced or changed by the
independent variable
dependent variables are also known as
response or output or criterion
analogous to the effect in a cause-effect

confounding variable
also known as extraneous variables or
intervening variables
confounding variables muddy the waters
alternate causal factors or contributory factors
which unintentionally influence the results of
an experiment, but arent the subject of the

interchangeability of independent
and dependent variables
The same concept or construct could serve as the
independent variable in one investigation, and the
dependent in another.
example: source credibility
as an independent variable; RQ: Does source credibility
(low versus high) have a significant effect on attitude
As a dependent variable; RQ: Does the amount of
evidence contained in a speech affect listeners
perceptions of the sources credibility?

Relationships among variables

Differences in kind, degree

Relationships (correlations)
Positive correlation
Negative correlation
No or neutral correlation