70 terms

Research methods & Ethics

Unit 2
hindsight bias
the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it
amazing Randi
the magician who exemplifies skepticism. He has tested and debunked a variety of psychic phenomena
critical thinking
thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions
an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events
a testable prediction, often implied by a theory
operational definition
a statement of the procedures used to define research variables
repeating the essence of the research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances
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
false consensus effect
the tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our beliefs and behaviors
all the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study
random sample
a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion
the tendency to overestimate the accurary of our knowledge
conformation bias
a tendency to search for information that confirms ones preconceptions
naturalistic observation
observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation
confounding variables
occurs when two variables are linked together in a way that makes it difficult to sort out their specific effects (when anyhting differs between the control and experimental group besides the independent variable)
Hawthorne effect
the tendency for people to behave differently when they know they are being studied
correlation (+/-)
a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other
correlation coefficient
mathematical expression of the relationship ranging from -1 to +1
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
the perception of a relationship where none exists
a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). By random assignment of participants, the experimenter aims to control other relevant factors.
double-blind procedure
an experimental procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo. Commonly used in drug-evaluation studies.
placebo effect
experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which is assumed to be an active agent.
experimental condition (group)
the condition of an experiment that exposes participants to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable
control condition (group)
the condition of an experiment that contrasts with the experimental condition and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment
random assignment
assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups
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
measures of central tendency
a single score that represents a whole set of scores
the arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained 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
the most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution
the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution
standard deviation
a computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score
a measure of how many standard deviations you are away from the mean
statistically significant (p-value)
researchers report their findings as _______ if their _______ is 5% or less
frequency distributions
68% - 95% - 99.7%
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next
applied research
scientific study that aims to solve practical problems
basic research
pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base
the extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to
the extent to which a test yields consistent results
the process of selecting participants who are members of the population that the researcher wishes to study
a representative segment of a target population
representative sample
a sample that accurately reflects the characteristics of the population as a whole
stratified sampling
a variation of random sampling; census data are used to divide the country into four sampling regions. Sets of counties and standard metropolitan statistical areas are then randomly selected in proportion to the total national population
laboratory experiment
scientific method of isolating and observing variables in a controlled environment
field experiment
experimental research that takes place in a natural setting
participant variables
characteristics such as age, gender, and intelligence that vary from individual to another
situation-relevant variables
the situations for different groups in an experiment must be similar or the same, otherwise it will skew the results
researchers attempt to categorize the subjects (by age, health status, gender, ect.) and ensure that the control group has members similar to those in the experimental group
experimenter bias
expectations by the experimenter that might influence the results of an experiment or its interpretation
single-blind procedure
research design in which participants don't know whether they are in the experimental or control group
response or participant bias
participants act the way they think the experiment wants you to act
social desirability
a source of bias in responding to questions on personality inventories that occurs when people try to make themselves "look good" even if it means giving untrue answers
response rate
out of all the surveys a researcher has distributed, the proportion that were completed and returned
descriptive statistics
statistical procedures used to describe characteristics and responses of groups of subjects
extreme values that don't appear to belong with the rest of the data
positive vs. negative skew
Positive skew = high outliers pulling mean right
Negative skew = low outliers pulling mean left
normal curve
the symmetrical bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many physical and psychological attributes. Most scores fall near the average, and fewer and fewer scores lie near the extremes
line of best fit
a smooth line that reflects the general pattern in a graph
inferential statistics
numerical methods used to determine whether research data support a hypothesis or whether results were due to chance
sampling error
an error that occurs when a sample somehow does not represent the target population
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
a committee at each institution where research is conducted to review every experiment for ethics and methodology
use of force to get someone to obey
informed consent
an ethical principle requiring that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate
the condition of being unknown
the act of holding information in confidence, not to be released to unauthorized individuals
giving participants in a research study a complete explanation of the study after the study is completed