Dr. David Schroeder's General Psyc 2013 - Psychology: Schacter, Gibert, Wegner

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empiricism | Originally a Greek school of medicine that stressed the importance of observation, and now generally used to describe any attempt to acquire knowledge by observing objects or events. | |

method | A set of rules and techniques for observation that allow researchers to avoid the illusions, mistakes, and erroneous conclusions that simple observation can produce. | |

operational definition | A description of an abstract property in terms of a concrete condition that can be measured. | |

measure | A device that can detect the measurable events to which an operational definition refers. | |

electromyograph (EMG) | A device that measures muscle contractions under the surface of a person’s skin. | |

validity | The characteristic of an observation that allows one to draw accurate inferences from it | |

construct validity | The tendency for an operational definition and a property to have a clear conceptual relation. | |

predictive validity | The tendency for an operational definition to be related to other operational definitions. | |

reliability | The tendency for a measure to produce the same result whenever it is used to measure the same thing. | |

power | The tendency for a measure to produce different results when it is used to measure different things. | |

case method | A method of gathering scientific knowledge by studying a single individual. | |

population | The complete collection of participants who might possibly be measured. | |

sample | The partial collection of people who actually were measured in a study. | |

law of large numbers | A statistical law stating that as sample size increases, the attributes of a sample will more closely reflect the attributes of the population from which it was drawn. | |

frequency distribution | A graphical representation of the measurements of a sample that are arranged by the number of times each measurement was observed. | |

normal distribution | A frequency distribution in which most measurements are concentrated around the mean and fall off toward the tails, and the two sides of the distribution are symmetrical. | |

mode | The most frequent measurement in a frequency distribution. | |

mean | The average of the measurements in a frequency distribution. | |

median | The middle measurement in a frequency distribution. Half the measurements in a frequency distribution are greater than or equal to the median and half are less than or equal to the median. | |

range | The numerical difference between the smallest and largest measurements in a frequency distribution. | |

demand characteristics | Those aspects of an observational setting that cause people to behave as they think an observer wants or expects them to behave. | |

naturalistic observation | A method of gathering scientific knowledge by unobtrusively observing people in their natural environments. | |

variable | A property whose value can vary or change. | |

correlation | The 'co-relationship' or pattern of covariation between two variables, each of which has been measured several times. | |

correlation coefficient | A statistical measure of the direction and strength of a correlation, which is signified by the letter r. | |

natural correlation | A correlation observed between naturally occurring variables. | |

third-variable correlation | The fact that two variables may be correlated only because they are both caused by a third variable. | |

matched samples | An observational technique that involves matching the average of the participants in the experimental and control groups in order to eliminate the possibility that a third variable (and not the independent variable) caused changes in the dependent variable. | |

matched pairs | An observational technique that involves matching each participant in the experimental group with a specific participant in the control group in order to eliminate the possibility that a third variable (and not the independent variable) caused changes in the dependent variable. | |

third-variable problem | The fact that the causal relationship between two variables cannot be inferred from the correlation between them because of the ever-present possibility of third-variable correlation. | |

experiment | A technique for establishing the causal relationship between variables. | |

manipulation | A characteristic of experimentation in which the researcher artificially creates a pattern of variation in an independent variable in order to determine its causal powers. Manipulation usually results in the creation of an experimental group and a control group. | |

independent variable | The variable that is manipulated in an experiment. | |

experimental group | One of the two groups of participants created by the manipulation of an independent variable in an experiment; the experimental group is exposed to the stimulus being studied and the control group is not. | |

control group | One of the two groups of participants created by the manipulation of an independent variable in an experiment that is not exposed to the stimulus being studied. | |

dependent variable | The variable that is measured in a study. | |

self-selection | The case in which a participant’s inclusion in the experimental or control group is determined by the participant. | |

randomization | A procedure to ensure that a participant’s inclusion in the experimental or control group is not determined by a third variable. | |

internal validity | The characteristic of an experiment that allows one to draw accurate inferences about the causal relationship between an independent and dependent variable. | |

external validity | A characteristic of an experiment in which the independent and dependent variables are operationally defined in a normal, typical, or realistic way. | |

theory | A hypothetical account of how and why a phenomenon occurs, usually in the form of a statement about the causal relationship between two or more properties. Theories lead to hypotheses. | |

hypothesis | A specific and testable prediction that is usually derived from a theory. | |

random sampling | A technique for choosing participants that ensures that every member of a population has an equal chance of being included in the sample. | |

informed consent | A written agreement to participate in a study made by a person who has been informed of all the risks that participation may entail. | |

debriefing | A verbal description of the true nature and purpose of a study that psychologists provide to people after they have participated in the study. |

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