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Key Terms

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    archival research
    method of research using past records or data sets to answer various research questions, or to search for interesting patterns or relationships
    reduction in number of research participants as some drop out of the study over time
    cause-and-effect relationship
    changes in one variable cause the changes in the other variable; can be determined only through an experimental research design
    clinical or case study
    observational research study focusing on one or a few people
    confirmation bias
    tendency to ignore evidence that disproves ideas or beliefs
    confounding variable
    unanticipated outside factor that affects both variables of interest, often giving the false impression that changes in one variable causes changes in the other variable, when, in actuality, the outside factor causes changes in both variables
    control group
    serves as a basis for comparison and controls for chance factors that might influence the results of the study—by holding such factors constant across groups so that the experimental manipulation is the only difference between groups
    relationship between two or more variables; when two variables are correlated, one variable changes as the other does
    correlation coefficient
    number from -1 to +1, indicating the strength and direction of the relationship between variables, and usually represented by r
    cross-sectional research
    compares multiple segments of a population at a single time
    when an experiment involved deception, participants are told complete and truthful information about the experiment at its conclusion
    purposely misleading experiment participants in order to maintain the integrity of the experiment
    deductive reasoning
    results are predicted based on a general premise
    dependent variable
    variable that the researcher measures to see how much effect the independent variable had
    double-blind study
    experiment in which both the researchers and the participants are blind to group assignments
    grounded in objective, tangible evidence that can be observed time and time again, regardless of who is observing
    experimental group
    group designed to answer the research question; experimental manipulation is the only difference between the experimental and control groups, so any differences between the two are due to experimental manipulation rather than chance
    experimenter bias
    researcher expectations skew the results of the study
    objective and verifiable observation, established using evidence collected through empirical research
    able to be disproven by experimental results
    inferring that the results for a sample apply to the larger population
    (plural: hypotheses) tentative and testable statement about the relationship between two or more variables
    illusory correlation
    seeing relationships between two things when in reality no such relationship exists
    independent variable
    variable that is influenced or controlled by the experimenter; in a sound experimental study, the independent variable is the only important difference between the experimental and control group
    inductive reasoning
    conclusions are drawn from observations
    informed consent
    process of informing a research participant about what to expect during an experiment, any risks involved, and the implications of the research, and then obtaining the person’s consent to participate
    Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
    committee of administrators, scientists, veterinarians, and community members that reviews proposals for research involving non-human animals
    Institutional Review Board (IRB)
    committee of administrators, scientists, and community members that reviews proposals for research involving human participants
    inter-rater reliability
    measure of agreement among observers on how they record and classify a particular event
    longitudinal research
    studies in which the same group of individuals is surveyed or measured repeatedly over an extended period of time
    naturalistic observation
    observation of behavior in its natural setting
    negative correlation
    two variables change in different directions, with one becoming larger as the other becomes smaller; a negative correlation is not the same thing as no correlation
    observer bias
    when observations may be skewed to align with observer expectations
    operational definition
    description of what actions and operations will be used to measure the dependent variables and manipulate the independent variables
    personal judgments, conclusions, or attitudes that may or may not be accurate
    subjects of psychological research
    peer-reviewed journal article
    article read by several other scientists (usually anonymously) with expertise in the subject matter, who provide feedback regarding the quality of the manuscript before it is accepted for publication
    placebo effect
    people's expectations or beliefs influencing or determining their experience in a given situation
    overall group of individuals that the researchers are interested in
    positive correlation
    two variables change in the same direction, both becoming either larger or smaller
    random assignment
    method of experimental group assignment in which all participants have an equal chance of being assigned to either group
    random sample
    subset of a larger population in which every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected
    consistency and reproducibility of a given result
    repeating an experiment using different samples to determine the research’s reliability
    subset of individuals selected from the larger population
    single-blind study
    experiment in which the researcher knows which participants are in the experimental group and which are in the control group
    statistical analysis
    determines how likely any difference between experimental groups is due to chance
    list of questions to be answered by research participants—given as paper-and-pencil questionnaires, administered electronically, or conducted verbally—allowing researchers to collect data from a large number of people
    well-developed set of ideas that propose an explanation for observed phenomena
    accuracy of a given result in measuring what it is designed to measure

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