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hindsight bias

def. The tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it
Ex. give one half of a group a psychological finding and the other half the same finding but twisted to make it untrue. after asking each group why they think theirs is correct, both can easily come up with an explanation and believe it as obvious
- A.K.A the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon
People Involved: Paul Slovic, Baruch Fischhoff

double-blind procedure

def. An experimental procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo. Commonly used in drug-evaluation studies

independent variable

The experimental factor that is manipulated--the variable whose effect is being studied

dependent variable

The outcome factor -- the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable


The most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution


The arithmetic average of a distribution, obtaining by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores


The middle score in a distribution--half the scores are above it and half are below it

standard deviation

The middle score in a distribution--half the scores are above it and half are below it

random assignment

Assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by chance ,thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups

random sample

A sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion

scatter plot

def. A graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. The slope of the points suggests the direction of the relationship between the two variables. The amount of scatter suggests the strength of the correlation

illusory correlation

def. The perception of a relationship where none exists
-when we beleive there is a relationship between two things, we are likely to jnotice and recall instances taht confirm our beleifs

case study

An observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles


A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them

naturalistic observation

Observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation


A research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effects on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). By random assignment of participants, the experimenter aims to control other relevant variable


Repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances

statistical significance

def. A statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance

operational definition

A statement of the procedures used to define research variables. Ex human intelligence -- what an intelligence test measures.

critical thinking

def. thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.
-critical thinkers wonder about things and ask do they know that?what alternative explanations are possible


def. an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations
Ex. low self-esteem feeds depression
-a theory simplifies things by organizing isolated facts and offers a useful summary of facts


def.a testable prediction, often implied by a theory
Ex. people with low self-esteem score higher on the depression scale
-these predictions give direction to research by
enabling us to test and reject or revise the theory
-they specify what results would support or dis-confirm the theory


all the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study

correlation coefficient

def. a statistical index of the relationship between two things (ranging from -1 to +1)
Ex. knowing how much aptitude test scores correlate with school success tell us how well the scores predict school success

placebo effect

any effect that seems to be a consequence of administering a placebo

control condition

def. the condition of an experiment that contrasts with the experimental condition and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment.


the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution


the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next

informed consent

an ethical principle requiring that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate

Kenneth and Mamie Clark

Used dolls to study children's attitude towards race. Their findings were used in the Brown vs. Board trial.

Daniel Kahneman

an Israeli psychologist and Nobel laureate, who is notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, behavioral economics and hedonistic psychology.

James Randi

magician exemplifies skepticism. He has tested and debunked a variety of psychic phenomena

Amos Tversky

A key figure in the discovery of systematic human cognitive bias

false consensus effect

the tendency too overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors

experimental condition

def. the condition of an experiment that exposes participants to the treatment,that is, to one version of the independent variable

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