Chapter 2 Psychological Science Review Notes

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9 Oct 2010
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PSY100 t midterm: review
Chapter 2:
Key terms:
Empirical Process:
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
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 casual hypotheses by measuring and manipulating variables
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: 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: research method that involves observing and noting behaviour of people or other
animals in order to provide a systematic and objective analysis of behaviour
Naturalistic observation: 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
evident behaviour
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