40 terms

Psych 111 Chapter 2

STUDY
PLAY
Theory
a system of interrelated ideas used to explain a set of observations
Hypothesis
a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables
Variables
any measurable conditions, events, characteristics or behaviors that are controlled or observed in a study
Operational definition
describes the actions or operations that will be used to measure or control a variable
Participants/subjects
the persons or animals whose behavior is systematically observed
Data collection techniques
procedures for making empirical observations and measures
Journal
periodical that publishes technical and scholarly material, usually in a narrowly defined area of inquiry
Research methods
various approaches to the observation, measurement, manipulation, and control of variables in empirical studies
Experiment
a research method in which the investigator manipulates a variable under carefully controlled conditions and observes whether any changes occur in a second variable as a result
Independent variable
a condition or event that an experimenter varies in order to see its impact on another variable
Dependent variable
the variable that is thought to be affected by manipulation of the independent variable
Experimental group
the subjects who receive some special treatment in regard tto the independent variable
Control group
doesn't receive the special treatment given to the experimental gourp
Confounding of variables
when two variables are linked together in a way that makes it difficult to sort out their specific effects
Random assignment
all subjects have an equal chance of being assigned to any group or condition in the study
Naturalistic observation
a researcher engages in a careful observation of behavior without intervening directly with the subjects
Reactivity
when a subject's behavior is altered by the presence of an observer
Case study
in-depth investigation of an individual subject
Survey
researchers use questionnaires or interviews to gather information about specific aspects of participants' background, attitudes, beliefs or behavior
Statistics
the use of math to organize, summarize, and interpret numerical data
Descriptive statistics
used to organize and summarize data
Median
the score that falls exactly in the middle
Mean
arithmetic average of the scores in a distribution
Mode
the most frequent score in a distribution
Variability
refers to how much the scores in a data set vary from each other and from the mean
Standard deviation
a index of the amount of variability in a set of data
Correlation
when two variables are related to each other
Correlation coefficient
a numerical index of the degree of relationship between two variables
Inferential statistics
used to interpret data and draw conclusions
Statistical significance
when the probability that the observed findings are due to chance is very low
Replication
the repetition of a study to see whether the earlier results are duplicated
Sample
the collection of subjects selected for observation in an empirical study
Population
the much larger collection of animals or people that researchers want to generalize about
Sampling bias
when a sample is not representative of the population from which it was drawn
Placebo effects
when participants' expectations lead them to experience some change even though they receive empty, fake or ineffectual treatment
Social desirability bias
a tendency to give socially approved answers to questions about oneself
Response set
a tendency to respond to questions in a particular that is unrelated to the content of the questions
Experimenter bias
occurs when a researcher's expectations or preferences about the outcome of a study influence the results obtained
Internet-mediated research
refers to studies in which data collection occurs over the web
Anecdotal evidence
personal stories about specific incidents and experiences