# [PSC 1] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (41 pages long!)

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UC-Davis

PSC 1

MIDTERM EXAM

STUDY GUIDE

Research Designs

● Descriptive – observe and classify

o EX: Are there more dirty cars in the sorority parking lots or the fraternity parking

lots?

● Correlational – two things are related to each other

o EX: Violent video games make people violent, or violent people like violent video

games

o No causation

o Used because sometimes impossible to design experiment

▪ EX: Correlation between foot size and test score

o Sometimes unethical to conduct

▪ EX: Make children play violent video games

o Strong correlation – magnitude closer to +1 or -1

o Weak correlation – magnitude closer to 0

● Experimental – one thing causes another

o Independent and dependent variable

▪ Independent – variable that causes the outcome

▪ Dependent – variable influenced by the independent variable

o At least two groups to compare – need comparison

▪ Experimental group – group that receives treatment

▪ Control group – receives placebo

o Random assignment – each person has an equal chance of being assigned to

either group

● Statistics

o Descriptive – describe data

o Frequencies

▪ Important to help determine how generalizable your data are

▪ Ages

▪ Ethnicities

▪ Gender

▪ General Scores

● Are there any outliers?

o Central tendency – average

▪ Mean

▪ Median

▪ Mode – most frequent value

▪ Median and mode more useful than mean when there are wild outliers

o Variability - how spread out data are

▪ Range – highest number minus lowest number

▪ Standard deviation

o Distribution curves – distribution of data

▪ Normal Distribution

o Inferential statistics – used to make an inference about

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whether a difference is real or simply due to chance

o Real difference is statistically significant

o P value – small value is more real/less likely findings due to chance

o Correlation

o Regression

o Analysis of Variance

o T-tests

o Structural equation modeling

o Failure of Ethics

● Tuskegee – observation of natural progression of syphilis in African American men who

thought they were receiving free health care

o Penicillin found to be good cure, but not given to men because researchers

wanted to finish study

● Now there is Institutional Review Board (IRB) that ensures research is ethical

● Experimenter expectancy – the researcher watches participants and evaluates who is

hyper and who is not

o Biased

o Can even affect behavior of nonhuman animals (amazing Mark horse example)

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