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10 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
hindsight bias
Are you a Monday-morning quarterback? Have you heard the expression "hindsight is 20-20"? Have you ever said, "I knew it all along" after something happened? These are examples of the hindsight bias which is the tendency to believe, once the outcome is already known of course, that you would have forseen it…that even though it's over and you know the outcome, you knew it all along.
critical thinking
Some people say I'm argumentative, opinionated, even a pain in the ass. I like to think I am a critical thinker. Being a critical thinker (and thus the meaning of critical thinking) means that you do not simply accept arguments or perspectives that are presented to you blindly. Instead, you think about things carefully, consider different aspects of the arguments, evaluate the merits, and generally make more in depth conclusions. Okay, maybe I'm a pain in the ass, but that IS the definition of critical thinking.
A testable prediction about the relationship between at least two events, characteristics, or variables. Hypotheses usually come from theories; when planning an experiment, a researcher finds out about as much previous research on the topic of study as possible. From all of the previous work, the researcher can develop a theory about the topic of study and then make specific predictions about the study he/she is planning. It is important to note that hypotheses should be as specific as possible since you are trying to find truth, and the more vague your hypotheses, the more vague your conclusions.

For example, if I am conducting a study on the effects of different drugs on pain relief, it would be bad to hypothesize that "one drug will have an effect on pain." What the heck does that mean? How can you test to find out if that is true? A better hypothesis might be, "Drug A (whatever that is in that study) will reduce the amount of pain significantly more than Drug B according to participants' ratings of pain using the Pain Intensity Scale."
operational definition
A statement of the procedures or ways in which a researcher is going to measure behaviors or qualities. For example, let's say you wanted measure and define "life change". You could do this by giving people the Social Readjustment Rating Scale and then operationally define "life change" as the score on the social readjustment rating scale.
Getting some results in one research study is nice, but as scientists we like to make sure of the findings. To be more sure we replicate studies, which means that the study is conducted again in the same way but using different participants. This allows us to retest the subject matter and also to find out if the results can generalize to other participants and maybe even other situations.
case study
A case study is one type of observational data collection technique in which one individual is studied in-depth in order to identify behavioral, emotional, and/or cognitive qualities that are universally true, on average, of others. Case studies often include face-to-face interviews, paper and pencil tests, and more.
A survey is a method for collecting information or data as reported by individuals. This is a type of data collection known as self-report data, which means that individuals complete the survey (or provide the information) themselves. For example, if I wanted to collect information about what classes students enjoy the most, I might create a survey (has different types of questions on it pertaining to enjoyment of classes), pass it out to lots of students and ask them to complete it. The students respond to the questions themselves and then give the data back to me.
False Consensus Effect
False concensus effect is an overestimation of how much other people share our beliefs and behaviors. For example, I know someone who is very health conscious when it comes to eating…she eats all sorts of grains, vegetables, etc., but stays away from fattening (but tasty!) foods. She is religious about eating healthy and truly believes that because she thinks it's important, everyone thinks it's important. This is a false consensus effect.
random sample
Since researchers can't study every person in the world that is of interest to them, they need to study a subset of this entire population, also known as a sample. Then, people are picked from this sample "at random" to participate in the study. It is hoped that the random sample will be representative of the entire population. Often researchers use random numbers table to help them pick participants at random (take a look in the back of your introductory psychology textbook. I bet it has a random numbers table).
naturalistic observation
Researchers use all sorts of techniques to collect data, ranging from very controlled lab experiments to natural observation. With naturalistic observation the researcher allows behavior to occur without interference or intervention at all. We all do this type of research when we do things like people watch. This is a great way to study behavior in "real settings" and to see behavior occur in its most natural state. The problem is that it's often difficult to study the behaviors you're most interested in without being intrusive.