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hypothesis
a prediction regarding the outcome of a study involving the potential relationship between at least two variables

variable
an event or behavior that has at least two values

theory
an organized system of assumptions and principles that attempts to explain certain phenomena and how they are related

systematic empiricism
making observations in a systematic manner to test hypotheses and refute or develop a theory

publicly verifiable knowledge
presenting research to the public so that it can be observed, replicated, criticized, and tested

empirically solvable problems
questions that are potentially answerable by means of currently available research techniques

principle of falsifiability
the idea that a scientific theory must be stated in such a way that it is possible to refute or disconfirm it

pseudoscience
claims that appear to be scientific but that actually violate the criteria of science

basic research
the study of psychological issues to seek knowledge for its own sake

applied research
the study of psychological issues that have practical significance and potential solutions

description
carefully observing behavior in order to describe it

prediction
identifying the factors that indicate when an event or events will occur

explanation
identifying the causes that determine when and why a behavior occurs

Goal of science
(1) to describe behavior (2) to predict behavior (3) to explain behavior

observational method
making observations of human or animal behavior

naturalistic observation
observing the behavior of humans or animals in their natural their natural habitat

laboratory observation
observing the behavior of humans or animals in a more contrived and controlled situation, usually the laboratory

case study method
an in-depth study of one or more individuals

survey method
questioning individuals on a topic or topics and then describing their responses

sample
the group of people who participate in a study

population
all of the people about whom a study is mean to generalize

random sample
a sample achieved through random selection in which each member of the population is equally likely to be chosen

correlational method
a method that assesses the degree of relationship between two variables (DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSATION)

positive relationship
a relationship between two variables in which an increase in one variable is accompanied by an increase in the other

negative relationship
a relationship in which an increase in one variable is accompanied by a decrease in the other variable

quasi-experimental method
Research that compares naturally occurring groups of individuals; the variables of interest cannot be manipulated

participant (subject) variable
A characteristic inherent in the participants that cannot be changed

alternative explanation
the idea that it is possible that some other, uncontrolled, extraneous variables may be responsible for the observed relationship

experimental method
a research method that allows a researcher to establish a cause-and-effect relationship through manipulation of a variable and control of the situation

independent variable
the variable in a study that is manipulated by the researchers

dependent variable
the variable in a study that is measured by the researchers

control group
the group of participants that does not receive any level of the dependent variable and serves as the baseline in the study

experimental group
the group of participants that receives some level of the independent variable

random assignment
assigning participants to conditions in such a way that every participant has an equal probability of being placed in any condition

control
Manipulating the independent variable in an experimental or any other extraneous variables that could affect the results of the study

Institution Review Board
A committee charged with evaluating research projects in which human participants are used

Informed Consent Form
A form given to individuals before they participate in a study to inform them of the general nature of the study and to obtain their consent to participate

Deception
Lying to the participants concerning the true nature of the study because knowing the true nature of the study might affect their performance

Debriefing
Providing information about the true purpose of a study as soon after the completion of data collection as possible

Operational Definition
A definition of a variable in terms of the operations (activities) a researcher uses to measure or manipulate it

Identity
A property of measurement in which objects that are different receive different scores

Magnitude (ordinality)
A property of measurement in which the ordering of numbers reelects the ordering of the variables

Equal Unit Size
A property of measurement in which a difference of 1 is the same amount throughout the entire scale

Absolute Zero
A property of measurement in which assigning a score of zero indicates an absence of the variable being measured

Nominal Scale
A scale in which objects or individuals are assigned to categories that have no numerical properties

Ordinal Scale
A Scale in which objects or individuals are categorized, and the categories form a rank order along a continuum

Interval Scale
A scale in which the units of measurement (intervals) between the numbers on the scale are all equal in size

Ratio Scale
A scale in which, in addition to order and equal units of measurement, an absolute zero indicates an absence of the variable being measured;

Discrete variables
variables that usually consist of whole number units or categories and are made up of chunks or units that are detached and distinct from one another

Continuous Variables
Variables that usually fall along a continuum and allow for fractional amounts

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