Basic Research – explores questions of interest, but not intended to have immediate, real-world
Applied Research – clear, practical applications to solve practical problems
Theory – an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes and predicts
- Organizing and linking observed facts
Hypothesis – a testable prediction often implied by a theory
Operational definition – a statement of the procedures used to define research variables.
- Set parameter of the experiment
Replication – repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in
different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants
Hindsight bias – the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have
- ‘I-knew-it-all-along’ phenomenon
Goal of research – to describe, predict, and explain behaviour
Research that Describes only
Case study – observing one person in depth in the hope of revealing universal principles
- Can suggest hypotheses for further study; Individual cases can suggest fruitful ideas
Naturalistic observation – observing/recording behaviour w/o trying to manipulate and control the
Survey – looks at many cases in less depth, asks people to report their behaviour or opinions.
- A technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviours of people, usually
by questioning a representative, random sample of them.
- Subtle changes in the order or wording of questions can have major effects
Population – all of the people in a particular group from which a sample may be drawn
Random sample – a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an
equal chance of inclusion
Generalizability (external validity) – extent to which results of a study can be applied to the
False consensus effect –tendency to overestimate the extent to which others share our
beliefs/behaviours AP Psychology
- Ex. vegetarians will think more people are vegetarians than will meat-eaters
Social Desirability Bias – tendency of subjects to present themselves in a socially desirable
Research that Describes and Predicts behaviour
Correlation –relationship between 2 variables without trying to determine causality or
- Help us predict, restrain the illusions of our flawed intuition.
- Correlation indicates the possibility of a cause-effect relationship, but it does not prove
Positive correlation: 2 sets of scores tend to rise or fall together (ex. height and weight)
Negative correlation: two things relate inversely (ex. toothbrushing↑, tooth decay ↓)
- A weak correlation, indicating little/no relationship, has a coefficient near 0
Scatterplot – graphed cluster of dots, each which represents the values of two variables
Illusory correlation – the perception of a relationship where none exists
Confirmation bias – a tendency to search for information that confirms one’s preconceptions
Overconfidence – the tendency to be more confident than correct; think we know more than we
Research that Describes, Predicts, Explains behaviour
True Experiment – Research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors
(independent variable) in order to observe the effect on some behaviour or mental process
Independent variable – the experimental factor that is manipulated
- The variable whose effect is being studied.
Dependent variable – the outcome factor
- The variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable.
Operational definitions – specific statements describing how the IV is manipulated, how the DV is
Random assignment – assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by
chance, thus minimizing pre-existing differences between those assigned to the different