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Flashcards in Ch. 1 Deck (78):

define intuition

an effortless, immediate, automatic feeling or thought, as contrasted with explicit, conscious reasoning


what are the two levels which our thinking, memory and attitudes operate on?

conscious and unconscious


what are the three phenomena that show why we cannot purely relay on intuition and common sense?

hindsight bias
and a tendency to see patterns in random events


what name is the hindsight bias also known as?

the i-knew-it-all-along-phenomena


define hindsight bias

the tendency to believe after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it

(example: how on earth could no one have come up with the theory of natural selection. itmakes so much sense and i feel like i would have thought of it on my own but that is just hindsight bias)


common sense more easily describes _____ _____ _____ than ____ _____ ____.

what has happened
what will happen


define humility

awareness of our own vulnerability to error and an openness to surprises and new perspectives


what 3 attitudes make science so successful?

curiosity, humility and skeptism


define critical thinking

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


How does our everyday thinking sometimes lead us to a wrong conclusion?

Our everyday thinking can be perilous because of three phenomena: hindsight bias, overconfidence, and a tendency to perceive patterns in random events. Hindsight bias (also called the “I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon”) is the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that we would have foreseen it. Overconfidence in our judgments results partly from our bias to seek information that confirms them. These tendencies, plus our eagerness to perceive patterns in random events, lead us to overestimate our intuition. Although limited by the testable questions it can address, scientific inquiry can help us overcome our intuition’s biases and shortcomings.


define theory

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


define hypotheses

a testable prediction, often implied by a theory


define operational definitions

a carefully worded statement of the exact procedures (operations) used in a research study. For example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures.


define 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.


what does a good theory do?

It organizes observed facts. 2. It implies hypotheses that offer testable predictions and, sometimes, practical applications. 3. It often stimulates further research.


why is replication important?

Psychologists watch eagerly for new findings, but they also proceed with caution—by awaiting other investigators’ repeating the experiment to see if the finding can be confirmed (the result replicated).


define case study

a descriptive technique in which one individual or group is studied in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles.


what are the three main ways professional psychologists observe people to draw conclusions?

1. cases studies (in-depth analyses of individuals or groups)
2.naturalistic obseravtions (watching and recording the natural behavior of many individuals)
3. surveys and interviews (asking people questions)


what is the issue with case studies?

they are only done on a small number of people so they are not proper evidence for a discovery


what are cases studies useful for?

they are useful because they show us a possibility of what CAN happen so they often suggest directions for further study


We cannot assume that case studies always reveal general principles that apply to all of us. Why not?

Case studies involve only one individual or group, so we can’t know for sure whether the principles observed would apply to a larger population.


define naturalistic observation

a descriptive technique of observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation


How are naturalistic observations commonly made nowadays?

on social media and other parts of the internet because it provides huge amount of data that can be easy to analyze


naturalistic studies do not ____ behavior, it _____ behavior



define survey

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


what is worse, a small random sample or a large unrepresentative sample?

a large unrepresentative sample


what two things commonly affect the validity and reliability of a survey?

the wording of questions and samples that are to small in size or unrepresentative of the population


What is an unrepresentative sample, and how do researchers avoid it?

An unrepresentative sample is a survey group that does not represent the population being studied. Random sampling helps researchers form a representative sample, because each member of the population has an equal chance of being included.


define correlate

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


define correlation coefficient

statistical index of the relationship between two things (from −1.00 to +1.00)


define scatter plot

a graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. The slope of the points suggests the direction of the relationship between the two variables. The amount of scatter suggests the strength of the correlation (little scatter indicates high correlation)


define random sample

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


define population

all those in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn. (Note: Except for national studies, this does not refer to a country’s whole population.)


the correlation coefficient helps us figure out how closely two things ____ together, and thus how well either one ____ the other



do perfect correlations exist in the real world?

yes but very rarely


what is different between negative scatter plots and positive ones?

the negative slop tells us that the relationship graphed was an inverse function. what ever is increasing on the x-axis causes a decrease of the y-values


a correlation coefficient helps us to see the world more clearly by...?

revealing the extent to which two things actually relate


define regression toward the mean

the tendency for extreme or unusual scores or events to fall back (regress) toward the average


what are two things correlations are good for?

making visible the relationships we might otherwise miss and stop us from "seeing" non-existent relationships


what commonly causes people to "see" non-existent relationships?

confirmation bias. we tend recall confirming instances more that disconfirming instances which creates illusionary correlations


does correlation prove causation?

no. just because two things are correlated does not mean that one causes the other. correlation just indicates the possibility of a cause-effect relationship but does not prove such


correlation indicates the possibility of...?

a cause-effect relationship but does not prove such


define experiment

a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables) to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). By random assignment of participants, the experimenter aims to control other relevant factors


define experimental group

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


define control group

in an experiment, the group not exposed to the treatment; contrasts with the experimental group and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment


define randomly assign

assigning participants to experimental and control groups by chance, thus minimizing preexisting differences between the different groups


define 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. Commonly used in drug-evaluation studies


define placebo affect

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


define independent variable

in an experiment, the factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied


define dependent variable

in an experiment, the outcome that is measured; the variable that may change when the independent variable is manipulated


define confounding variable

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


what do experiements allow researchers to do? how is this achieved?

allows for researchers to isolate the effects of one or more factors by manipulating the factors of interest and hold all other factors constant


experiments manipulate factors to determine its ____



What measures do researchers use to prevent the placebo effect from confusing their results?

Research designed to prevent the placebo effect randomly assigns participants to an experimental group (which receives the real treatment) or to a control group (which receives a placebo). A comparison of the results will demonstrate whether the real treatment produces better results than belief in that treatment.


what does random sampling do?

helps researchers generalize
from a small set of survey responses
to a larger population


what does random assignment do?

helps minimize preexisting
differences between experimental
and control groups


By using random assignment, researchers are able to control for ______________ ______________, which are other factors besides the independent variable(s) that may influence research results.

confounding variables


define informed consent

giving potential participants enough information about a study to enable them to choose whether they wish to participate


define debrief

the postexperimental explanation of a study, including its purpose and any deceptions, to its participants


what four things does APA's code of ethics urge researchers to do?

(1) obtain potential participants’ informed consent before the experiment
(2) protect them from harm and discomfort
(3) keep information about individual participants confidential
(4) fully debrief people (explain the research afterward)


what are the three descriptive methods of studying behavior?

case studies, naturalistic obeservations and surveys


why cant descriptive methods of studying behavior show cause and effect?

because researchers cannot control variables


Why do correlations enable prediction but not cause–effect explanation?

Correlations enable prediction because they show how two factors move together, either positively or negatively. A correlation can indicate the possibility of a cause-effect relationship, but it does not prove the direction of the influence, or whether an underlying third factor may explain the correlation.


define mode

the most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution


define median

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


define mean

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


define range

the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution


define standard deviation

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


define normal curve

(normal distribution) a symmetrical, bell-shaped curve that describes the distribution of many types of data; most scores fall near the mean (about 68 percent fall within one standard deviation of it) and fewer and fewer near the extremes


define statistical significance

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


write something about means, modes, and medians



When averages from two samples are each _____ measures of their respective populations (as when each is based on many observations that have ____ variability), then their difference is likely to be _____ as well



when soemthing has statistical significance it means...?

that the observed difference in sample averages is not due to chance variations


what are the three measures of central tendency?

mean, mode and median


what is the shape of a normal distribution?

bell shaped curve


what is the shape of a bimodal distribution?

a two humped bell shaped curve


what is standard deviation?

the average differences between the individual scores and the mean


how do you find the standard deviation?

1. subtract the mean from all individual scores
2. square all those numbers
3. add all those numbers together
4. square root the final number