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41 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Internal validity
The extent to which a study is free from methodological flaws, especailly confounding factors.
Discuss the Report and Communication of data as a goal of the scientific method.

Report/Communicate the Findings - Psychology is a science that is based on sharing - finding answers to questions is meaningless (to everyone except the scientist) unless that information can be shared with others. We do this through publications in scientific journals, books, presentations, lectures, etc.
Reasoning from the specific to the general; in science, used when the results of specific research studies are used to support or refute a theory.
Discuss Description as a goal of the scientific method.
1) Description - the citing of the observable characteristics of an event, object, or individual. Helps us to be systematic and consistent.

This stage sets the stage for more formal stages - here we acquire our topic of study and begin to transform it from a general concept or idea into a specific, testable construct.
Involves the development of
Operational Definitions
Between subjects design
Any experimental design in which different groups of participants serve in the different conditions of the study.
Describe a case study.
Case Study - in depth investigation of an individual's life, used to reconstruct major aspects of a person's life. Attempt to see what events led up to current situation.
Usually involves: interview, observation, examine records, & psych. testing.
weaknesses: very subjective. Like piecing together a puzzle, often there are gaps -relies on memory of the individual, medical records, etc.
strengths: good for assessing psychological disorders - can see history and development.
Converging operations
Occurs when results of several studies, each defining its terms with slightly different operational definitions, nonetheless converge on the same general conclusion.
Discuss Selection of Methodology & Design as a goal of the scientific method.
Select Methodology & Design - chose the most appropriate research strategy for empirically addressing your hypotheses.
Confirmation bias
Social Cognition bias in which events that confirm a strongly held belief are more readily percieved and remembered; disconfirming events are ignored or forgotten.
Discuss the Collection of data as a goal of the scientific method.
Collect Data - although the book is a little redundant and does not differentiate well between this stage and selecting the design and method, data collection is simply the execution and implementation of your research design.
Inferential Stats
Used to draw conclusions about the broader population on the basis of a study using just a sample of that population.
Def'n a variable.
variable - any measurable condition, event, characteristic, or behavior that can be controlled or observed in a study.
Ceiling effect
Occurs when scores on two or more conditions are at or near the maximum possible for the scale being used, giving the impression that no differences exist between the conditions.
What is an operational definition?
Operational Definitions- the definition of behaviors or qualities in terms of how they are to be measured. Some books define it as the description of ...the actions or operations that will be made to measure or control a variable.
Examples: How can you define "life change"? One possibility is the score on the Social Readjustment Rating Scale.
How do you define obesity, abnormality, etc. in a way that is testable and falsifiable?
A theory that includes the minimum number of constructs and assumptions in order to explain or predict some phenomenon adequately.
Def'n control
Control- any method for dealing with extraneous variable that may affect your study.
Criterion Validity
Form of validity in which in which a psychological measure is able to predict some future behavior or its meaningfully related to some other measure.
Def'n Extraneous variable.
Extraneous variable - any variable other than the IV that may influence the DV in a specific way.
availability heuristic
Social cog bias in which vivid or memorable events lead people to overestimate the frequency of occurence of these events.
To use the scientific method, all topics of study must have the following criteria:
1) must be testable (e.g., can you test the existence of god?)
2) must be falsifiable - easy to prove anything true (depends on situation), but systematically demonstrating a subject matter to be false is quite difficult (e.g., can you prove that god does not exist?)
Hawthorne effect
Name often given to a form of particiapant bias in which behavior is influenced by the mere knowledge that the participant is in an experiment and is therefore of some importance to the experimenter.
Describe the Survey Research Method.
Survey - either a written questionnaire, verbal interview, or combination of the two, used to gather information about specific aspects of behavior.
weaknesses: self-report data (honesty is questionable)
strengths: gather a lot of information in a short time.
gather information on issues that are not easily observable.
Demand characteristic
Any feature of the experimental design or procedure that increases the chances that participants will detect the true purpose of the study.
Describe Experimental Research.
Experimental Research (only way to approach Cause & Effect) - method of controlling all variables except the variable of interest which is manipulated by the investigator to determine if it affects another variable.
Construct Validity
In measurement, it occurs when the measure being used accurately assess some hypothetical construct; also refers to whether the construct itself is valid; in research, refers to whether the operational definitions used for independent and dependent variables are valid.
Describe Psychological Testing.
Psychological Testing - provide a test and then score the answers to draw conclusions from.
Examples. - I.Q. tests, personality inventories, S.A.T., G.R.E., etc...
weaknesses: validity is always a question; honesty of answers.
strengths: can be very predictive and useful if valid.
Descriptive Stats
Provide a summary of the main features of a set of data collected from a sample of participants.
Discuss Prediction as a goal of the scientific method.
Prediction - formulate testable predictions or HYPOTHESES about behavior (specifically, about our variables). Thus, we may define a hypothesis as a tentative statement about the relationship between two or more variables. For example, one may hypothesize that as alcohol consumption increases driving ability decreases.
Hypotheses are usually based on THEORIES - statements which summarize and explain research findings.
Reasoning from the general to the specific; in science, used when deriving research hypotheses from theories.
What are the goals of the scientific method?
Goals of the Scientific Method:
Describe, Predict, Select Method, Control, Collect Data, Analyze, Explanation
Face validity
Occurs when a measure appears to be a reasonable measure of some trait(eg. as a measure of intelligence, problem solving has more face validity than does hat size.)
Differentiate between IV and DVs.
Independent Variable (IV)- the variable that is manipulated by the researcher to see how it affects the dependent variable.

Dependent Variable (DV)- the behavior or response outcome that the researcher measures, which is hoped to have been affected by the IV.
Discuss Control as a goal of the scientific method.
Control - method of eliminating all unwanted factors that may effect what we are attempting to study.
List 5 ways of Conducting Scientific Research.
1) Naturalistic Observation 2) Case Study
3) Survey
4) Psychological Testing
5) Experimental Research
Describe Participant Bias.
A potential confound:
Participant Bias (Demand Characteristics) - participants may act in ways they believe correspond to what the researcher is looking for. Thus, the participant may not act in a natural way.
Describe Experimenter Bias
A potential confound-
Experimenter Bias - if the researcher (or anyone on the research team) acts differently towards those in one group it may influence participants' behaviors and thus alter the findings. This is usually not done on purpose, but just knowing what group a participant is in may be enough to change the way we behave toward our participants.
Discuss Description as a goal of the scientific method.
1) Description - the citing of the observable characteristics of an event, object, or individual. Helps us to be systematic and consistent.

This stage sets the stage for more formal stages - here we acquire our topic of study and begin to transform it from a general concept or idea into a specific, testable construct.
Involves the development of
Operational Definitions
Describe a Confound.
Confound - occurs when any other variable except the IV affects the DV (extraneous variable) in a systematic way. In this case, what is causing the effect on the DV? Unsure.
Differentiate bewteen experimental and control groups.
Groups(of Subjects)in an Experiment-experimental vs control
EXPERIMENTAL group - group exposed to the IV in an experiment.
CONTROL group - group not exposed to IV. This does not mean that this group is not exposed to anything, though. For example, in a drug study, it is wise to have an experimental group (gets the drug), a placebo control group (receives a drug exactly like the experimental drug, but without any active ingredients), and a no-placebo control group (they get no drug...nothing)
Both groups must be treated EXACTLY the same except for the IV.
Discuss the Analysis and Interpretation of data as a goal of the scientific method.
Analyze & Interpret the Data -use of statistical procedures to determine the mathematical and scientific importance (not the "actual" importance or meaningfulness) of the data. Were the differences between the groups/conditions large enough to be meaningful (not due to chance)?
Then, you must indicate what those differences actually mean...discovery of the causes of behavior, cognition, and physiological processes.
Describe Naturalistic Observation.
Naturalistic Observation - allow behavior to occur without interference or intervention by the researcher.
we all do this (people watch)
weaknesses: often not easy to observe without being intrusive.
strengths: study behavior in real setting - not lab.