intro to psychology Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Basic Research
research that answers fundamental questions about behavior
Applied research
research that investigates issues that have implications for everyday life and provides solutions for every day problems
empirical
based on systematic collection of data
scientific method
the set of assumptions, rules, and procedures scientists use to conduct research
objective
free from the personal bias or emotions of the scientist
laws
principals that are so general as to apply to all situations in a given domain of inquiry
theory
an integrated set of principals that explains and predicts many but not all observed relationships within a given domain of inquiry
falsifiable
a characteristic of a theory or research hypothesis in which the variables of interest can be adequately measured and the predicted relationships among the variable can be shown through research to be incorrect
research hypothesis
a specific and falsifiable prediction about the relationship between or among two or more variables
variable
any attribute that can assume different values among different people or across different times or places
conceptual variables
abstract ideas that form the basis of research hypotheses
measured variables
the variables consisting of numbers that represent the conceptual variables
operational definition
a precise statement of how a conceptual variable is turned into a measured variable
deception
a situation that occurs whenever research participants are not completely and fully informed about the nature of the research project before participating in it
institutional review board (IRB)
a committee of at least 5 members whose goal it is to determine cost-benefit ratio of research conducted within an institution
informed consent
a procedure, conducted before a participant begins a research session, designated to explain the research procedures, and inform the participant of his/her rights during the investigation
debriefing
a procedure designated to fully explain the purposes and procedures of the research and remove any harmful after effects of participation
research design
an approach used to collect, analyze and interpret data
descriptive research
research designed to provide a snapshot of current affairs
correlational research
research designed to discover relationships among variables and to allow the prediction of future events from present knowledge
experimental research
research in which initial equivalence among research participants in more than one group is created, followed by a manipulation of a given experience for these groups and a measurement of the influence of the manipulation
case study
a descriptive record of one or more individual's experiences and behavior
survey
a measure administered through interviews or written questionairs to get a picture of the beliefs or behaviors of a sample of people of interest
sample
the people chosen to participate in a research project
population
in a descriptive research design, the people that the researcher wishes to know about
naturalistic observation
research based on the observation of everyday events
descriptive statistics
numbers that summarize the distribution of scores on a measured variable
normal distribution
a data distribution that is shaped like a bell
Arithmetic mean
symbolized by the letter M, the most commonly used measure of central tendency
median
the score in the center of the distribution, meaning that 50% of the scores are greater than the median, and 50% of the scores are less than the median
Mode
the values that occur most frequently in a variable's distribution
standard deviation
symbolized by S, the most commonly used measure of the dispersion of a variable's distribution
scatter plot
a visual image of the relationship between 2 variables
pearson correlation coefficient
symbolized by R, a statistic indicating the strength and direction of a linear relationship. The value of the correlation coefficient ranges from R= -1.00 to R=+1.00
multiple regression
a statistical technique, based on correlation coefficients among variables, that allows predicting a single outcome variable from more than 1 predictor variable
common-causal variable
a variable that is not part of the research hypothesis, but that causes both the predictor and the outcome variable and thus produces the observed correlation between them
spurious relationship
a relationship between 2 variables in which a common-causal variable produces and "explains away" the relationship
independent variable
in an experiment, the causing variable that is created (manipulated) by the experimenter
dependent variable
in an experiment, the measured variable that is expected to be influenced by the experimental manipulation
random assignment to conditions
a procedure used in experimental research designs in which the conditions that which participant is assigned to is determined through a random process
construct validity
the extent to which the variables used in the research adequately assess the conceptual variables they were designed to measure
reliability
the consistency of a measured variable
statistical significance
the confidence with which we can conclude data are not due to chance or random error
statistical conclusion validity
the extent to which we can be certain that the researcher has drawn accurate conclusions about the statistical significance of the research
internal validity
the extent to which we can trust the conclusions that have been drawn about the casual relationship between the independent and dependent variables
confounding variable
a variable other than the independent variable on which the participants in the experimental condition differ systematically from those in other conditions
experimenter bias
a situation in which the experimenter subtly treats the research participants in the various experimental conditions differently, resulting in an invalid confirmation of the research hypothesis
double-blind experiment
an experimental design in which both the researcher and the research participants are blind to condition
external validity
the extent to which the results of a research design can be generalized beyond the specific way the original experiment was conducted
generalization
the tendency to respond to stimuli that resemble the original conditioned stimulus
replication
the process of repeating previous research
meta-analysis
a statistical technique that uses the results of existing studies to integrate and draw conclusions about those studies
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