Research Terminology

Researchers have their own vocabulary for communicating among themselves and with outsiders. The following briefly defines some of the more popular terms you’re likely to encounter in behavioral science studies.2


A variable is any general characteristic that can be measured and that changes in amplitude, intensity, or both. Some examples of OB variables found in this textbook are job satisfaction, employee productivity, work stress, ability, personality, and group norms.


A tentative explanation of the relationship between two or more variables is called a hypothesis. My friend’s statement that participation in college athletics leads to a top executive position in a large corporation is an example of a ...

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