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# UNIT 2

### UNIT 2: Research Methods

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

hindsight bias | the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon |

critical thinking | thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions |

theory | an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events |

hypothesis | a testable prediction, often implied by a theory |

operational definition | a statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables for example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures |

replication | repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances |

case study | an observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in hope of revealing universal principles |

survey | a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of a particular group, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of the group |

population | all the cases in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn |

random sample | a sample that fairly represents a population because each number has an equal chance of inclusion |

naturalistic observation | observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation |

correlation | a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus how well either factor predicts the other |

correlation coeffecient | a statistical index of the relationship between two things (from -1.00 to +1.00) |

scatterplot | a graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables slope = the direction of the relationship between the two variables amount of scatter = the strength of the correlation (little scatter = high correlation) |

illusory correlation | the perception of a relationship where none exists |

experiment | a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variable) to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process (dependent variable) |

random assignment | assigning participants to experimental and control groups by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences between those assigned to the different groups |

double-blind procedure | an experimental procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo |

placebo effect | experimental results caused by expectations alone any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition, which the recipient assumes is an active agent |

experimental group | in an experiment, the group that is exposed to the treatment (one version of the independent variable) |

control group | in an experiment, the group that is NOT exposed to the treatment contrasts with the experimental group and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment |

independent variable | the experimental factor that is manipulated the variable whose effects are being studied |

confounding variable | a factor other than the independent variable that might produce an effect in an experiment |

dependent variable | the outcome factor the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable |

mode | the most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution |

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

median | the middle score in a distribution half the scores are above it and half are below it |

range | the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution |

standard deviation | a computed measure of how much scores can vary around the mean score |

normal curve | a symmetrical, bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many types of data most scores fall near the mean and fewer and fewer near the extremes normal distribution |

statistical significance | a statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance |

culture | the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next |

informed consent | an ethical principle that research participants be told enough to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate |

debriefing | the post-experimental explanation of a study, including its purpose and any deceptions, to its participants |