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UNIT 2

UNIT 2: Research Methods

TermDefinition
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
Created by: jsancc