Chapter 1 Section 4 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 1 Section 4 Deck (15):

Scientific Observation

A method of testing a hypothesis by unobtrusively watching and recording participants' behavior in a systematic and objective manner.



A method to determine cause and effect. Researchers control the participants and the interventions, which makes it easier to understand what causes what, for whom.


Independent Variable

In a experiment, the variable that is introduced to see what effect it has on the dependent variable.


Dependent Variable

In an experiment the variable that may change as a result of whatever new condition or situation the experimenter adds.



A research method in which information is collected from a large number of people by interviews, written questionnaires, or some other means.


Case Study

An in-depth study of one person, usually requiring personal interviews to collect background information and various follow-up discussions, tests, questionnaires...


How do scientific observation and experimentation differ?

In scientific observation scientists record behavior systematically and objectively without manipulating any variables. In an experiment they expose participants to a specific condition and note how their behavior changes.


Why do experimenters use a control group as well as an experimental group?

So they have something to compare the experimental group to.


What are the strengths and weaknesses of the survey method?

Strengths: quick, direct

Weaknesses: not always accurate, survey answers are influenced by the wording and the sequence of the questions, also survey respondents present themselves as they want to be seen


What are the advantages and disadvantages of cross-sectional research?

Advantage: quick, least expensive

Disadvantage: difficult that the groups being compared are similar in every way except age.


What are the advantage and disadvantages of longitudinal research?

Advantage: useful at tracing development over many years

Disadvantage: participants may withdraw, move to an unknown address, or die
participants may become increasingly aware of the goals of the study which makes them less typical and the results become less valid
historical context changes which limits the current relevance of data on people born decades ago


What are the advantages and disadvantages of cross-sequential research?

Advantage: can study several groups of people from different ages

Disadvantage: same as longitudinal and cross sectional


Cross-sectional research

A research design that compares groups of people who differ in age but are similar in other important characteristics.


Longitudinal research

A research design in which the same individuals are followed over time, as their development is repeatedly assessed.


cross-sequential research

A research design in which researchers first study several groups of people of different ages and then follow those groups over the years.