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PSY100H1 Study Guide - Random Assignment, Participant Observation, Naturalistic Observation

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Michael Inzlicht

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Key Terms
replication Repetition of an experiment to confirm the results.
theory A model of interconnected ideas and concepts that explains what is observed
and makes predictions about future events.
hypothesis A specific prediction of what should be observed in the world if a theory
is correct.
research Scientific process that involves the systematic and careful collection of
data Objective observations or measurements.
variable Something in the world that can be measured and that can vary.
operational definition The quantification of a variable that allows it to be measured.
experiment A study that tests causal hypotheses by measuring and manipulating
independent variable In an experiment, the condition that is manipulated by the
experimenter to examine its impact on the dependent variable.
dependent variable In an experiment, the measure that is affected by manipulation
of the independent variable.
confound Anything that affects a dependent variable that may unintentionally vary
between the different experimental conditions of a study
random assignment The procedure for placing research participants into the
conditions of an experiment in which each participant has an equal chance of being
assigned to any level of the independent variable.
correlational study A research method that examines how variables are naturally
related in the real world, without any attempt by the researcher to alter them.
third-variable problem When the experimenter cannot directly manipulate the
independent variable and therefore cannot be confident that another, unmeasured
variable is not the actual cause of differences in the dependent variable.
descriptive study A research method that involves observing and noting the
behaviour of people or other animals in order to provide a systematic and objective
analysis of behaviour.
PSY100 Chapter 2 Research Methodology
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naturalistic observation A passive descriptive study in which observers do not
change or alter ongoing behaviour.
participant observation A type of descriptive study in which the researcher is
actively involved in the situation.
observational technique A research method of careful and systematic assessment
and coding of overt behaviour
reactivity The effect that occurs when the knowledge that on eis being observed
alters the behaviours being observed.
observer bias Systematic errors in observation that occur due to an observer!s
experimenter expectancy effect Actual change in the behaviours of the people or
animals being observed that is due to observer bias.
self-report method A method of data collection in which people are asked to provide
information about themselves, such as in questionnaires or surveys.
socially desirable responding When people respond to a question in a way that is
most socially acceptable or that makes them look good.
case study A research method that involves the intensive examination of one
response performance A research method in which researchers quantify perceptual
or cognitive processes in response to a specific stimulus.
reaction time A quantification of performance behaviour that measures the speed of
a response.
psychophysiological assessment A research method that examines how changes
in bodily functions are associated with behaviour or mental state.
electrophysiology A method of data collection that measures electrical activity in
the brain.
positron emission tomography (PET) A method of brain imaging that assesses
metabolic activity by using a radioactive substance injected into the bloodstream.
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) A method of brain imaging that produces high-
quality images of the brain.
PSY100 Chapter 2 Research Methodology
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