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41 Cards in this Set
 Front
 Back
Naturalistic observation

the observation of the behavior of people or other animals in their natural environments


Correlational study

the examination of relations between two or more measurements of behavior or other characteristics of people or animals


Experiment

a study in which the researcher changes the value of an independent variable and observes whether this manipulation affects the value of a dependent variable. Only experiments can confirm the existence of causesandeffect relations among variables


Scientific method

a set of rules that governs the collection and analysis of data gained through observational studies or experiments


Replication

repetition of an experiment or observational study to see whether previous results will be obtained


Hypothesis

a set of statements designed to explain a set of phenomena; more encompassing than a hypotheses


Variable

anything capable of assuming any of several values


Manipulation

setting the values of an independent variable in an experiment to see whether the value of another variable is affected


Experimental group

a group of participants in an experiment, the members of which are exposed to a particular value of the independent variable, which has been manipulated by the researcher


Control group

a comparison group used in an experiment, the members of which are exposed to the naturally occurring or zero value of the independent variable


Independent variable

the variable that is manipulated in an experiment as a means of determining causeandeffect relations


Dependent variable

the variable that is measured in an experiment


Nominal fallacy

the false belief that one has explained the causes of a phenomenon by identifying and naming it; for example, believing that one has explained lazy behavior by attributing it to “laziness”


Operational definition

the definition of a variable in terms of the operations the researcher performs to measure or manipulate it


Validity

the degree to which the operational definition of a variable accurately relects the variable it is designed to measure or manipulate


Confounding of variables

inadvertent simultaneous manipulation of more than one variable. The results of an experiment involving confounded variables permit no valid conclusions about cause and effect


Counterbalancing

 a systematic variation of conditions in an experiment, such as the order of presentation of stimuli, so that different participants encounter them in different orders; prevents confounding of independent variables with timedependent processes such as habituation or fatigue


Reliability

the repeatability of a measurement; the likelihood that if the meansurement was made again it would yield the same value


Interrater reliability

 the degree to which two or more independent observers agree in their ratings of another organism’s behavior


Random assignment

procedure in which each participant has an equally likely chance of being assigned to any of the conditions or groups of an experiment


Placebo

an inert substance that cannot be distinguished in appearance from a real medication; used as a control substance in a singleblind or doubleblind experiment


Singleblind study

an experiment in which the researcher but not the participant knows the value of the independent variable


Doubleblind study

an experiment in which neither the participant nor the researcher knows the value of the independent variable


Matching

a systematic selection of participants in groups in an experiment or (more often) a correlation study to ensure that the mean values of important participant variables of the groups are similar


Sample

a selection of elements from a larger population—for example, a group of participants selected to participate in an experiment


Generalization

the conclusion that the results obtained from a sample apply also to the population from which the sample was taken


Informed consent

agreement to participate in an experiment after being informed about the nature of the research and any possible risks and benefits


Confidentiality

privacy of participants and nondisclosure of their participation in a research project


Debriefing

full disclosure to research participants of the nature and purpose of a research project after its completion


Crosscultural psychology

a branch of psychology that studies the effects of culture on behavior


Descriptive statistics

mathematical procedures for organizing collections of data, such as determining the mean, the median, the range, the variance and the correlation coefficient


Measure of central tendency

a statistical measure used to characterize the value of items in a sample of numbers


Mean

a measure of central tendency; the sum of a group of values divided


Median

a measure of central tendency; the midpoint of a group of values arranged numerically


Measure of variability

a statistical measure used to characterize the dispersion of values of items in a sample of numbers


Range

the difference between the highest score and the lowest score of a sample


Standard deviation

 a statistic that expresses the variability of a measurement; square root of the squared deviations from the mean


Scatterplot

a graph of items that have two values; one value is plotted against the horizontal axis and the other against the vertical axis


Correlation coefficient

a measurement of the degree to which two variables are related


Statistical significance

the likelihood that an observed relation or difference between two variables really exists rather than is due to chance factors


Inferential statistics

mathematical procedures for determining whether relations or differences between samples are statistically significant
