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29 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back


a formal prediction about the relationship between two or more variables that is logically derived from the theory

hypothesis testing

from observations, knowledge about previous theory and research, and careful speculation, researchers generate hypotheses about why people behave the way they do. Then using experimental methods, they collect data to see if their explanations about human behavior are correct

operational definitions

represents a researcher's specific decision about how to measure or manipulate the conceptual variable

Ex: sleep deprivation --> being without sleep for a week

case study

an in-depth examination of one person or one group

disadvantages of a case study

-problem of generalizing from a single individual to other people

-problem of determining cause and effect

-investigator's subjective judgements could interfere

advantages of a case study

-other research studies might not be as good

-appropriate to illustrate a treatment

-appropriate to demonstrate possibilities

-appropriate when examining a rare case

when should correlational studies be used?

when one wants to examine the relationship between 2 variables, across a number of people

statistical significance

the likelihood that a research finding represents a genuine effect rather than a chance fluctuation of measurement

directionality problem

this refers to the possibility that variables could be causing one another to have effects

third-variable problem

this refers to the possibility that a third variable could be causing other variables to have effects

main advantage of experiments over correlation

experiments can investigate cause and effect when correlations cannot

3 key components of an experiment

-pre-posttest design

-treatment and control group

-random assignment

random assignment

the practice of assigning participants to treatment so each person has an equal chance of being in any condition

control group

composed of participants who do not receive the experimental treatment

mixed design

a mixed factorial design in an experimental design with two independent variables in which participants are randomly assigned to different levels of one independent variable and participate in all levels of the other independent variable


the extent to which a test measures consistently

internal consistency

a test is internally consistent when all the items on the test measure the same thing


researchers first administer the test to a large number of people, then the same people retake the test. Both the scores are then correlated


used to assess the degree to which different raters agree in their assessment decisions


refers to a test measuring what it is designed to measure

face validity

a simple form of validity in which researchers determine if the test seems to measure what it's supposed to measure

construct validity

approximate truth of the conclusion that your operationalization accurately reflect of its construct

criterion-related validity

is used to predict future or current performance, correlates test results with another criterion of interest

convergent validity

the extent to which scores from the test correlate with other measures of the same construct

discriminant validity

refers to the extent to which a test score does not correlate with the scores of theoretically unrelated measures

response sets

readiness to answer in a certain way


responding yes to a questionnaire

extreme scores

zero to perfect scores

social desirability

participants answer in a way that makes them look socially desirable but not truthful