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AP Psych Chapter 1

Thinking Critically with Psychological Science

Theory An explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts observations.
Hypothesis A testable prediction.
Null Hypothesis The hypothesis the researcher tries to disprove. The researcher never proves or accepts null hypothesis, but only rejects it or not rejects it.
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.
Survey A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them.
Case Study A descriptive research strategy in which one person is studied in great depth.
Longitudinal Research An observational technique that involves studying the same group of individuals over an extended period of time.
Cross-Sectional Research A research method where data are collected at the same time from people in different age categories
Population All the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study.
Random Sample A sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion.
Naturalistic Observation Involves observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate or control the situation.
Correlation A statistical measure that indicates the extent to which two factors vary together and thus how well one factor can be predicted from the other. Correlations can be positive or negative.
Illusory Correlation The false perception of a relationship between two events when none exists.
Experiment A research strategy in which a researcher directly manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) in order to observe their effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variables.
Control Condition The condition of an experiment that contrasts with the experimental condition and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment.
Random Assignment The procedure of assigning subjects to the experimental and control conditions by chance in order to minimize preexisting differences between the groups.
Independent Variable The factor being manipulated and tested by the investigator.
Dependent Variable The factor being measured by the investigator.
Placebo An inert substance or condition that is administered as a test of whether an experimental subjects who mistakenly thinks a treatment
Double-Blind Procedure A control procedure in which neither the experimenter nor the research subjects are aware of which condition is in effect. It is used to prevent experimenters' and subjects' expectations from influencing the results of an experiment.
Percentile Rank The proportion of scores in a distribution that a specific score is greater than or equal to.
Measures of Central Tendency Numbers that describe what is average or typical of the distribution; Three most common are mean, median, and mode.
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 frequently occurring score in a distribution; it is the simplest measure of central tendency to determine.
Standard Deviation The average amount by which the scores in a distribution deviate around the mean. Because it is based on every score in the distribution
Range A measure of variation computed as the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution.
Normal Curve/ Normal Distribution A function that represents the distribution of many random variables as a symmetrical bell-shaped graph.
Skewed Distribution A distribution of scores or measures that, when plotted on graph, produce a nonsymmetrical curve.
Scatterplot A depiction of the relationship between two variables by means of a graphed cluster of dots.
Correlation Coefficient A number between -1 and +1 calculated so as to represent the linear dependence of two variables or sets of data.
Regression towards the mean The tendency for scores to average out.
Statistical Significance A statistical statement of how likely it is that an obtained result occurred by chance.
Hindsight Bias The tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. (Also known as the I-knew-it-all along phenomenon.)
Critical Thinking Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.
Operational Thinking A deficient form of thought that is quasi-conscious, without organic links to dreaming, fantasy, or symbolization.
Culture The enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
Bias Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
Created by: Kingsclass