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Flashcards in Research Methods Deck (79)
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scientific method

general procedures psychologists use for gathering and interpreting data


Define theory as it relates to research methods.

organized, testable explanation of phenomena


Other researchers must be able to replicate the results of an experiment to validate its conclusions.

What is replication?

obtaining similar results to a previous study using the same methods


What is hindsight bias?

The tendency of people to overestimate their ability to predict an event after it happened.


What is a controlled experiment?

researchers systematically manipulate a variable and observe the response in a laboratory



prediction of how two or more factors are related


What is the difference between an independent variable and a dependent variable in an experiment?

The factor being manipulated is the independent variable. The factor being measured is the dependent variable.

Identify the independent and dependent variables:

If students use Brainscape to study, rather than simple flash cards, then they will get higher test scores.

  • independent: method of studying
  • dependent: test score


Define population as it relates to research methods.

all the individuals to which the study applies


Define sample as it relates to research methods.

subgroup of a population that constitutes participants of a study


What type of sample should be used in research?

Larger sample sizes are ideal because they are the most representative of the population.


The amount of difference between the sample and population is called __________.

sampling error


Define random selection as it relates to research methods.

every individual from a population has an equal chance of being chosen for the sample


Which individuals are in the experimental group?

subjects who receive the treatment or manipulation of the independent variable


Which individuals are in the control group?

subjects who do not receive any treatment or manipulation


Subjects who receive the treatment are part of the __________, while those who do not receive the treatment belong to the __________.

experimental group; control group


What type of experimental design uses experimental and control groups?

A match pair between subjects uses an experimental group and a control group to compare the effect of the independent variable.


What process is used to ensure there are no preexisting differences between the control group and the experimental group?

Random assignment fairly divides the sample participants into the two groups.


confounding variable

  • any difference between the experimental group and the control group, besides the effect of the independent variable
  • a.k.a. third variable


List four types of confounding variables.

  1. experimenter bias
  2. demand characteristics
  3. placebo effect
  4. lack of counterbalancing


Define experimenter bias as it relates to confounding variables.

Experimenter bias occurs when a researcher's expectations or preferences about the results of the study influence the experiment.


Define demand characteristics as they relate to confounding variables.

clues the participants discover about the intention of the study that alter their responses


Define placebo effect as it relates to confounding variables.

responding to an inactive drug with a change in behavior because the subject believes it contains the active ingredient


Define counterbalancing as it relates to confounding variables.

Researchers using a within-subjects design eliminate the effects of treatment order by assigning half the participants to treatment A first and the other half to treatment B first.


What type of experimental design uses each participant as his/her own control?

A within-subjects design exposes each participant to the treatment and compares their pre-test and post-test results. This design can also compare the results of two different treatments administered.


How do researchers specifically define what variables mean?

Researchers use operational definitions to precisely describe variables in relation to their study. For example, "effectiveness of studying" can be operationally defined with a test score.


What is a single-blind procedure?

research design in which the subjects are unaware if they are in the control or experimental group


What is a double-blind procedure?

research design in which neither the experimenter nor the subjects are aware who is in the control or experimental group


Single-blind procedures aim to eliminate the effects of __________, while double-blind procedures use a third party researcher to omit the effects of __________.

demand characteristics; experimenter bias


What is the Hawthorne effect?

individuals who are being experimented on behave differently than in their everyday life