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-from "dogmatikos" meaning belief
-who thought that the best way to understand illness was to develop theories about the bodies functions


-from "empeirikos" meaninf experience
-who thought the best way to understand illness was to observe sick people


tendency for people to cling to their assumptions

the rule of parsimony

-comes from the latin word "parcere" meaning to spare
-scientists set out to develop a theory they start with the simplest one


refers to technologies that enhance the powers of the senses
ex: telescope, microscope

complexity, variability, and reactivity

What are the 3 things that make people especially hard to study?


nothing is as complicated as the human brain
500 million interconnecting neurons that constitute the brain


no two individuals ever do, say, think, or feel exactly the same circumstances, which means that when you've seen one, you've most definitely not seen them all


people often think, feel, and act one way when they are being observed and a different way when they are not being studied or watched

methods of observation

which allows them to determine what people do

methods of explanation

which allows them to determine why people do it


means to use one's senses to learn about the properties of an event


measures a persons preference, beliefs, and attitudes

cover stories

misleading explanations that are meant to keep people from discerning the true purpose of an observation

filler items

pointless measures that are designed to mislead you about the true purpose of the observation

expectations can influence

observations, and reality

gaussian distribution

bell curve shape

descriptive statistics

brief summary statements that capture the essential information from a frequency distribution

central tendency

are statements about the value of the measurements that tend to lie near the center or midpoint of the frequency distribution

positively skewed

the mode and the median of a positively skewed distribution are much lower than the mean because the mean is more strongly influenced by the value of a single extreme measurement

central tendency

mean, median, and mode


examine techniques that can tell us whether two things are related


examine techniques that can tell us whether the relationship between two things is casual

drawing conclusions

what kinds of conclusions these techniques do and do not - allow us to draw

correlations not only describe the past....

but also predict the future

perfectly correlated

allows you to make an extremely confident prediction

perfect positive correlation

R=1, if every time the value of one variable increases by a fixed amount the value of the second variable also increases by a fixed amount

perfect negative correlation

R=-1, if every time the value of one variable increases by a fixed amount the value of the second variable decreases by a fixed amount


R=0, if every time the value of one variable increases by a fixed amount the value of the second variable does not increase or decrease systematically

statistically significant

when the odds that random assignment failed are less than 5% an experimental result

inferential statistics

that tells scientists what kinds of conclusions or inferences they can draw from observed differences between the experimental and control groups

freedom of coercion

it is unethical to offer people large amounts of money to persuade them to do something that they might otherwise decline to do

protection from harm

psychologists must take every possible precaution to protect their research participants from physical or psychological harm
-if an option, must use the safer option

risk-benefit analysis

they may not even be asked to accept large risks, such as severe pain, psychological trauma, or any risk that is greater than the risks they would ordinarily take in their everyday lives


they may never decline participants about any aspect of a study that could cause them physical or psychological harm or pain


a verbal description of the true nature and purpose of a study


psychologists are obligated to keep private and personal information obtained during a study confidential

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