PSYC 101 Stanovich

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Empiricism
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the practice of relying on observation
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Replication
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attempting the experiment to obtain the same results
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Publicly verifiable knowledge
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findings presented to the scientific community in such a way that can be replicated, criticized, or extended by anyone in the community
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Peer review
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procedure in which each paper submitted to a research journal is critiqued by several scientists, who then submit their criticisms to an editor
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Solvable problem
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testable theory
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Empirically testable
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a theory must have specific implications for observable events in the natural world
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Falsifiabilty
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indicates that a theory must either be discarded or altered so that it can account for the discrepant data pattern. Thus it is by theory adjustment caused by falsified predictions that sciences such as psychology get closer to the truth
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Theory
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an interrelated set of concepts that is used to explain a body of data and to make predictions about the results of future experiments
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Truthiness
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the quality of a thing feeling true without any evidence suggesting it actually was
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Essentialism
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the idea that the only good scientific theories are those that give ultimate explanations of phenomena in terms of their underlying essences or their essentials properties
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Operationalism
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the idea that concepts in scientific theories must in some way be grounded in, or linked to, observable events that can be measured
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Reliability
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the consistency of a measuring instrument, whether you would arrive at the same measurement in you assessed the same concept multiple times
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Validity
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whether a measuring instrument (operational definition) is measuring what it is supposed to be measuring
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Preexisting bias problem
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we all have intuitive theories to personality and human behavior because we have been “explaining” behavior to ourselves all our lives
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Parsimony
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dictates that when two theories have the same explanatory power, the simpler theory (the one involving fewer concepts and conceptual relationships) is preferred
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Operational definitions
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definitions of concepts stated in terms of observable operations that can be measured
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Placebo effect
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the tendency to feel better when any new treatment is introduced
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Spontaneous remission
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the mere passage of time
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Vividness effect
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people retrieve from memory the information that seems relevant to the situation at hand, people are more likely to use the facts that are more accessible to solve a problem or make a decisions
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Barnum effect
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the basis of belief in the accuracy of palm readers and astrologists, provides an example of how easy it is to generate testimonials and shows why they are worthless
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Third variable problem
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the fact that the correlation between the two variables may not indicate direct casual path between them but may arise because both variables are related to a third variable that has not even been measured
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Spurious correlation
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correlations that arise because a casual link exists between the two variables that are measured, but because both variables are related to a third variable
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Directionality problem
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before immediately concluding that a correlation between variable A and variable B is due to changes in A causing changes in B, we must first recognize that the direction of causation may be the opposite, that is, from B to A
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Selection bias
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the relationships between certain subjects and environmental variables that may arise with people with different biological, behavioral, and psychological characteristics select different types of environments
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Independent variable
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the variable manipulated
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Dependent variable
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the variable upon which the independent variable is posited to have an effect
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Random assignment
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the subject themselves do not determine which experimental conditions they will be in but, instead, are randomly assigned to one of the experimental groups
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Field experiment
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where a variable is manipulated in a nonlaboratory setting
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Random sampling
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refers to drawing a sample from the population in a manner that ensures that each member of the population has an equal chance of being chosen for the sample
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Basic research
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focuses primarily on theory testing
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Dark adaptation
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a rather quick but fairly small increase in visual sensitivity on entering a darkened room, followed by a delayed but much larger increase in sensitivity
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College sophomore problem
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the worry that because college sophomores are the subjects in an extremely large number of psychological investigations, the generality of the results is in question
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Applied research
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the results are intended to be extrapolated directly to a naturalistic situation
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Principle of converging evidence
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when evidence from a wide range of experiments, each flawed in a somewhat different way or carried out with techniques of differing strengths and weaknesses, points in a similar directions, then the evidence has converged
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Unresponsive bystander phenomenon
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the failure of some people to respond with help when observing another individual in an emergency situation
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Principle of connectivity
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new theories not only must account for new scientific data but must also provide an explanation of the previously existing database
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Probalistic trend
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we simply mean that it is more likely than not but does not hold true in all cases
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Person who statistic
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situations in which well-established statistical trends are questioned because someone knows a “person who” went against the trend
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Cognitive illusions
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even when people know the correct answer, they may be drawn to an incorrect conclusion by the structure of the problem
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Gambler’s fallacy
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the tendency for people to see links between events in the past and events in the future when the two are really independent, two outcomes are independent when the occurrence of one does not affect the probability of the other
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Illusory correlation
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tendency to explain chance events illustrated in a phenomenon, people think that 2 types of events should commonly occur together, they tend to think that they are seeing co—occurrences with great frequency, even when the two critical events are occurring randomly and thus, do not co-occur more frequency than any other combination of events
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Illusions of control
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the tendency to believe that personal skill can affect outcomes determined by chance
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Just-world hypothesis
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the fact that people tend to believe that they live in a world in which people get what they deserve
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Odd match
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two events whose co-occurrence strikes us as odd or strange
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Actuarial prediction
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predictions based on group trends derived from statistical records
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Clinical prediction
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clinical psychological practitioners claim to be able to go beyond group predictions and to make accurate predictions of the outcomes of particular individuals
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Recipe knowledge
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the knowledge of how to use something without knowledge of the fundamental principles that govern it’s functioning

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