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DISCUSSION THREE

Discussion Three
1. Why are the measurement concepts of reliability and validity important to the research
process? What dangers might there be if researchers did not establish reliability and
validity when testing hypotheses?
The measurement concepts of reliability and validity are important to the research
process because reliability is the degree to which the test, or measurement tool, measures
something consistently and validity indicates that the test measures what it is supposed to
measure (Salkind, 2013). If a researcher does not establish both reliability and validity when
testing a hypothesis, then they risk a high degree of error in the observed score and they also
risk the test not doing what it should (Salkind, 2013).
2. What are the two types of research hypotheses? How are they different? How would
you determine which type you are testing? What is meant by one-tailed and twotailed tests? Give an example of a research question for each.
The two types of research hypotheses are the null hypothesis and the research hypothesis
(Salkind, 2013). They differ in that the null hypothesis is the starting point that assumes no
relationship between variables while the research hypothesis is a definite statement that a
relationship exists between variables (Salkind, 2013). When doing your research and
analysis, you are ultimately testing both hypotheses to determine which one is accurate the
null that states there is no relationship or the research hypothesis which indicates there is a
relationship (Salkind, 2013). Another important point is that a hypothesis can be either
directional or non-directional and this impacts which test to use (Salkind, 2013). A one-tailed
test is used for directional hypotheses, meaning that the difference moves in a specified
direction (Salkind, 2013). For example, a directional hypothesis may say that as GPA goes
up so does self-esteem. A two-tailed test is used for non-directional hypotheses, where it is

DISCUSSION THREE

not specified which direction the difference moves toward (Salkind, 2013). For example, as
GPA changes, so does self-esteem.
3. What is a normal curve? What are the characteristics associated with a normal curve?
A normal curve is more commonly known as a bell curve because of the shape it takes
when visually representing a distribution of all scores in which the mean, median, and mode
are all equal to each other (Salkind, 2013). It is perfectly symmetrical and the tails are
asymptotic (they never touch the x-axis), meaning that extreme scores are possible (Salkind,
2013). It has just one hump and the hump is directly in the middle (Salkind, 2013). There is
no skewness to a normal curve (Salkind, 2013).
4. What is meant by the term significance? How is significance level related to what you
learned in previous chapters about probability?
The term significance means that any difference between variables is due to some sort of
influence and not just mere chance (Salkind, 2013). Probability and significance are closely
related, as probability is actually a part of determining significance (Salkind, 2013). When
we know the exact probability of an outcome, we can more precisely measure the risk we are
willing to take (Salkind, 2013). That leads me to significance level, which is defined as the
risk set by the researcher for rejecting a null hypothesis when it is actually true (Salkind,
2013). Statistical significance is usually represented as p < .05, meaning that the probability
of observing that outcome is less than .05 (Salkind, 2013). This illustrates how probability
and significance go hand in hand.

DISCUSSION THREE

References
Salkind, N.J. (2013). Statistics for people who (think they) hate statistics (The third Excel 2010
edition). Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.