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critical thinking
the process of assessing claims and making judgments on the basis of wellsupported evidence

hypothesis
in scientific research, a prediction stated as a specific, testable propsition about a phenomenon

operational definition
a statement that defines the exact operations or methods used in research

variable
a factor or characteristic that is manipulated or measured in research

data
numbers that represent research findings and provide the basis for research conclusions

threory
an integrated set of propositions that can be used to account for, predict, and even suggest ways of controlling certain phenomena

naturalistic observation
the process of watching without interfering as a phenomenon occurs in the natural enviroment

case study
a research method involving the intensive examination of some phenomenon in a particular individual, group, or situation

survey
a research method that involves giving people questionnaires or special interviews designed to obtain descriptions of their attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and intentions

correlation study
a research method that examines relationships between variables in order to analyze trends in data, to test predictions, to evaluate theoriesm and to suggest new hypotheses

experiment
a situation in which the researcher manipulates one variable and then observes the effect of that manipulation on another variable, while holding all other variables constant

experimental group
in an experiment, the group that revieces the experimental treatment

control group
in an experiment, the group that receives no treatment or provides some other baseline against which to compare the performance or response of the experimental group

independent variable
the variable manipulated by the researcher in an experiemtn

dependent variable
in a nexperiment, the factor affected by the independent variable

confounding variable
in an experiment, any factor that affects the dependent variable, along with or instead of the independent variable

random variable
in an experiment, a confounding variable in which uncontrolable factors affect the dependent variable, along with or instead of the independent variable

random assignment
the procedure by which random variables are evenly distributed in a nesperiment by putting participants into various groups through a random process

placebo
a physical or psychological treatment that contains no active ingredients but produces an effect because the person recieving it blieves it will

experimental bias
a congoudning variable tha occurs when an experimenter unintentionally encourages participants to respond in a way that supports the hypothesis

doubleblind design
a research design in which neither the experimenter nor the participants know who is in the experimental group and who is in the control group

sampling
the process of selecting participants who are members of the population that the researcher wishes to study

representative sample
a group of research participants whose characteristics farily reflect the characteristics of the population from which they were selected

random sample
a group of research participants selected from a population whose members all had an equal chance of being chosen

biased sample
a group of research participants selected from a population each of whose members did not have an equal chance of being chosen

behavioral genetics
the study of how genes and enviroments affect behavior

descriptibe statistics
numbers that describe and summarize a set of reseach data

inferential statistics
a set of mathematical procedures that help researchers infer what their data might mean

mode
a measure of central tendency that is the value or score that occurs most frequently in a data set

median
a measure of cental tendency that is the halfway point in a set of data

mean
a measure of cental tendency that is the arithmetic average of the scores in a set of data

range
a measure of variablity that is the difference between the highest and the lowest values in a data set

standard deviation
a measure of variability that is the average difference between each score and the mean of the data set

correlation
in research, the degree to which one variable is related to another

correlation coefficient
a statistic, r, that summarizes the strength and direction of a relationship between two variables

statistically significant
a term used to describe research results when the outcome of a statistical test indicates that the probabilty of those results occuring by chance is small

