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Scientific Method

observing some phenomenon

The first step in conducting scientific research


anything that can change

operational definition

When trying to formulate a research question from your observation, your variable will be measured by this. you will eliminate any gray areas that might arise when thinking about a problem.

operational definition

establishing this will eliminate any gray areas that might arise when thinking about a problem.


The second step in conducting scientific research is stating a


an idea that is arrived at logically from a theory.

test the hypothesis

The third step in conducting scientific research is to


to test the hypothesis by collecting and analyzing what?

data analysis

One of the key aspects of testing a hypothesis is

data analysis

This applies mathematical procedures to understand what the data mean.


are the information collected in a study

draw conclusions

Based on what was found after data analysis, researchers can do what from their research?

replicated again and again and yields similar findings

A research finding is considered reliable when a study has been

Descriptive research

involves investigating the parameters of a variable

Descriptive research

this type of research allows the researcher to develop a sense for something but does not answer the how and why of a situation.


For observations to be effective, they must be ____ Researchers must know what they are looking for, who they are observing, where and when observations will take place, and how observations will be made.

interview them directly

One method to gain information about people

survey or questionnaire

When information needs to be taken from a large group of people


consists of questions about a person's self-reported attitudes or beliefs about a topic.


This can either be unstructured and open ended, or they can be structured and more specific

because sometimes participants will answer the questions in a way they believe is socially acceptable instead of how they really feel.

why are Surveys and interviews can be problematic?

case study

conducted when a researcher takes an in-depth look at a single individual.

case study

is usually conducted by a clinical psychologist when the unique aspects of an individual's life cannot be duplicated in other individuals.

Correlational research

is conducted when studies are concerned with identifying the relationships between two or more variables so it can be understood how the variables change together.

Correlational research

when the variables are measured by the researcher to see how they relate.

correlation coefficient

The strength of the relationship between two variables is expressed as

correlation coefficient

represented as a lowercase r

-1.00 and +1.00

The numeric value of a correlation coefficient falls between

number, - or +

where the ______ determines the strength of the relationship between the variables and the _____ sign determines the direction of the relationship between the variables

positive correlation

when the variables move in the same direction, so that if one variable increases the other variable also increases, and if one variable decreases the other variable decreases as well.

negative correlation

occurs when the variables move in opposite directions, so that if one variable increases the other variable decreases, and vice versa.


Correlation does not equal ____

a relationship between the two variables, not that one of the variables causes the other one.

A correlation between two variables states only that there is

third variable problem

occurs when an extraneous variable that has not been measured accounts for the relationship between two variables.

research variables that cannot be manipulated.

Even with the risk of a third variable, correlational studies are important, because they allow us to

unethical to carry out in an experiment.

Correlational studies can also be conducted on variables that would be considered

Correlational studies

can be used when researchers are interested in everyday experience

experience sampling method (ESM)

Correlational studies can be used when researchers are interested in everyday experience is called?

experience sampling method (ESM)

this can consist of writing in a diary or recording a measurement of some kind upon being reminded to do so by an electronic organizer

longitudinally designed study

Another way of controlling for causation is by conducting a

longitudinally designed

study in which the measures of the variables are obtained in multiple waves over time

experimental methods

If there is a relationship between two variables, the researcher must use WHAT to determine the direction of the causality.


In an ____ the researcher manipulates one of the variables to see if it influences the behavior in question.

behavior to change.

If the behavior changes when one of the variables is manipulated, then the manipulated variable is considered to have caused the

random assignment

USED BY Researchers by dividing a study's participants randomly into two different groups.

independent variable

is the variable that is manipulated in an experiment.

dependent variable

is the result of manipulating the independent variable.

dependent variable

Researchers measure changes in which variable?


is a person given a role in an experiment in order to manipulate the social context.

experimental group

is the group whose variable is manipulated.

control group

is exactly like the experimental group, except that there is no manipulation of the variable

control group

this group is used as a comparison group.

External validity

a caution involved in experimental research that refers to whether the experimental design is representative of real-world issues

Internal validity

a caution involved in experimental research that refers to whether changes in the dependent variable are actually due to the manipulation of the independent variable.

Experimenter bias

occurs when the experimenter's expectations influence the results of the study.

Demand characteristics

are any aspects of a study that communicate to the subject how the researcher wants them to behave.

Research participant bias

occurs when the participant's behavior during an experiment is influenced by how the participant believes he or she is supposed to be behaving

A placebo effect

occurs when the participant's expectations produce an experimental outcome, even though the participant did not receive any manipulation.


is an innocuous, inert substance that has no effect on the behavior of the participants. However, participants are kept unaware of this, so that they believe they actually received the manipulation.

double blind experiment

One method to control for both experimenter and participant bias is to conduct a

double blind experiment

In this type of experiment, neither the experimenter nor the participant is aware of which participants are in the experimental group and which are in the control group.


The researcher wants to be able to draw conclusions from the results that will apply to a larger group of people or animals.


The group that the study uses is called the ____. It is a subset of the population

random sample

as a way to more closely resemble the population, a researcher uses a

an equal chance of being selected

Choosing a random sample means that each member of the population has an

Laboratory research

takes place in a controlled environment from which the complex factors of the real world are removed

drawbacks to conducting laboratory research

the participants know that they are being studied; the laboratory setting is unnatural; is considered?

drawbacks to conducting laboratory research

the participants who go to a university setting to take part in laboratory research may not be representative of the general population; is considered?

drawbacks to conducting laboratory research

some aspects of the mind and behavior are difficult to examine in a laboratory. is considered?

naturalistic observation

When research is conducted in a natural setting, it is

naturalistic observation

In such research, people's behaviors are being observed in real-world situations. this is called?

ethical standards

The consideration of THIS came about after Nazi doctors in concentration camps used prisoners as guinea pigs in their experiments.

ethical guideline

Subjects in a research study should be no worse off after participating in the study. is considered?

institutional review boards

Colleges and universities have what are termed ______ that evaluate the ethical nature of research studies before approving them.

The American Psychological Association (APA)

This has developed guidelines for researchers to follow when conducting research involving human participants.

informed consent

Researchers must obtain the _____ of the participants prior to the start of the experiment

informed consent

Is an ethical guideline where the participants must know in advance what will be involved in the experiment and what, if any, risks there might be.


Researchers are responsible for the maintaining the _____ of all the data collected from the participants in the experiment.


After an experiment has been conducted, the researcher is responsible for _____ the participants


Part of ethical guideline where the participants are informed of the experiment's purpose and the methods that were used in the experiment.


THIS is allowed in an experiment if telling the participants in advance about the expected outcome of the study could potentially alter the participants' behavior and therefore invalidate the results of the experiment.

human problems

Experiments using animals as research subjects have provided a better understanding of and solutions for many ____


The APA has established guidelines for researchers to use in housing, feeding, and maintaining the psychological and physiological well-being of ____ subjects.


The issue of ____ in psychological research (the standards for judging what is worthwhile and desirable) is two sided.

value-free, MORALLY

ONE SIDE OF VALUES IN PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH: psychologists believe that psychology should be ____ and ____ neutral


ONE SIDE OF VALUES IN PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH: people believe that because psychologists are humans, they cannot be _____.

Ethnic gloss

is the using of an ethnic label in a superficial way that portrays an ethnic group as being more homogeneous than it really is.

science, behavior, and mental processes.

the three key terms in PSYCHOLOGY definition

psychology science

uses systematic methods to observe human behavior and draw conclusions

psychological science

The goals of THIS are to describe, predict, and explain behavior.

controlling or changing; scientific methods

psychologists are often interested in ___ or ____behavior and use ____ to examine interventions that might help, for example, reduce violence or promote happiness.

Descriptive research

This type of research involves finding out about the basic dimensions of some variable

Correlational research

this type of research is interested in discovering relationships between variables

Experimental research

this type of research is concerned with establishing causal relationships between variables

Descriptive research

is about describing some phenomenon—determining its basic dimensions and defining what this thing is, how often it occurs, and so on

descriptive research

By itself, this type of research cannot prove what causes some phenomenon, but it can reveal important information about people's behaviors and attitudes

descriptive research

this type of research methods include observation, surveys and interviews, and case studies.


For observations to be effective, they must be


THIS presents a standard set of questions, or items, to obtain people's self-reported attitudes or beliefs about a particular topic.


can measure only what people think about themselves


if we are interested in studying a variable that we think is unconscious, like a psychodynamic drive, we cannot use a

look good

One particular problem with surveys and interviews is the tendency of participants to answer questions in a way that will make them ____ rather than in a way that communicates what they truly think or feel


Another challenge in survey construction is that when questionnaires are used to operationally define

case study, or case history,

is an in-depth look at a single individual

clinical psychologists

Case studies are performed mainly by ______when, for either practical or ethical reasons, the unique aspects of an individual's life cannot be duplicated and tested in other individuals

case study

provides information about one person's goals, hopes, fantasies, fears, traumatic experiences, family relationships, health, or anything else that helps the psychologist understand the person's mind and behavior and can also involve in-depth explorations of particular families or social groups.

Case histories

provide dramatic, detailed portrayals of people's lives, but we must be cautious about applying what we learn from one person's life to other people

Descriptive research

allows researchers to get a sense of something but cannot answer questions about how and why things are the way they are

Correlational Research

tells us about the relationships between variables, and its purpose is to examine whether and how two variables change together

Correlational Research

looks at a co-relationship

Correlational research

____is so named because of the statistical technique, that is typically used to analyze these type of data.

Correlational research

the key feature to this type of study is that the variables of interest are measured or observed to see how they relate

correlational coefficient

the degree of relationship between two variables is expressed as a numerical value called a

its strength and its direction

The correlation coefficient is a statistic that tells us two things about the relationship between two variables which are?


The number or magnitude of the correlation tells us about the _____of the relationship.


The closer the number is to ___, the stronger the relationship

(+ or -)

The sign _____tells us about the direction of the relationship between the variables.


A ______sign means that as one variable increases, the other also increases


A _____ sign means that as one variable increases, the other decreases


A _____correlation means that there is no systematic relationship between the variables.


Correlation does not equal


These "third variables" are also called


a collection of measurements


summary descriptions of data (i.e., mean, medium, range)

Descriptive Statistics

Used to describe or summarize sets of data to make them more understandable

Experimental studies

Which of the following research methods allow researchers to determine causality? Survey studies, correlation studies, experimental studies

obtain a random sample

Randomly choosing a group of 50 students from a roster of all students in a school and inviting them to participate in a study would be an example of one way to ____.

the entire group of people researchers want to draw conclusions about

A population is

experimenter bias and participant bias

Dr. Aoki used double-blind procedures in his experiments to reduce the potential for ____ and ___.

double-blind experiment

In a ____, neither the participants nor the experimenter know which group has received the treatment.

internal validity

The placebo effect can weaken the ____ of an experiment.

internal validity

Demand characteristics can threaten the _____ of a study.

internal validity

____ refers to the degree to which changes in the dependent variable are due to the manipulation of the independent variable and nothing else.

External validity

___ refers to the degree to which an experimental design actually reflects the real-world issues it is supposed to address.


In an experiment, the group that is NOT subjected to a treatment condition is known as the _____ group.

independent variable / dependent variable

In an experiment, the ____ is conceptualized as the "cause" and the _____ is conceptualized as the "effect. "

manipulated by researchers

Independent variables are ____.

independent variable / dependent variable

In an experiment the ______ is manipulated by the researcher and its effects on the _____ are measured.

external validity

Professor Jones is studying drug use among high school students. If she uses random sampling, it will strengthen the ____ of her study.

obtaining measures of the variables of interest in multiple waves over time

Longitudinal research involves ______.

strong negative

Professor Mendez found that the correlation between students' life stress scale score and his or her final grade was -. 80. This correlation coefficient indicates a _____ relationship between the two variables.

positive correlation

Professor Jordan has suggested to his students that as study time increases, grades increase. The professor is describing a ____.

Operational definitions

_____ provide an objective description of how variables are going to be measured and observed in a particular study.


Which of the following is NOT an example of a descriptive research method? surveys and interviews, observations, experiments, case studies

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