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Thinking critically With Psychological Science



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basic research
pure science that aims to increase the scientific knowledge base
a branch of medicine dealing with psychological disorders; practiced by physicians who sometimes provide medical (for example, drug) treatments as well as psychological therapy
humanistic psychology
historically significant perspective that emphasized the growth potential of healthy people; used personalized methods to study personality in hopes of fostering personal growth
repeating the essence of a research study, usually with different participants in different situations, to see whether the basic finding extends to other participants and circumstances
case study
an observation thechnique in which one person is studied in depth in the hopes of revealing universal principles
critical thinking
thinking that does not blindly accept arguments and conclusions. Rather, it esxamines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions
biopsychosocial approach
an integrated approach that incorporates biological, psychological, and social-cultural levels of analysis
placebo effect
Latin "I shall please" experimental results caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by expectations alone; any effect on behavior caused by the administration of an inert substance or condition,which is assumed to be an active agent
control group
the group in an experiment that contrasts with the experimental condition and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment
the view that psychology should be an objective science that studies behavior without reference to mental processes Most research psychologists today agree with 1st but not 2nd
naturalistic observations
observing and recording behavior in naturally occuring situations without trying to manipulate and control the situation
a technique for ascertaining the self-reported attitudes or behaviors of people, usually by questioning a representative, random sample of them
the scientific study of behavior and mental processes
all the cases in a group, from which samples may be drawn for a study. (note: except for national studies, this does not refer to a country's whole population)
counseling psychology
a branch of psychology that assists people with problems in living (often related to school, work, or marriage) and in achieving greater well-being
random assignment
assigning participants to experimental and control conditions by chance, thus minimizing preesxisting differences between those assigned to the different groups
nature-nurture issue
the longstanding controversy over the relative contributions that genes and experience make to the development of psychological traits and behaviors. Today's science sees traits and behaviors arising from the interaction of nature and nurture
dependent variable
the outcome factor, the variable that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable
operational definition
a statement of the procedures (operations) used to define research variables. For example, human intelligence may be operationally defined as what an intelligence test measures
a testable prediction, often implied by a theory
levels of analysis
the differing complementary views, from biological to psychological to social-cultural, for analyzing any given phenomenon
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next
independent variable
the experimental factor that is manipulated; the variable whose effect is being studied
clinical psychology
a branch of psychology that studies, assesses, and treats people with psychological disorders
experimental group
the group in an experiment that is exposed to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable
a research method in which an investigator manipulates one or more factors (independent variables to observe the effect on some behavior or mental process (the dependent variable) By random assignment of participants, the experimenter aims to control other relevant factors
an explanation using an integrated set of principles that organizes observations and predicts behaviors or events
double-blind procedure
an experimental procedure in which both the research participants and the research staff are ignorant (blind) about whether the research participants have received the treatment or a placebo. Commonly used in drug-evaluation studies
applied research
scientific study that aims to solve practical problems
a study method incorporating five steps; survey, question, read, rehearse, review
random sample
a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion
hindsight bias
the tendency to believe, after learning an outcome, that one would have foreseen it. (Also known as the I-knew-it-all-along phenomenon)
a measure of the extent to which two factors vary together, and thus of how well either factor predicts the other. The correlation coefficient is the mathematical expression of the relationship, ranging from -1 to +1
illusory correlation
the perception of a relationship where none exists

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