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Critical thinking

the process of assessing claims and making judgments on the basis of well supported evidence.

hypothesis

a specific testable proposition, about a phenomenon.

operational definition

a statement that defines the exact operations or methods used in research

Variables

factors or characteristics that are manipulated or measured in research

Data

numbers that represent research finding and provide the basis for research conclusions.

statistical reliability

the degree to which test results or other research evidence occur repeatedly.

Statistical validity

the degree to which evidence from a test or other research method measures what it is supposed to measure

theory

an integrated set of propositions that can be used to account for, predict, and even suggest ways of controlling certain phenomena.

Observational methods

procedures for systematically watching behavior in order to summarize it for scientific analysis

Naturalistic observation

the process of watching with out interfering, as a phenomenon occurs in that natural environment

Case studies

research methods involving the intensive examination of some phenomenon in a particular individual, group, or situation.

Neuropsychology

the study of the relationships among brain activity , thinking, and behavior

Surveys

involve giving people questionnaires or special interviews designed to obtain description of their attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and intentions

Correlational studies

research method that examines relationships between variables in order to analyze trends in data, test predictions, evaluate theories, and suggest new hypotheses.

experiment

a situation in which the researcher manipulates one variable and then observes the effect of that manipulation on another variable, while holding all other variables constant.

experimental group

in an experiment is the group that receives the experimental treatment.

control group

in an experiment is the group that receives no treatment or provides some other baseline against which to compare the performance or response of the experimental group

Independent variables

variables manipulated by the researcher in an experiment

Dependent variable

in an experiment are the factors affected by the independent variable

Confounds

in an experiment are any factors that affect the dependent variable, along with or instead of the independent variable.

Random variables

confounds in which uncontrolled or uncontrollable factors affect the dependent variable, along with or instead of the independent variable.

Randomizing

assigning participants in an experiment to various groups through a random process to ensure that rondo variables are evenly distributed among the groups

Placebo

a physical or psychological treatment that contains no active ingredient produces an effect because the person receiving it believes it will.

experimenter bias

confound that occurs when an experimenter unintentionally encourages participants to respond in a way that supports the experimenter's hypothesis (also looks at data differently?)

double-blind design

a research design in which neither the experimenter no the participants know who is in the experimental group and who is in the control group

Sampling

the process of selecting participants who are members of the population that the researcher wishes to study.

Representative sampling

a process for selecting research participants who characteristics fairly reflect the characteristics of the population from which they were drawn

Random sampling

the process of selecting a group of research participants from a population whose members all had an equal chance of being chosen. If a sample is not random, it is said to be biased.

Biased sampling

the process of selecting a group of research participants from a population whose members did not have an equal chance of being chosen

Behavioral genetics

the study of how genes and environment work together to shape behavior.

Epigenetics

the study of potentially inheritable changes in gene expression that are caused by environmental factors that do not alter a cell's DNA.

Descriptive statistics

numbers that summarize a set of data

inferential statistics

a set of mathematical procedures that help psychologists make inferences about what their research data mean.

Mode

a measure of central tendency that is the value or score that occurs most frequently in data set.

median

a measure of central tendency that is the halfway point in a set of data: half the scores fall above the median, and half fall below it. If even amount of scores, its half way between the two inner most data points.

mean

a measure of central tendency that is the arithmetic average of the store in a set of data.

range

measure of variability that is the difference between the highest and the lowest scores in a data set.

standard deviation (SD)

a measure of variability that is the average difference between each score and the mean of the data set. Highest - lowest =

correlation

a research term, the degree to which one variable is related to another

correlation coefficient

a statistic, r, that summarizes the strength and direction of a relationship between two variables

statistical significance

refers to a correlation or difference between two groups that is larger than would be expected by chance.