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Psychology 270 Introduction to Research Methods & Design Chapter 9 - Vocabulary

straightforward manipulation

manipulate variables with instructions and stimulus presentations.(verbal, written, video, computer)

staged manipulation

staged events that occur during the experiment in order to manipulate the independent variable successfully.


a person posing as a participant in an experiment who is actually part of the experiment

manipulation strength

stronger the better. Maximize differences between the two groups increases the chances that the independent variable will have a statistically significant effect on the dependent variable. (important in early stages of experiment)

self-report measure

measure completed by participant to report on self judgments, attitudes and many other aspects of human thought and behaviour.

behavioural measure

direct observations of behaviours

physiological measure

recordings of the responses of the body. (GSR, EMG, EEG)

galvanic skin response

(GSR) the electrical conductance of the skin, which changes when sweating occurs.


(EMG) a measure of the electrical activity of muscles, including muscle tension


(EEG) a measure of the electrical activity of the brain


provides image of brain structure of individual

functional MRI

magnetic resonance imaging uses a magnet to obtain scans of structures of the brain. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provides information on the amount of activity in different brain structures


the ability of a measure to detect differences between groups (confounded by measure being too easy/hard)

ceiling effect

failure of a measure to detect a different because it was too easy (also see floor effect)

floor effect

failure of a measure to detect a difference because it was too difficult

demand characteristics

cues that inform the subject how he or she is expected to behave

filler items

items included in a questionnaire measure to help disguise the true purpose of the measure

placebo group

in drug research, a group given an inert substance to assess the psychological effect of receiving a treatment

balanced placebo design

involves 4 conditions: (1) Expect treatment & receive treatment (2) Expect treatment & receive no treatment (3) Expect no treatment & receive no treatment (4) Expect no treatment & receive treatment

expectancy effects (experimenter bias)

any intentional or unintentional influence that the experimenter exerts on subjects to confirm the hypothesis under investigation

single-blind procedure

Participant is unaware of which condition (placebo or treatment) is received.

double-blind procedure

neither the participants nor the researcher knows which conditions are treatment or placebo

pilot study

a small-scale study conducted prior to conducting an actual experiment; designed to test and refine procedures

manipulation check

a measure used to determine whether the manipulation of the independent variable has had its intended effect on a subject


explanation of the purposes of the research that is given to participants following their participation in the research

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