Glossary of Psychology 120 Research Methods

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Define basic research.
Research conducted to advance scientific knowledge
Define applied research.
Research designed to solve practical problems
What are the six steps to the scientific method?
1) Identify questions of interest and review literature
2) Develop a testable hypothesis
3) Select a research method and collect the data
4) Analyze the data and accept or reject the hypothesis
5) Publish, replicate, and seek scientific review
6) Build a theory
What is a specific prediction about how one variable relates to another?
Hypothesis (must be falsifiable)
What is an interrelated set of concepts that explain a body of data?
Define informed consent.
A participant’s agreement to take part in a study after being told what to expect
Define debriefing.
Informing participants after the research about the purpose of the study, the nature of the anticipated results, and any deceptions used
What guidelines has the APA developed to regulate research with human participants?
Informed consent
Voluntary participation
Restricted use of deception
Alternate activities
What are the four key research methods?
What is a carefully controlled scientific procedure that involves manipulation of variables to determine cause and effect?
Define independent variable.
An experimental factor that is manipulated to determine its causal effect on the dependent variable
Define dependent variable.
An experimental factor that is measured; it is affected by (or dependent on) the independent variable
Define experimental group.
A group receiving treatment in an experiment.
Define control group.
A group receiving no treatment in an experiment
What are some potential problems with the researcher in an experiment?
Experimental bias – researcher influences results in expected direction
Ethnocentrism – believing one’s culture is typical of all cultures or correct
What are some potential problems with the participant in an experiment?
Sample bias – the participants are not representative of the larger population
Participant bias – experimental conditions influence the participant’s behavior or metal processes
What is a research method that observes and records behavior without producing casual explanations?
Descriptive research
What are the three types of descriptive research?
Naturalistic observation
Case studies
What is the observation and recording of behavior in the participant’s natural site or habitat?
Naturalistic observation
What is a research technique that questions a large sample of people to assess their behaviors and attitudes?
What is an in-depth study using a single research participant?
Case study
What is a scientific study in which the researcher observes or measures (without directly manipulating) two or more variables to find the relationships between them?
Correlational research
What are the three types of correlation?
Positive – two variables move (or vary) in the same direction
Negative – the two factors vary in opposite directions
Zero – no relationship
What is a scientific study of the brain and other parts of the nervous system?
Biological research

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