Psych – Chapter 1

scientific method
the orderly, systematic procedures that researchers follow as they identify a research problem, design a study to investigate the problem, collect and analyze data, draw conclusions, and communicate their findings
a general principle or set of principles proposed to explain a number of separate facts are related
the process of repeating a study with different participants and preferably a different investigator to verify research findings
the first formal school of thought in psychology, which endeavored to analyze the basic elements, or structure, of conscious mental experience
an early school of psychology that was concerned with how humans and animals use mental processes in adapting to their environment
the school of psychology founded by John B. Watson that views observable, measurable behavior as the appropriate subject matter for psychology and emphasizes the key role of environment as a determinant of behavior
the term Freud used for both his theory of personality and his therapy for the treatment of psychological disorders; the unconscious is the primary focus of psychoanalytic theory
humanistic psychology
the school of psychology that focuses on the uniqueness of human beings and their capacity for choice, growth, and psychological health
cognitive psychology
the school of psychology that views humans as active participants in their environment; studies mental processes such as memory, problem solving, decision making, perception, language, and other forms of cognition
gestalt psychology
the school of psychology that emphasizes that individuals perceive objects and patters as whole units and that the perceived whole is more than the sum of its parts
information-processing theory
an approach to the study of mental structures and processes that uses the computer as a model for human thinking
critical thinking
the process of objectively evaluating claims, propositions, and conclusions to determine whether they follow logically from the evidence presented
descriptive research methods
research methods that yield descriptions of behavior
naturalistic observation
a descriptive research method in which researchers observe and record behavior in its natural setting, without attempting to influence or control it
laboratory observation
a descriptive research method in which behavior is studied in a laboratory setting, where researchers can exert more control and use more precise equipment to measure responses
case study
a descriptive research method in which a single person or a number or a small number of individuals are studied in great depth, usually over an extended period of time
a descriptive research method in which researchers use interviews and/or questionnaires to gather information about the attitudes, beliefs, experiences, or behaviors of a group of people
the entire group of interest to researchers, to which they wish to generalize their findings; the group from which a sample is selected
a part of a population that is studied in order to reach conclusions about the entire population
representative sample
a sample that mirrors the population of interest; it includes important subgroups in the same proportions as they are found in that population
correlational method
a research method used to establish the degree of relationship (correlation) between two characteristics, events, or behaviors
correlation coefficient
a numerical value that indicates the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables; ranges from +1.00 (a perfect positive correlation) to -1.00 (a perfect negative correlation).
experimental method
the only research method that can be used to identify cause-effect relationships between two or more conditions or variable
a prediction about a cause-effect relationship between two or more variables
independent variable
in an experiment, a factor or condition that is deliberately manipulated in order to determine whether it causes any change in another behavior or condition
dependent variable
the factor or condition that is measured at the end of an experiment and is presumed to vary as a result of the manipulations of the independent variables
experimental group
in an experiment, the group that is exposed to an independent variable
control group
in an experiment, a group similar to the experimental group that is exposed to the same experimental environment but is not given the treatment; used for purposes of comparison
confounding variables
factors or conditions other than the independent variables that are not equivalent across groups and could cause differences among the groups with respect to the dependent variable
selection bias
the assignment of participants to experimental or control groups in such a way that systematic differences among the groups are present at the beginning of the experiment
random assignment
the process of selecting participants for experimental and control groups by using a chance procedure to guarantee that each participant has an equal probability of being assigned to any of the groups; a control for selection bias
placebo effect
the phenomenon that occurs in an experiment when a participant’s response to a treatment is due to his or her expectations about the treatment itself rather than to the treatment itself
an inert or harmless substance given to the control group in a experiment as a control for the placebo effect
experimenter bias
a phenomenon that occurs when a researcher’s preconceived notions or expectations in some way influence participants’ behavior and/or the researcher’s interpretation of experimental results
double-blind technique
a procedure in which neither the participant nor the experimenter knows who is in the experimental and control groups until after the data have been gathered; a control for experimental bias
psychological perspectives
general points of view used for explaining people’s behavior and thinking, whether normal or abnormal

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