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Flashcards in Chapter 2 Deck (91):

List 5 characteristics that make the ideal scientist.

1. Precision
3. Reliance on empirical knowledge
4. Willingness to make 'risky' predictions
5. Openness


What are 4 components that must be developed when being precise?

Theories, Hypothesis, Operational definitions, and Collecting empirical evidence


Define Theory

Organized systems of assumptions that explain phenomenon and their inter-relationship
between those behaviours.


Define Hypothesis

An attempt to predict or account for a set of phenomenon. Specify the relationships
between variables and are empirically tested. They have operational definitions.


Define Operational Definition

An attempt to define the terms
in the hypothesis in a attempt
to be clear about what is actually being measured.


Describe skepticism

Scientist not accepting ideas based on faith or authority. Treating conclusions (old and new) with caution. Having a balance between caution and openness to new ideas.


Describe reliance on empirical evidence

Determining if a hypothesis is true with only empirical evidence gathered through the use of various research methods


Describe the confirmation bias

Tendency to seek and accept evidence that supports our theories & ignore evidence that contradicts beliefs


Describe Principle of Falsifiability

A scientific theory must make predictions that are specific enough to disconfirm the theory
Predicts not only what will happen but also what will not happen


Describe Openness

Scientist’s willingness to explain the source of their ideas, how they tested them, and what the results were. Enough so replication is possible.


What does the peer review process ensure?

Scientific standards and provides system of checks & balances.


What are the 4 descriptive methods?

1. Case Studies
2. Observational Studies
3. Psychological tests
4. Surveys


What is a representative sample?

A subset of the population that accurately represents members of the entire population. It must represent the population that you are actually studying.


What is a case study?

A detailed description of a particular individual being studied or treated


What can a case study be used to formulate?

broader research hypotheses


Who are case studies most commonly used by?

Clinicians and occasionally researchers in the preliminary stages of inquiry


What is an observational study?

A method where researchers systematically observe & record behaviour without interference.


What are the 2 types of observations used in an observational study?

Naturalistic observations and Laboratory observations


What is a naturalistic observation?

Observations in normal social environment


What is a laboratory observation?

Observations in a more controlled lab setting


What is an example of a naturalistic observation?

Observing children in their classrooms


What is an example of a laboratory observation?

'Strange situation' research done with children


What are psychological tests?

Procedures used to measure and evaluate personality traits, emotional states, aptitudes, interests, abilities, and values


What types are psychological tests are there?

Objective and projective tests


What are 3 characteristics of a good psychological test?

Standardization, reliability, and validity


What makes a test standardized?

A test is standardized when uniform procedures for giving & scoring test exist


In order to standardize a test what must one do?

Proper scoring refers to norms or established standards of performance


How are norms for standardized tests obtained?

Norms obtained by mass testing on intended populations to determine different score ranges (e.g., low, average, high)


What is reliability?

Is the consistency of scores derived from a test from one time and place to the next or across scorers


What are the 2 types of reliability?

Test-retest reliability and alternate forms reliability


What is test-retest reliability?

Do scores on the test remain similar from one test to the next?


What is alternate-forms reliability?

Are scores similar on different versions of the test?


Describe Validity.

The ability of a test to measure what it was designed to measure


What are the 3 types of validity?

Face validity, content validity, and criterion validity


What is face validity?

The overall validity. Does it measure what it is supposed to?


What is content validity?

Do the items on the test broadly represent the trait in question?


What is criterion validity?

Do the tests results predict other measures of the trait?


What are surveys?

Questionnaires & interviews that ask people about experiences, attitudes, or opinions


What is a benefit of surveys?

They allow for extensive data collection.


What are some possible problems with surveys? (3)

1. Obtaining a representative sample
2. The truthfulness of responses
3. The type and phrasing of questions


What is volunteer bias and why does it prevent a representative samples in surveys?

People who don’t volunteer or do volunteer
may represent different groups. e.g. university
students are more likely to volunteer.


What is a correlation study?

A type of descriptive study that looks for a relationship between two phenomena


What are correlations?

Measure of how strongly two quantifiable characteristics of behaviour (variables) are related to one another


What are the 2 types of correlations?

Positive correlations and negative correlations


What is a positive correlation?

An association between increases in one variable and increases in another. Goes upwards on a scatterplot.


What is a negative correlation?

An association between increases in one variable and decreases in another. Goes downward on a scatterplot.


What is a correlation coefficient?

Statistical measure of correlation (ranges -1.00 to +1.00)


Using the correlation coefficient how does one know if there is a strong or weak correlation between different types of data?

The closer the coefficient is to +/-1.0, the stronger the correlation


How does one represent a correlation?

Through the use of a scatterplot.


What is something to be cautious of when looking at correlations?

Correlations are often reported but may be small, nonexistent, or meaningless and therefore they may be misleading. Correlations do not equal causations.


What do experimental studies aim to do?

Determine causation through the use of empirical evidence.


What is a experiment?

A controlled situation in which one group receives a treatment and another group does not


What are the 2 groups used in an experiment?

An experimental group and a control group.


What happens to the experimental group in an experiment?

They receive the independent variable.


What is the independent variable?

The variable that is manipulated or controlled by the experimenter.


What happens to the control group?

They are a group used for comparison and they receive a placebo.


What is a placebo?

A fake treatment, not the medication/therapy that’s being tested or used. It is an inactive treatment.


What is the placebo effect?

When they get better because they think that the treatment will work. When there is a behavioural or psychological change but not a result of a real medication or treatment


What are experimental studies used to examine?

Psychologists typically use experiments to examine causal hypotheses


What are the 2 variables used in a experimental study?

Independent and dependent variables


What are variables?

Conditions or factors that can change across different people, situations, environment. Any
event or trait or characteristic that is capable of existing in 2+ different states.


What is a dependent variable?

What the experimenter is researching. What are the differences as a result of the independent variable?


What is the experimenter effect?

Unintended changes in subjects behaviour due to cues inadvertently given by the experimenter


What are 2 strategies used to prevent the experimenter effect?

Strategies for preventing experimenter effects include single and double-blind studies


What is a single-blind study?

Experimenter knows who is in each group but the subject does not.


What is a double-blind study?

Both the experimenter and the subject do not know who is in each group.


What are 2 advantages of experiments?

1. Experiments allow conclusions about cause & effect
2. Help to detect real effects and strong empirical evidence


What are 2 limitations of experiments?

1. Participants may not be representative
2. Laboratory situations may be artificial (alternative of field research)


What are the 3 ways that psychologists evaluate results?

1. Describe them
2. Assess how reliable & meaningful they are
3. Figure out how to explain them


What are descriptive statistics?

Statistical procedures that organize and summarize research data (e.g., graphs & charts)


What do descriptive statistics use?

Arithmetic mean and standard deviation


What is the Arithmetic mean?

Group average: add all quantities and
divide by the total numberof quantities


What is the standard deviation?

Describes how much the scores vary from each other and how much they vary form the mean. The greater the distance from
the mean the more unusual the result is.


How do you tell using the standard deviation how usual or unusual the results are?

1 SD from mean: typical and 2 SD from mean: unusual


What are inferential statistics?

Statistical procedures that allow researchers to draw inferences about how statistically meaningful a study’s results are.


What are the most common inferential statistics?

Significant tests


What does a significant test indicate?

How likely it is that a result occurred by
chance. When likelihood is low, result is said to have statistical significance


How does one interpret findings?

They determine meaning by using hypotheses and theories to explain how the results of research fit together


What 2 things are involved in interpreting findings?

Choosing the best explanation & judging the importance of the results


What are the 2 types of studies that psychologists use to choose the best explanation?

Cross-sectional studies and longitudinal studies


What are cross-sectional studies?

When participants of different ages compared at a given time


What are longitudinal studies?

When participants periodically reassessed over a period of time


How might one determine importance of studies?

Through statistical techniques.


What two statistical techniques can be used to determine the importance of a study?

Effect size and meta-analysis


What is the effect size?

A measure of how much variability among scores is accounted for by the independent variable


What is meta-analysis?

The combined data from many studies; how much variance in scores across all studies is accounted for by a particular variable


What are the 8 major ethical principles?

1. Respect for human dignity
2. Respect for free & informed consent
3. Respect for vulnerable persons
4. Respect for privacy & confidentiality
5. Respect for justice & inclusiveness
6. Balancing harms and benefits
7. Minimizing harm
8. Maximizing benefit


What are 4 critical issues with research involving humans?

◦ Confidentiality
◦ Informed Consent
◦ Minimize Discomfort
◦ Debriefing-participants are informed about the true nature of the study


What was the milgram shock study?

Participants were told that they were testing memory but was really a series of studies
to test whether people would obey an authority figure when directly ordered to violate their ethical standards.


What are animals useful for in psychological studies? (5)

◦ To conduct basic research
◦ To discover practical applications
◦ To study issues that cannot be studied experimentally with human beings
◦ To clarify theoretical questions
◦ To improve human welfare


What ethical standard must one abide when experimenting on animals.

The Canadian Council on Animal Care. People must abide by ethical codes for humane treatment of animals.