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# AP Psych - Unit 2

### AP Psych: Unit 2 Test Terms

Term | Definition |
---|---|

Hindsight Bias | People's tendency to exaggerate their ability to have foreseen the outcome of past events; leads people to perceive research findings as unsurprising. Making testable hypotheses before researching combats this. |

Overconfidence | Tendency to believe we know more than we do; inhibits critical thinking |

Empirical Approach | Basing conclusions on observable evidence. Researchers collect info that may justify a cause-effect conclusion; curious, skeptical, humble |

Critical Thinking | Not blindly accepting things as facts. Examines assumptions, assesses the source, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence and assesses a conclusion. |

Theory | Explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts future occurrences. |

Hypothesis | A testable prediction that gives direction to research; often implied by a theory |

Operational Definition | A carefully worded statement of the exact procedures (operations) used in a research study - specification of how a researcher measures a research variable and forces researchers to discuss abstract concepts in concrete forms. |

Replication | Repeating the essence of a research study, usually w/ difference participants in different situations to see whether the basic findings extends to other people and their circumstances. |

Descriptive Methods | Describes behaviors; case studies, surveys, naturalistic observations |

Correlational Methods | Relates different factors or variables (anything that contributes to a result); it cannot tell us anything about cause and effect, only whether or not they are related |

Experimental Methods | Manipulates variables to discover their effects; the only method that explains cause and effect |

Case Study | Descriptive technique where one individual or group is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles; generally have unusual behaviors/situations. Individual cases can be misleading or result in false generalization. |

Survey | technique for confirming the self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviours of a larger group, usually by questioning a representative sample of the group; respondents may not answer truthfully due to fear of being judged/wanting to be seen positively |

Naturalistic Observation | observing behaviour in natural situations w/o trying to manipulate and control the situation; people behave differently when they know they’re being watched |

Wording Effects | the effect the wording of a statement has on the outcome of a survey; ex., people shouldn’t be allowed to ____ vs people should be banned from ____ |

Population | all those in a group being studied from which samples may be drawn |

Random Sample | a sample that fairly represents a population. Each member has an equal chance/probability of inclusion. And unbiased representation of a group |

Sampling Bias | an unrepresentative sample (e.g. only asking people are a dance class if they enjoy dance) |

Correlation | measure of the extent to which two variables are related to one another. Most important for prediction. |

Scatterplot | a line graph. The SLOPE represents the DIRECTION of the relationship between two variables. Amount of scatter = strength. The smaller the scatter the higher correlation. |

Positive Correlations | both variables going up (e.g. higher education = higher income) |

Negative Correlations | one variable goes up one goes down (e.g. more dental issues = less money) |

Correlation Coefficient | e.g. +0.70 ; The sign shows the direction (positive or negative) the number indicates the strength. The closer to 1, the stronger the correlation. |

Illusory Correlation | Perception of a relationship where there is none. |

Experiment | a research method involving an investigator who manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effect on dependent variables. |

Experimental Group | the treatment group in an experiment. One variable is tested at a time. Given a version of the independent variable |

Control Group | receives a placebo to serve as a contrast from the experimental group |

Random Assignment | Assignment of participants to experimental and control groups to minimize preexisting differences between the groups. |

Double-Blind Procedure | both researcher + participants are ignorant about whether participants have received treatment or placebo to prevent research bias due to demand characteristics or placebo effect |

Placebo | a harmless pill used for psychological benefit. |

Placebo Effect | Experimental results caused by expectations alone. A phenomenon in which a fake treatment (placebo) improves a patient’s condition because the person has the expectation that it will be helpful |

Independent Variable | The experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied. The variable presumed to affect or influence the other variable; causal variable. |

Dependent Variable | the outcome factor; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable. -- A variable that is assumed to depend on, or be caused by one or more other variable; effect or outcome in a cause effect relationship. |

Confounding Variable | a factor other than the independent variable that might produce an effect in an experiment. -- undesirable variables that influence the relationship between variables researcher is examining. |

Validity | the extent to which a test or experiment measures or predicts what it is supposed to do. |

Descriptive Statistics | Numerical data used to measure and describe characteristics of groups. Includes measures of central tendency and measures of variation. |

central Tendency | A single number or value that describes the typical or central score among a set of scores. Refers to how to measure the center of a set of data. |

Variability | The amount of about dispersion of scores some central value. |

Frequency Distribution | The number of individuals receiving each possible score on a variable. Sorted from lowest to highest indicating the number of times each score was obtained. Often graphically depicted. |

Pie chart | Graphic display of data in which frequencies or percentages are represented as “slices” of pie. |

Histogram | Using bars to depict frequencies of responses, percentages, or means in two or more groups. |

Frequency Polygon | A graphic display of a frequency distribution in which the frequency of each score is plotted on the vertical axis, with the plotted points connected by straight lines |

Mode | The most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution. |

Median | The middle score in a distribution; half the scores are above it and half are below it (50th percentile) |

Mean | The arithmetic average of a distribution, obtained by adding the scores and then dividing by the number of scores |

Skewed Distribution | A representation of scores that lack symmetry around their average value. Negative Skewness: few very low scores. Positive Skewness: few very high scores |

Outlier | Outliers skew distributions. |

Variance | How similar or diverse scores are. A measure of the variability of scores about a mean. Averages from scores with low variability are more reliable. |

Range | The difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution. The measure of variation is most affected by extreme scores. |

Standard Deviation | A computed measure of how much scores vary around the mean score. A measure of the degree of variation among a set of events; how spread out numbers are. |

Normal Curve | A symmetrical, bell-shaped curve. 2%(>/< 30sd), 95% (30sd), 68%(15sd) |

Inferential Statistics | Numerical data allowing generalization/inferencing from sample data the probability of something being true of a population. Guiding principles include: representative samples, less-variable observations, and more cases. |

Statistical Significance | How likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance. Results are statistically significant is there is a 5% likelihood that results occurred by chance. |

Effect Size | The extent to which two variables are associated. The magnitude of the impact of the independent variable on the dependent variable. Tells you if an extraneous variable influenced the results. |

Informed Consent | Ethical principal that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate. |

Debriefing | Post-experimental explanation of a study. Incls. purpose and participant deception |

Confidentiality | Keeping participant info private. Participants should not be identified through process of elimination. |