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Techniques, Tools, and Tactics
After reading and studying Chapter 2, students should be able to:
1. Understand the requirements, limitations, and methods of psychological research.
2. Explain the experimental method, how to design an experiment, and how to select participants in research.
3. Explain the use of naturalistic observation, polls, and surveys to collect data.
4. Describe how to construct a representative sample.
5. Understand the basic concepts in descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and meta-analysis.
1. Control group – in an experiment, this is the group of research participants that is not exposed to the
2. Correlation – the relationship between two variables. The strength and direction of the relationship is
expressed by the correlation coefficient.
3. Dependent variable – in an experiment, this is the resulting behavior of the subjects, which depends on the
manipulation of the independent variable.
4. Descriptive statistics – ways of describing or representing research data in a concise, meaningful manner.
5. Experimental group – in an experiment, this is the group of research participants that is exposed to the
6. Experimental method – the scientific way to determine the effect or influence of a variable on the
subjects’ performance or behavior.
7. Fixed-alternative survey questions – survey questions to which respondents limit their answers to the
choices or alternatives presented. They are similar to multiple-choice questions on college exams.
8. Independent variable – in an experiment, this is the stimulus variable that is manipulated to determine its
effect on the subjects’ behavior.
9. Inferential statistics – methods for analyzing research data that express relationships in terms of
10. Mean – the arithmetic average; a way of describing the cen