Flashcards in Unit 2: Research Methods Deck (39):

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## Scientific Method

### A self-correcting process for evaluating ideas with observation and analysis

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## Operational Definition

### a carefully worded statement of the exact procedures used in a research study

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## 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

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## Case Study

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

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## Naturalistic Observation

### observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation

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## Survey

### a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes of behaviors of a particular group, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of the group

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## Sampling Bias

### a flawed sampling process that produces an unrepresentative sample

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## Population

### all those in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn

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## Random Sample

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

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## Correlation

### a measure of the extent to which two variables change together, and thus of how well either variable predicts the other

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## Correlation Coefficient

### a statistical index of the relationship between two variables (from -1.0 to + 1.0)

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## Scatterplot

### 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)

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## Causation and Correlation

### Association does not prove causation. Correlation indicates the possibility of a cause-effect relationship but does not prove such

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## Illusory Correlation

### the perception of a relationship where none exists

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## 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 variables

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## Experimental Group

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

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## Control Group

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

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## Random Assignment

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

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## Double-Blind Procedure

### an experimental procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether research participants have received the treatment or a placebo. Commonly used in drug-evaluation studies

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## Placebo Effect

### 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

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## Independent Variable

### the experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied

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## Dependent Variable

### the outcome factor; the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable

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## Confounding Variable

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

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## Validity

### the extent to which a test or experiment measures or predicts what it is supposed to

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## Descriptive Statistics

### numerical data used to measure and describe characteristics of groups. Includes measures of central tendency measures of variation

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## Histogram

### a bar graph depicting a frequency ditribution

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## Mean

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

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## Median

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

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## Mode

### the most frequently occurring score(s) in a distribution

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## Skewed Distribution

### a representation of scores that lack symmetry around their average value

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## Range

### the difference between the highest and lowest scores in a distribution

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## Standard Deviation

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

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## Normal Curve

### 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

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## Inferential Statistics

### numerical data that allow one to generalize - to infer from sample data the probability of something being true of a population

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## Statistical Significance

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

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## Code of Ethics

### Informed consent, allowed to withdraw, no harm, no deception, confidentiality, debrief

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## Hypothesis

### A testable prediction, often implied by a theory

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## Theory

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

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