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61 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Experimental Method

explicit (deliberate)manipulation of somevariable (IV); causal

Non-Experimental(Descriptive orObservational) Method

no explicit manipulation of avariable; correlational notcausal

Possible Interpretationsfrom Non-ExperimentalApproach

x caused y; y caused x; andz caused both x and y(e.g., TV violence andaggression)

Operational Definition

define variable or constructin terms of the operation(s)used to measure (orproduce) it

Confound / ConfoundingVariables

something else besides IVwhich systematically variesacross groups

Internal Validity

the IV (and nothing else)was responsible fordifferences/changes in theDV; is a studymethodologically sound?

Three Features of TrueExperiments

manipulation, comparison,and control


experimenter determineswhat treatment eachindividual participantreceives and when


treatment of interestcompared to “reference”group or condition (e.g.,control group); sometimes aseparate group &sometimes within-subjects

Control (Feature of TrueExperiments)

unwanted (extraneousvariables) sources ofvariability minimized oreliminated

Experimental Method:Favorable Attributes

directly manipulatesuspected cause (IV) andeliminate/control for otherextraneous variables

Extraneous Variable

something you are not reallyinterested in; confound

Types of IndependentVariables

situational, task, andinstructional

Situational IndependentVariable

different environmentalconditions (e.g., delayed vs.immediate reinforcers)

Task Independent Variable

different problems orassigned pieces of work(e.g., easy tasks vs. morecomplex tasks)

Instructional IndependentVariable

different directions for sametask (e.g., listen to meaningor sound or physical featureof letters in word list)

Features of TrueExperiments

manipulation, comparison,and control

Two Parts of Control(Feature of TrueExperiment)

hold extraneous variablesconstant or balance/equatethem across conditions &random assignment ofparticipants to conditions

Threats to Internal Validity

maturation, history,regression to the mean,selection bias,attrition/mortality, testing,and reactivity


participants get older (inlong-term/longitudinalstudies)


other, extraneous variablesoperating with treatment;only those occurring once IVhas begun and operatingprior to assessment (DV)

Regression to the Mean

extreme scores on an initialtest become less extremeon a second test

Selection Bias

AKA selection effects;effects that are found aredue to initial groupdifferences (prior to study)


difference because moreparticipants drop out of onegroup than another(e.g., 10 drop out of Group 1but 40 drop out of Group 2)


repeated measurement(testing) causes observedchange in performance


difference due to participantaware of beingmeasured/observed

Pre- / Quasi-Experiments

post-test only design andpretest-posttest (prepost/before-after)design

Post-Test Only Design

subjects measured once,after the treatment(e.g., therapy and thenrating test); includesmanipulation


subjects measured beforeand after the treatment(e.g., rating test, therapy,and a second rating test);includes manipulation andcomparison

Pretest-Posttest withNonequivalent ControlGroup

participants not randomlyassigned to groups; Group 2(control) does not get thetreatment/intervention; bothgroups measured beforeGroup 1’s intervention andafter

One Type of Simplest “True”Experiment

random assignment forparticipants; one group getstreatment but the othergroup does not; DVmeasured for both afterGroup 1’s treatment

Other Type of Simplest“True” Experiment

random assignment forparticipants; groups getdifferent levels of treatment(e.g., more of a drug vs.less); DV measured for bothafter treatment


Independent Variable

Experimental Designswithout an IV

posttest only and pre-postdesigns

In Order to Be an IV

there must be at least twolevels; it must vary

Minimum Number of FactorsNeeded for a TrueExperiment


Minimum Number of LevelsNeeded for an IV


Validity In Measurement

does a particular measureactually measure what it’ssupposed to?

Validity In Research

does a study provide someunderstanding of behavior?

Statistical ConclusionValidity

are proper statistics used?are the conclusionsappropriate given the resultsfrom the statisticalanalyses?

Construct Validity

are the operationaldefinitions adequate?

External Validity

do data generalize to “realworld”? how well do thefindings generalize beyondthe research environment?

Criticisms Related toExternal Validity

subjects not representativeof the general population;laboratory conditions“artificial”


subjects not randomlyselected from population

Subject/ParticipantRepresentativeness Not aConcern for MostPsychological Research

because it testsgeneralizations rather thanmakes them; has adeductive rather than aninductive emphasis

Use Non-Human Animals inBehavioral Research

limited pre-experimentalhistories that are easilycontrolled; fewer confounds;all aspects duringexperiment easily controlled

Setting Representativeness/Ecological Validity

how well does the researchsetting reproduce the “realworld”?

Issues with SettingRepresentativeness/Ecological Validity

mundane realism andgeneralizability

Mundane Realism

how similar is the lab settingto real-world settings?


How well research resultsreflect real-worldprocesses?


deliberate; eliminates “realworld” confounds; and theseso is strength not weakness

Single-Factor Designs

both between-subjects andwithin-subjects designs

Between-Subjects Design

each subject receives onlyone level of IV; comparegroups of subjects

Within-Subjects Design

each subject receives everylevel of IV (at differenttimes); compare eachsubject to oneself

Use a Between-SubjectsDesign if

one level of the IV haspermanent (irreversible)effect on the DV

Drawbacks of BetweenSubjectsDesigns

can require a lot of subjectsand can’t be certain of“equal” groups

Matched-Group Design

special type of betweensubjectsdesign in whichsubjects equated(“matched”) on relevantvariable prior to randomassignment

Advantages of WithinSubjectsDesigns

minimizes total number ofsubjects needed andequates all subject variablesacross conditions


condition in an experiment

Sequence (Order) Effects

experiencing one conditionin a study affectsperformance in asubsequent condition;occurs in within-subjectsdesigns

Two Types of Sequence(Order) Effects

progressive and carryover