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45 terms

General Psychology - Chapter 2

STUDY
PLAY
scientific method
A set of rules that governs the collection and analysis of data gained through observational studies or experiments
experiment
A study in which the researcher changes the value of an independent variable and observes whether this manipulation affects the existence of cause-and-effect relations among variables
naturalistic observation
Observation of the behavior of people or other animals in their natural environments
clinical observation
Observation of the behavior of people or animals while they are undergoing diagnosis or treatment
correlational study
The examination of relations between two or more measurements of behavior or other characteristics of people or other animals
hypothesis
A statement, usually designed to be tested by an experiment, that tentatively expresses a cause-and-effect relationship between two or more events
theory
A set of statements designed to explain a set of phenomena; more encompassing than a hypothesis
case study
A detailed description of an individual's behavior during the course of clinical treatment or diagnosis
survey study
A study of people's responses to standardized questions
variable
Anything capable of assuming any of several values
manipulation
Setting the values of an independent variable in an experiment to see whether the value of another variable is affected
experimental group
The group of participants in an experiment that is exposed to a particular value of the independent variable, which has been manipulated by the researcher
control group
A comparison group used in an experiment, the members of which are exposed to the naturally occurring or zero value of the independent variable
nominal fallacy
The false belief that we have explianed the causes of a phenomenon by identifying and naming it; for example, believing that we have explained lazy behavior by attributing it to 'laziness'
operational definition
Definition of a variable in terms of the operations the researcher performs to measure or manipulate it
validity
The degree to which the operational definition of a variable accurately reflects the variable it is designed to measure or manipulate
confounding of variables
Inadvertent simultaneous manipulation of more than one variable. The results of an experiment in which variables are confounded permit no valid conclusions about cause and effect
counterbalancing
Systematic variation of conditions in an experiment, such as the order of presentation of stimuli, so that different participants encounter the conditions in different orders; prevents confounding of independent variables with time-dependent processes such as habituation or fatigue
response bias
Responding to a questionnaire in a way that is not genuine or honest but in some other irrelevant way
reliability
The repeatability of a measurement; the likelihood that if the measurement were made again, it would yield the same value
interrater reliability
The degree to which two or more independent observers agree in their ratings of an organism's behavior
random assignment
Procedure in which each participant has an equally likely chance of being assigned to any of the conditions or groups of an experiment
placebo
An ineffectual treatment used as the control substance in a single-blind or double-blind experiment
single-blind study
An experiment in which the researcher knows the value of the independent variable but participants do not
double-blind study
And experiment in which neither the participants nor the researchers know the value of the independent variable
matching
Systematically selecting participants in groups in an experiment or (more often) a correlational study to ensure that the mean values of important participant variables of the groups are similar
replication
Repetition of an experiment or observational study in an effort to see whether previous results will be obtained; ensures that incorrect conclusions are weeded out
sample
A selection of elements representative of a larger population - for example, a group of participants selected to participate in an experiment
generalize
To extend the results obtained form a sample to the population from which the sample was taken
informed consent
A person's agreement to participate in an experiment after he or she has received information about the nature of the research and any possible risks and benefits
confidentiality
Privacy of participants and nondisclosure of their participation in a research project
debriefing
Full disclosure to research participants of the nature and purpose of a research project after its completion
descriptive statistics
Mathematical procedures for organizing collections of data
measure of central tendency
A statistical measure used to characterize the value of items in a sample of numbers
mean
A measure of central tendency; the sum of a group of values divided by their number; the arithmetical average
median
A measure of central tendency; the midpoint of a group of values arranged numerically
measure of variability
A statistic the describes the degree to which scores in a set of numbers differ from one another
range
The difference between the highest score and the lowest score of a sample
standard deviation
A statistic that expresses the variability of a measurement; square root of the average of the squared deviations from the mean
scatterplot
A graph of items that have two values, one value is plotted against the horizontal axis and the other against the vertical axis
correlation coefficient
A measurement of the degree to which two variables are related
statistical significance
The likelihood that an observed relation or difference between two variables really exists rather than being due to chance factors
inferential statistics
Mathematical and logical procedures for determining whether relations or differences between samples are statistically significant
qualitative research
An alternative research strategy stressing the observation of variables that are not numerically measurable
single-subject design
An alternative research strategy that examines the effects of a manipulation on an individual participant or subject