Mini Stats and Stuff
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Hindsight Bias
the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have forseen it

Critical THinking
 thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions
 rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions

Theory
an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events

Hypothesis
a testable prediction, often implied by a theory

Operational Definition
 a statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables
 for example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures

Replication
repeating the essence of a 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

Survey
a technique for ascertaining the selfreported attitudes or behaviors of a particular group, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of the group

Population
all the cases in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn

Random Sample
a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion

Naturalistic Observation
observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation

Correlation
a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus how well either factor predicts the other

Correlation Coefficient
a statistical index of the relationship between two things (from 1 to +1)

Scatterplots
 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 (little scatter indicates high correlation)

Illusory Correlation
the perception of a relationship where none exists

Experiment
a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process

Random Assignment
assigning participants to experimental and control groups by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups

DoubleBlind 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

Placebo Effect
 experimental results caused by expectations alone
 Any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which recipient assumes is an active ingredient

Experimental Group
in an experiment, the group that is exposed to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable

Control Group
 the group that is not exposed to the treatment
 Contrasts with the experimental group and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment

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

Standard Deviation
a computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score

Normal Curve (Normal Distribution)
 a symmetrical, bellshaped curve that describes the distribution of many types of data
 most scores fall near the mean, and fewer and fewer near the extremes

Statistical Significance
a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance