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Flashcards on Psychology Chapter 2 Test

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Variable
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Anything that can change.
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Theory
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A broad idea or set of closely related ideas that attempts to explain observations and to make predictions about future observations.
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Hypothesis
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An educated guess that derives logically from a theory; a prediction that can be tested.
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Empirical Research
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Used to test a hypothesis by collecting and analyzing data.
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Operational Definition
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A definition that provides an objective description of how a variable is going to be measured and observed in a particular study.
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Data
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Refers to all the information researchers collect in a study.
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Meta-Analysis
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A method that allows researchers to combine the results of several different studies on a similar topic in order to establish the strength of an effect.
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Descriptive Research
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Research that determines the basic dimensions of a phenomenon, defining what it is, how often it occurs, and so on. However, it can’t answer questions about how and why things are the way they are.
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Survey
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Presents a standard set of questions, or items to obtain people’s self-reported attitudes or beliefs about a particular topic. Are a straightforward way to measure psychological variables, constructing them requires care.
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Case Study
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An in-depth look at a single individual. Are performed mainly by clinical psychologists when, for either practical or ethical reasons, the unique aspects of an individual’s life can’t be duplicated and tested in other individual’s. It provides information about one person’s goals, hopes, fantasies, fears, traumatic experiences, family relationships, and health. The subject of a case study is unique, but may not apply to the general population.
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Correlational Research
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Research that examines the relationships between variables, whose purpose is to examine whether and how two variable change together.
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Correlational Coefficient
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The degree of relationship between two variables. It always falls between -1 to +1, the closer to 1 the stronger the relationship. The positive sign refers to if one variable increases, the other also increases. The negative sign refers to if one variable increases, the other decreases. Zero correlational means there is no systematic relationship between the variables.
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Third Variable Problem
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The circumstance where a variable that has not been measured accounts for the relationship between two other variables. Are also known as confounds.
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Experience Sampling Method (EPM)
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A form of journal keeping used by correlational researchers to study people in their natural settings. It has people report on their experiences in a diary a few times a day in order to get a gauge of a person’s behavior and emotions.
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Longitudinal Design
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A special kind of systematic observation, used by correlational researchers, that involves obtaining measures of the variables of interest in multiple waves over time. It provides ways to demonstrate relations among variables, but may not be too completely clear about casual relationships.
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Experiment
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A carefully regulated procedure in which the researcher manipulates one or more variables that are believed to influence some other variable.
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Random Assignment
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Researchers’ assignment of participants to groups by chance, to reduce the likelihood that an experiment’s results will be due to preexisting difference between groups.
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Independent Variable
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A manipulated experimental factor; the variable that the experimenter changes to see what its effects are. It is the cause.
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Confederate
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A person who is given a role to play in a study so that the social context can be manipulated.
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Dependent Variable
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The outcome; the factor that can change in an experiment in response to changes in the independent variable. It is the effect.
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Experimental Group
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The participants in an experiment who receive the drug or other treatment under study, those that are exposed to the change that the independent variable represents.
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Control Group
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The participants in an experiment who are similar to the experimental group and are treated the same except for the manipulated factor, the independent variable. Provides comparison to the experimental group to test the effects of the independent variable.
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External Validity
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The degree to which an experimental design actually reflects the real-world issues it is supposed to address. Is concerned with whether the results apply to the real world.
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Internal Validity
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The degree to which changes in the dependent variable are due to the manipulation of the independent variable.
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Experimenter Bias
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Occurs when the experimenter’s expectations influence the outcome of the research.
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Demand Characteristics
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Any aspects of a study that communicate to the participants how the experimenter wants them to behave.
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Confounds
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Factors that come with experimental manipulation which undesirably influence the dependent variable.
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Research Participant Bias
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Occurs when the behavior of research participants during the experiment is influenced by how they think they are supposed to behave or their experiences about what is happening to them.
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Placebo Effect
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Occurs when participants’ expectations, rather than the experimental treatment, produce an outcome.
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Placebo
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A harmless substance with no physiological effect that is given to participants in a control group so that they are treated identical to the experimental group, except for the independent variable.
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Double-Blind Experiment
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An experimental design in which neither the experimenter nor the participants are aware of who is in the experimental and control groups until results are calculated.
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Population
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The entire group about which the investigators wants to draw conclusions.
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Sample
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The subset of the population chosen by the investigator for study.
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Random Sample
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A sample that gives every member of the population an equal chance of being selected.
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Naturalistic Observation
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The observation of behavior in a real-world setting.
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Descriptive Statistics
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Mathematical procedures that are used to describe and summarize sets of data in a meaningful way.
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Measure of Central Tendency
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A single number that indicates the overall characteristics of a set of data. Three measures of central tendency are mean, median, and the mode.
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Mean
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A measure of central tendency that is the average for a sample.
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Median
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A measure of central tendency that is the middle score in a sample.
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Mode
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A measure of central tendency that is the most common score in a sample.
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Range
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A measure of dispersion that is the difference between the highest and lowest scores.
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Standard Deviation
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A measure of dispersion that tells us how much scores in a sample differ from the mean of the sample.
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Inferential Statistics
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Mathematical methods that are used to indicate whether results for a sample are likely to generalize to a population. The standard is that a value of .05 is the minimum level of probability that scientists will accept for concluding that the differences are real and supporting a hypothesis.
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Institutional Review Board
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A review board that evaluates the ethical nature of research conducted at their institutions. Proposed research plans must pass a research ethics committee before research can be initiated.
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Informed Consent
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All participants must know what their participation will involve and what risks might develop. Participants must retain the right to drop out at any time.
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Confidentiality
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Researchers are responsible for keeping all of the data they gather on individuals completely confidential and anonymous.
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Debriefing
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After the study is completed, researchers should inform the participants of its purpose and the methods they used.
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Deception
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The researcher deceives participants about the purpose of the study in order to avoid an alteration of data. The researchers must ensure that the deception will not harm the participants and that the participants are debriefed after the study is completed.
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What are the five steps in the scientific method?
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The five steps in the scientific method are observing some phenomenon, formulating hypotheses and predictions, testing through empirical research, drawing conclusions, and evaluating the theory.
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What is an operational definition, and what is its value in a study?
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Operational definition provides an objective description of ow a variable is going to be measured and observed in a particular study.
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What is meta-analysis? Why do researchers use this procedure?
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Meta-analysis allows researchers to combine the results of several different studies on a similar topic in oder to establish the strength of an effect.
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Define descriptive, correlational, and experimental research.
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Descriptive research determines the basic dimensions of a phenomenon. Correlational research examines the relationships between variables. Experimental research determines whether a casual relationship exists between variables.
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Explain why correlation is not the same as causation.
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Correlation is not the same as causation because causation means it occurred because something happened, correlation means that it occurs when something happens.
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What is the difference between an experimental group and a control group?
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An experimental group is one that is exposed to the independent variable, the control group is put under the same conditions but without the independent variable.
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With respect to a research study, what is meant by a population? What is a sample?
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A population is an entire group about which the investigator wants to draw conclusions. A sample is a subset of the population chosen by the investigator for study.
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What is the difference between a random sample and random assignment?
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A random sample is a sample that gives every member of the population an equal chance of being selected. Random assignment makes sure that experimental and control groups are equivalent.
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What are two common physical settings for research?
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Two common physical settings for research are research laboratories and natural settings.
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What is meant by a measure of central tendency? Name three measures of central tendency.
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A measure of central tendency is a single number that indicates the overall characteristics of a set of data. The three measures of central tendency are the mean, the median, and the mode.
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What do measures of dispersion describe?
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Measures of dispersion describe how much the scores in a sample differ from one another.
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What does standard deviation measure?
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Standard deviation measures how much scores in a sample differ from the mean of a sample.
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What two things do the ethical principles used in research seek to balance?
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With respect to the participants in a study, what do the various ethical guidelines covering research all fundamentally seek to protect?
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What four key issues do the APA’s ethics guidelines address?
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For what reasons are media reports on psychological studies often problematic?
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Why is it wise to look beyond the conclusions of just one research study?
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How does the submission of research findings to a respectable academic journal aid both researchers and the public?
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