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variable
anything that can change

theory
a broad idea or set of closely related ideas that attempts to explain observations and to make predictions about future observations

hypothesis
an educated guess that derives logically from a theory: prediction that can be tested

operational definition
provides an objective description of how a variable is going to be measured and observed in a particular study

metaanalysis
allows researchers to combine the results of several different studies on a similar topic in order to establish the strength of an effect

descriptive research
research that determines the basic dimensions of a phenomenon, defining what it is, how often it occurs, and so on

case study or case history
an indepth look at a single individual

correlational research
examines the relationships between variables, whose purpose is to examine whether and how two variables change together

third variable problem
the circumstance where a variable that has not been measured accounts for the relationship between two other variables. third variables are also known as confounds

longitudinal design
special kind of systematic observation, used by correlational researchers, that involves obtaining measures of the variables of interest in multiple waves over time

experiment
carefully regulated procedure in which the researcher manipulates on or more variables that are believed to influence some other variable

random assignment
researchers' assignment of participants to groups by chance, to reduce the likelihood that an experiment's results will be due to preexisting differences between groups

independent variable
a manipulated experimental factor; the variable that the experimenter changes to see what the effects are

confederate
a person who is given a role to play in a study so that the social context can be manipulated

dependent variable
the outcome; the factor that can change in an experiment in response to changes in the independen variable

experimental group
the participants in an experiment who are as much like the experimental group as possible and who are treated in every way like the experimental group except for a manipulated factor, the independent variable

external validity
the degree to which an experimental design actually reflects the real world issues it is suppose to address

internal validity
the degree to which changes in the independent variable are due to the manipulation fo the independent variable

experimenter bias
occurs when the experimenter's expectations influence the outcome of the research

demand characteristics
any aspects of a study that communicate to the participants how the experimenter wants them to behave

research participant bias
occurs when the behavior of research participants during the experiment is influence by how they think they are supposed to behave or their expectations about what is happening to them

placebo effect
occurs when participants' expectations, rather than the experimental treatment, produce an outcome

placebo
in a drug study, a harmless substance that has no physiological effect, given to participants in a control group so that they are treated identically to the experimental group except for the active agent

doubleblind experiment
experimental design in which neither the experimenter nor the participants are aware of which participants are in the experimental group and which are in the control group until the results are calculated

population
the entire group about which the investigator wants to draw conclusions

sample
the subset of the population chosen by the investigator for study

random sample
a sample that gives every member of the population an equal chance of being selected

naturalistic observation
the observation of behavior in a realworld setting

descriptive statistics
mathematical procedures that are used to describe and summarize sets of data in a meaningful way

mean
a measure of central tendency that is the average for a sample

median
a measure of central tendency that is the middle score in a sample

mode
a measure of central tendency that is the most common score in a sample

range
a measure of dispersion that is the difference between the highest and lowest scores

standard deviation
a measure of dispersion that tells us how much scores in a sample differ from the mean of the sample

inferential statistics
mathematical methods that are used to indicate whether results for a sample are liikely to generalize to a population

