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Flashcards in Chapter 1 - Research Methods Deck (23)
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What is the scientific method? What are the steps of the scientific method?

A system of gathering data that reduces bias & error in measurement.
1. Perceive the question
2. Form Hypothesis
3. Test Hypothesis
4. Draw conclusions
5. Report Results


What is a hypothesis?

An educated guess about some phenomenon. Stated in precise, concrete language to rule out any confusion in meaning of terms. It enables us to test & reject or revise a theory.


What is replication?

Repeating the essence of a study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic findings of the first study extend to other participants & circumstances.


What is naturalistic observation? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

Observing & recording behavior in naturally occurring situations without trying to manipulate or control the situation.
-Gives a realistic view of the behavior being studied.
-Can pave the way for further studies.
-Describes behavior, but doesn't explain it.
-Each naturalistic setting is unique
-Observer Effect: Tendency of people/animals to behave differently when they know they are being observed.
-Observer bias: Tendency of observers to see what they expect to see.


What is laboratory observation? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Watching animals or humans behave in laboratory settings.
-Gives control over the environment
-Allows use of specialized equipment
-Artificial situation may result in artificial behavior.


What is a case study? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

A case study is when one person is studied in depth.
-Can reveal underlying universal principles
-Get a large amount of detailed information
-Can suggest hypotheses for further studies
-Detailed information about one person may not apply to others
-Anecdotal cases/dramatic stories can overwhelm general truths.


What are surveys? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Surveys are a technique for determining self-reported attitudes, opinions or behaviors using a representative, random sample of people.
-Efficient way to obtain info from large number of people.
-Answers depend on wording, choice of respondents & who is asking
-Answers may not be truthful
-Giving socially acceptable answers (courtesy bias)
-Feeling pressured to answer in certain ways


What is the wording effect?

Subtle changes in order/wording of questions can have major effects on results.

For example:
27% approved of government censorship of media sex & violence.
66% approved of more restrictions on what is shown on television.


What is correlation? What does correlation allow you to do?

Correlation is a numerical measure of the strength of the relationship between two variables. If you know the correlation and one variable, you can predict the value of the other variable.


How do you measure correlation?

Correlation can only measure things that vary in quantifiable ways. The strength of a correlation is measured on a scale of 0.00 to 1.00.


What are the types of correlation?

Positive Correlation - Both sets of scores rise and fall together, for example scores on an IQ test, and scores on your SAT.
Negative Correlation - One set of scores go up as the other goes down. For example the better a child's behavior the less likely they are to be spanked.
Zero Correlation - No relationship exists between variables. For example wearing a hat all the time and being an excessively fast driver.


What do you have to look out for in terms of correlation?

Correlation does not prove causation!
For example if you found a correlation between low self-esteem and depression, how do you know which of these is true?:
-Low self-esteem could cause depression
-Depression could cause low self-esteem
-Depressing events or biological predisposition could cause low self-esteem and/or depression.


What is experimentation?

A research method for identifying cause & effect relationships. In experimentation, the investigator manipulates variable(s) thought to cause some behavior while holding all other variables constant.


What is an independent variable?

The factor being manipulated by experimenter whose effect is the focus of the study


What is a dependent variable?

The factor that may change in response to manipulations of independent variable. This is what gets measured in the study.


What is the experimental group?

The group that receives the treatment (Independent variable) in an experiment.


What is the control group?

This group undergoes the same procedures as the experimental group, except they do not receive treatment (Independent variable). The control group is a comparison group for evaluating the effects of treatment.


What is the population?

All cases in a group from which samples may be drawn for a study. For example all college students, or all adults of voting age.


T/F: A random sample taken from a population is unreliable.

False. A random sample fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion. However, the larger the representative sample, the better the reliability.


What is a placebo? What is the placebo effect?

A placebo is an inactive substance or fake treatment used as a control in an experiment. The placebo effect is when a change in behavior/health occurs which is attributable to expectations rather than to actual treatment.


What are experimenter effects?

Unintended changes in subject's behavior due to cues inadvertently given by research staff.


What is a double-blind procedure?

When both participants & research staff are ignorant (blind) about which group participants are in.


What are the common ethical guidelines for research?

-Do no harm
-Secure informed consent
-Justify any deception
-Participants must be allowed to withdraw at any time
-Protect participants from/explain any risks.
-Keep personal data confidential
-Researchers are responsible for undesirable consequences.