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41 Cards in this Set

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  • 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 causes-and-effect 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 cause-and-effect 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 time-dependent 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 single-blind or double-blind experiment
Single-blind study
an experiment in which the researcher but not the participant knows the value of the independent variable
Double-blind 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
Cross-cultural 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