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26 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

I. Why Research

A. Purely Applied Research:

is conducted to solve practical problems without seeking underlying explanations

B. Theory Testing:

seeks to explain and predict psychological phenomena

All good research starts with what?

the problem or theory to be solved, not the research itself

II. Theory Testing

A. Scientific theory:

an explanation for a phenomenon that can be falsified and that involves entities that cannot be directly observed


an explanation which means that it describes how some phenomenon happens rather than just stating the relationship between the variables

What makes it a scientific theory?

explanation must be falsifiable meaning that there must be some hypothetical facts that would prove the theory false

Theory must involve entities that cannot be ________ ________ because otherwise the explanation can be verified by direct observation and theory in unnecessary.

directly observed

B. Theory testing works by using the theory to..

generate predictions about observable events


a prediction about observable events

If the hypothesis generated by the theory fails

the theory is falisfied

If the hypothesis generated by the theory is true

increases our belief in the theory a little bit

III. Major Research Techniques in Psychology

A. Case Studies:

Description of the behavior or abilities of a single individual

Case studies are subject to confirmation bias:

people favor info that confirms their beliefs

Case studies good for ________ but poor for ______.

generating research ideas, testing theories

B. Naturalistic observation


research tech in which the researcher observes and describes behavior

Ex. Jane Goodall and the Chimps

What are Naturalistic obser. good at?

answering simple questions

Naturalistic obser. bad for?

not allow sufficient control to determine the relationships between variables

C. Correlational approach:

attempts to determine the relationship between variables without manipulating the variables


Good approach when manipulating the variables being studied would be:

1. impossible or very difficult to manipulate the variables (age, sex, etc.)

2. unethical (abuse to children for future criminals)

Can be used to determine if 2 variables are related, but it cant be used to determine if there is a

causal relationship between variables


a causal relationship exists if a change in one variable results in a change int he other

Correlation co-efficient

+1=perfect positive relationship

-1=perfect negative relationship

D. Experiments study in which what 2 things must be present? ******************

1. researcher manipulates the independent variable

2. have random assignment

Independent variable:

variable the researcher manipulates in an experiment

Dependent variable:

variable the researcher measures to determine the effects of the independent variable

Random assignments:

occurs when every person in the experiment has equally likely chance of being assigned to each level of independent variable