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PSYC 100 - Chapter 2


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What is a scientific theory?
Interconnected ideas or concepts used to explain prior observations and to make predictions.
What is a hypothesis?
A testable prediction about the outcome that would support the theory.
Provide an example of when unexpected results can be beneficial.
In the late 1950\'s, scientists thought that the brain cells of cats would respond to dots. However, when a slide froze midway they realized that the cats actually responded to lines and edges.
What is the difference between qualitative and quantitative?
Quantitative deals with numbers and you must be able to measure this type of variable. Qualitative refers to description using subjective adjectives such as colours.
What is a descriptive study?
Involve observing and noting the behavior of people or other animals to provide a systematic and objective analysis of behavior.
What are the 2 subsets of descriptive studies?
There are naturalistic studies which involves passive observation and there\'s participant observation where there is active involvement.
What is a developmental study?
They are longitudinal meaning they repeatedly take measurements over time and cross sectional where their observations are made a only one point in time.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of descriptive studies?
Advantage: useful in early stages of research where you are trying to see if a phenomenon exists.

Disadvantage: Observer bias can play a role and the presence of the observer can influence the reaction of the test subjects (reactivity).

What is a longitudinal study? and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
Observing and classifying developmental changes that occur in the same people over time. Advantages: you can see the effect of age allowing you to see developmental changes. Disadvantages: expensive, takes a long time and you may lose patients over time.
What is a cross sectional study?
Looking at different groups of people in the same time. Advantages: faster and less expensive than longitudinal studies. Disadvantages: Unidentified variables may be involved (cohort effect).
What is the cohort effect?
An unidentified variable may be present which can sway the results.
What is observer bias?
They are systematic errors in observation that occur because of an observer\'s expectations.
What is the experimenter expectancy effect?
When you treat subject groups differently based on the info you were given. For example, students trained the \"smart\" rats much more effectively than the \"dumb\" rats, even though the rats were the same.
What are correlational studies?
They examine how variables are naturally related in the real world. Researchers do not attempt to alter the variables and they cannot draw causal conclusions from correlational studies.
What is the directionality problem?
Researchers find a relationship between two variables can cannot determine which one caused which.
What is the third variable problem?
Researchers cannot be confident that an unmeasured variable is not the actual cause of difference in the variables of interest.
What is a confound?
Anything other than the independent variable that affects in dependent variable.
What is an experiment in it\'s simplest form?
When researchers manipulates the independent variable to see it\'s effects on the dependent variable.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of experiments?
Advantage: You can demonstrate causality because you eliminate the directionality problem.

Disadvantage: Usually take place in an artificial setting such as a lab.

What is external validity?
The degree to which the findings can be generalized outside the lab.
What is selection bias?
Groups that are not equivalent because participants in different groups differ in unexpected ways that affect the dependent variable.
What is random assignment and why is it important?
Each research participant has an equal chance of being assigned to any level of the independent variable. RA allows you to balance out the unknown factors within each individual increasing the likelihood that the groups are equivalent.
What is the Hawthorne effect?
When the presence of the observers causes different results in subjects regardless of if the independent variable was changed or not.
What is a case study and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
Case studies are intensive examinations of unusual people or organizations. They are subjective and have a small sample size. Also, typically you can\'t generalize a person to a population.
What are the problems with self reporting data?
It\'s tough to discern whether or not people are telling the truth. You must be aware of faking good and the better than average affect whereby people tend to describe themselves in positive way that may not be true.
What is psychophysiological assessment and give an example.
PA refers to looking at how bodily funcions change in association with behaviors or mental states. An example would be a polygraph test.
What are some ways of measuring brain activity?
Polygraph, EEG, PET, MRI, fMRI and TMS
What is an EEG and what are it\'s limitations?
EEG is an electroencephlograph and it\'s measures brain activity, however it\'s it too noisy to isolate specific responses to particular stimuli.
What is PET?
Positron emission tomography. Computers reconstruct the brain\'s metabolic activity by tracking a radio active substance.
What is an MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging. A scanner produces a powerful magnetic field that the tissues in the brain respond to.
What is fMRI?
it is functional magnetic resonance imaging which measures blood flow in the brain by assessing changes in the bloods\'s oxygen level.
What is TMS?
Transcranial magnetic stimulation. A very fast and powerful magnetic field disrupts the activity in a small region in the brain momentarily. Very crucial in seeing with regions of the brain are responsible for which psychological functions.
What are IRB\'s?
They are international review boards that review all proposed research to ensure that it meets scientific and ethical standards.
What\'s the difference between random error and systematic error.
Random: Amount of error introduced into each measurement differs each time.

Systematic: The amount of error is the same in each measurement.

What\'s the first step in looking at the relationship between 2 variables?
Make a scatterplot.
What is a meta analysis?
A type of study that involves the analysis of multiple analyses. A study of studies if you will. Because results are combined, many believe that meta analysis provides stronger evidence than the results of any single study on its own.

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