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PSY201H1
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Chapter 1

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Psychology

PSY201H1

Ashley Waggoner Denton

Fall

Description

Chapter 1 Reading
Statistics is facts and figures ex. Birth rate, crime rate, income etc.; condenses large amounts of
information into a few figures; set of math procedures for organizing , summarizing and interpreting
data
Used to organize and summarize information to effectively and accurately communicate results
to help to answer initial question (theory) by providing specific and justifiable conclusions
procedure provides a method that is in unison with other researchers; other people are able to
replicate results the same as the original study
Population - Sample of scores - the entire group the researcher is interested in ex: study on self esteem
of teens with divorced parents. Population would be all teens (study is comparing divorced families and
non-divorced families); should always be defined by researcher; can have varying sizes; doesn’t have to
be humans
Sample - the group of people from the population participating in the study; representatives of the
entire population; results from sample are generalized to so they can represent the entire population
Variable - specific characteristics and outside factors that can change/influence individuals of the
pop./sample; can vary between individuals ex: moods, weather, height, gender, size of room, etc.;
characteristics and environmental
Data - data set - measurements/observations of the examined variables changing between individuals;
measurement per individual referred to as score/raw score/datum
Parameter - characteristic of the measurements to describe the population; numerical value of
Statistic - characteristic from the measurements to describing the sample; numerical value; used to draw
conclusions about population parameters
Descriptive statistics - simplify and summarize data; taking all scores and presenting it a way more
manageable ex: graph, average, etc
Inferential statistics - using scores to make general inferences (statements) of the population; job
is to determine whether there is probable cause for variation or sample error
Sampling error - Margin of error- natural discrepancy between the generalization from the sample to the
population, due to limited information from the sample ( cannot account for everyone in sample even as
pop. representatives); inferential statistics must always address. Ex: two different samples from the
same pop. will have varying result within the parameters
Research is intended to examine relationship between 2 or more variables to prove a relationship
exists; it is necessary to observe (measure) the 2 variables; some observing how variables exist
naturally by measuring each individual
Correlational method - measuring 2 different variables for each individual to determine if they are
correlated; can show a relation but cannot assume that A is because of B (doesn’t provide
explanation) due to other possible confounds; some studies may not use numerical values but still
must have 2 variables data can be listed in a table displaying how many individuals classified in
each possible category, values can be turned into numerical values so they can used for
computations but usually used in a chi-square
Experimental/non-experimental methods - determines cause and effect relationship between
variables and population; only measures 1 variable; examines relationship between 2 or more
groups of scores; uses one of the variables to define the group and measures the 2nd variable to
obtain scores for each group and compares them; if systematic difference is apparent there is
evidence of relationship
o Experimental method - involves manipulation and control to demonstrate cause and effect
between 2 variables (changing degree of 1 variable causes changes in 2nd variable); Manipulation - changing degree of one or more of the variables +/- and measuring
effects to 2nd variable to determine if manipulation causes change
Control - exercise control over experimental conditions (environment, extraneous
factors) to ensure there is no influence on examined relationship; usually involves
control occurrence and uncontrolled (natural/normal) occurrence
To make a cause and effect claim participant and environmental variables have to be considered;
random assignment, matching, or holding variables constant are methods of accounting for these
variables
o Participant variables - individual qualities that vary in each individual ex. age, gender,
intelligence,; researchers must account for this when conducting studies and ensure these
variables do not greatly differ in groups
o Environmental variables -

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