psychology ch 2
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Archival measures
 Records or past documents that contains
 information about some type of behavior

Case study
 An in depth analysis of an individual, group, or
 event

Confounding of variables
 In an experiment, a situation in which the independent
 variable is intertwined or mixed up with another, uncontrolled variable; thus
 we cannot tell which variable is responsible for changes in the behavior of
 interest (I.e. in the dependent variable)

Control group
 In an experiment, the group that either is not exposed to
 the treatment or receives zero level of the independent variable

Correlation coefficient
 A statistic that indicates the direction and strength of a
 relation between two variables; values can range from +1.00 to 1.00

Counterbalancing
 In experiments, a procedure in which each participant
 engages in all of the conditions. The order of the conditions is altered for
 different participants so that , overall, no condition has an order advantage
 relative to the other conditions

Dependent variable
 In an experiment, the factor measured by the
 researcher that presumably is influenced by the independent variable

Descriptive research
 research in which the main goal is to carefully describe how
 organisms behave, particularly in natural settings

Descriptive statistics
 statistics that summarize and describe the
 characteristics of a set of scores

Double blind procedure
 A procedure in which both the participant and the
 experimenter are kept unaware of the research condition to which the participant
 has been assigned

Experiment
 A research method in which the researcher
 manipulates and independent variable under controlled conditions and measures
 whether this produces changes in a dependent variable

Experimental group
 In an experiment, the group that receives a
 treatment or is exposed to an active level of the independent variable

Experimental expectancy effects
 subtle and unintentional ways in which an
 experimenter influences participants to behave in a way that will confirm the
 experimenter’s hypothesis

External validity
 The degree to which the results of a study can be
 generalized to other people, settings and conditions

Hypothesis
 A tentative explanation or a prediction about
 some phenomenon

Independent variable
 In an experiment, the factor that is manipulated
 by the researcher

Inferential statistics
 statistics that tell us how confident we can be in drawing
 conclusions or inferences about a population based on findings obtained from a
 sample

Informed consent
 The principle that prior to agreeing to
 participate in research, a person should be fully informed about the
 procedures, the benefits, the risks involved, the right to withdraw at any time
 without penalty, and matters of confidentiality and privacy

Internal validity
 The degree to which an experiment produces clear
 casual conclusions; internal validity is high when there is no confounding of
 variables

Mean
 A statistic that represents the arithmetic
 average of a set of scores

Median
 In a set of data, the point that divides the distribution in
 half when the individual scores are arranged in order from lowest to highest

Metaanalysis
 A statistical procedure for combining the results of
 different studies that examine the same topic

Mode
 A statistic that represents the most frequently
 occurring score in a distribution of data

Naturalistic observation
 A method in which the researcher observes behavior in a
 natural setting and tries to avoid influencing the participants being observed

Negative correlation
 A relation between two variables in which higher scores on
 one variable are associated with lower scores on the other variable

Operational definition
 Defining a concept or variable in terms of the specific
 procedures used to produce or measure it

Placebo
An inactive or inert substance

Placebo effect
 A change in behavior that occurs because of the expectation
 or belief that one is receiving a treatment

Population
 In a survey, the entire set of individuals about
 whom we wish to draw a conclusion

Positive correlation
 A relation between two variables in which higher scores on
 one variable are associated with higher scores on the other variable

Random assignment
 A procedure in which each participant has an equal
 likelihood of being assigned to any one group within an experiment

Random sampling
 In survey research, a method of choosing a sample in which
 each members of the population has an equal probability of being included in
 the sample

Range
 A statistic that represent the difference
 between the highest and lowest score in a distribution

Replication
 The process of repeating a study to determine whether the
 original findings can be duplicated

Representative sample
 A sample that accurately reflects the important
 characteristics of the population

Sample
 In a survey, a subset of individuals drawn from the
 population

Scatterplot
 A graph commonly used to examine correlational data; each
 pair of scores on variable X and variable Y is plotted as a single point

Social desirability bias
 A tendency to selfreport or behave in a way that represents
 oneself in a favorable light, rather than respond as one truly feels

Standard deviation
 A measure of variability that takes into account how much
 each score in a distribution deviates from the average score, statistically,
 the square root of the variation of a set of scores

Statistical significance
 In research, a term that means it is unlikely
 that a particular finding occurred by chance alone. Psychologist typically
 consider a result to be statistically significant only if it could have
 occurred by chance less than 5 times in 100

Survey research
 A method using questionnaires or interviews to
 obtain information about many people

Theory
 A set of formal statements that explains how and why certain
 events or phenomena are related to one another

Unobtrusive measures
 Techniques for measuring behavior in which
 participants are kept unaware that their behavior is being recorded or observed

Variable
 any characteristic of an organism or situation
 can vary