Psychology Chapter 1 Key Terms
Hindsight Bias – A tendency to believe, after learning an outcome that one would have foreseen it. (I knew it
all along phenomenon)
Critical Thinking – Thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it examines
assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions.
The Scientific Method – A selfcorrecting process for asking questions & observing answers.
Theory – An explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts
behaviors or events.
Hypothesis – A testable prediction, often implied by a theory.
Operational Definition A statement of the procedures used to define research variables. For example, human
intelligence may be operationally defined as ‘what an intelligence test measures’.
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 and circumstances.
Case Study – An observation technique in which one person is studied in depth in the hope of revealing
Natural Observation – Observing and recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to
manipulate and control the situation.
Survey – A technique for ascertaining the selfreported attitudes or behaviors of a particular group, usually by
questioning a representative, random sample of the group.
Population – All the cases in a group being studied, from which samples may be drawn. (note: except for
national studies, this does not refer to a country’s whole population).
Random Sample – A sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of
Correlation – A measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor
predicts the other.
Correlation Coefficient – A statistical index of the relationship between 2 things (from 1 to +1).
Scatterplot – A graphed cluster of dots, each of which represents the values of two variables. The slope of the
points suggests the direction of the relationship between the two variables. The amount of scatter suggests the
strength of the correlation (little scatter indicates high correlation)
Experiment – A research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent
variables) to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable). By random
assignment of participants, the experimenter aim