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# Research & Stats

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

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

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

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 effects |

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

correlation coefficient | equals a statistical index of the relationship between two things (from -7 to +7) |

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

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

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

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

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 placebo. |

experiment | a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors to observe the effects on some behavior or mental processes. |

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

hindsight bias | the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. |

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

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

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

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

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. |

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

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

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 |

operational defintion | a statement of the procedures used to define research variables |

placebo | experimental results caused by expectation alone |

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

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

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

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

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

scatterplot | a graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. the slope of the point suggests the direction of the relationship between two variables. |

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

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

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 |

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