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37 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Independent variables are

manipulates in order to determine the effect on behavior

dependent variables are

measure of behavior used to assess the effect of the independent variable

operational definitions

clearly defined concepts - specific procedure used to produce and measure a construct

Illusory correlation

our tendency to perceive a relationship between events where none exists

empirical approach emphasizes

direct observation and experimentation

Control is

manipulation conditions. Very essential ingredient of science and distinguishing it from non-scientific procedures

experiment is

where scientists manipulate one or more factors and observe the affects of the manipulation on behavior

scientific reporting seeks to be

unbiased and objective

A construct

a concept or idea. i.e.- intelligence, depression, aggression, and memory

operational definition

explains a concept in terms of observable procedures used to produce and measure it

physical measurement

involves dimensions for which there is an agreed upon standard and an instrument for doing the measuring

Scientists use two types of measurement which are?

physical measurement and psychological measurement

psychological measurement

the human observer is the instrument and an agreement among a number of observers provides the basis for psychological measurement


the truthfulness of a measure - what it claims to measure


indicated by it's consistency


the tendency towards selfless acts that benefit others

Competitive alturism

where individuals are altruistic because being seen as prosocial and selfless enhances ones reputation and status in society

When are hypotheses not testable?

if the concept to which they refer are not adequately defined or measured, circular- when an event is used as the explanation itself, and if it appeals to ideas or forces that are not recognized by science (observable, demonstrable, the empirical)

the scientific method should meet what four goals?

description, prediction, explanation, and application


when psychologists seek to describe events and relationships between variables


when researchers identify correlations among variables they are able to predict mental processes and behavior


researchers understand a phenomenon when they can identify the cause


psychologists apply their knowledge and research methods to change people's lives for the better

nomothetic approach

psychologists try to apply broad generalizations and general laws that apply to a diverse population. Also appreciated individuality but emphasizes similarities

idiographic approach

studies the individual rather than the group. uniqueness of individual is more important to this approach

quantitative research

studies in which the findings are mainly the product of statistical summary and analysis

qualitative research

produces verbal summaries of research findings with few statistical summaries or analysis


when two different measures of the same people, events or things vary together

causal inference

covariation of events, a time-order relationship, and the elimination of plausible alternative causes

covariation of events

if one event is the cause of the other, the two events must vary together, that is, when one changes, the other must also change.

time-order relationship

contingency. the presumed cause must occur before the presumed effect

when does confounding occur?

when two potentially effective independent variables are allowed to covary simultaneously

applied research

creating change

basic research

seek primarily to understand behavior and mental processes - typically carried out in a laboratory


proposed explanations for the causes of phenomena varying in scope and explanation

intervening variables

concepts used in theories to explain why independent and dependent variables are related

the rule of parsimony

followed when the simplest of alternative explanations is accepted