Key Terms - Unit 1

  • Created by: katvaux
  • Created on: 29-03-15 13:59
influenced by personal views/opinions and assumptions, or referring to the internal world of the mind.
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unbiased, detached or impartial, based on facts, not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations or prejudice.
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the part of a cell that contains genetic information.
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selective breeding
the artificial selection of male and female animals for a particular trait. These animals are then put together to breed and produce offspring. They are observed to see whether it continues over generations. .
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law of effect
events in the environment produce rewards for some behaviours and not others. Behaviours that produce rewards are repeated whereas behaviours that are punished are not.
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operant conditioning
learning due to the consequences of voluntary behaviour, through positive and negative reinforcement and punishment.
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classical conditioning
learning due to the association of a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned reflex response.
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vicarious reinforcement
learning is not a result of direct reinforcement or experience, but rather an individual's observation of another person's experience.
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mediating cognitive factors
the mental processes that occur in between a stimulus and response that influence our behaviour.
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comes from the Latin cognoscere meaning to know.
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artificial intelligence
the development of computer systems, or programs, to mimic human cognitive functioning.
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free association
a method used whereby patients are encouraged to talk freely about their concerns and dreams so that a therapist can analyse any unconscious conflict.
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a state of agreement or consistency.
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conditions of worth
a child will only receive praise, love, etc. from its parents if it behaves in ways that are considered by them to be socially acceptable.
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the motive to realise one's full potential.
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the gap between the end of one neuron and the dendrites of the next neuron.
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a chemical substance released from the synaptic vesicle that affects the transfer of an impulse to another nerve or muscle.
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specific areas of the cerebral cortex are associated with particular physical and psychological functions.
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the dominance of one hemisphere of the brain for particular physical and psychological functions.
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means half; the brain has both left and right hemispheres.
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the process by which the body maintains a constant physiological state.
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optic chiasm
the point at which the nerve fibres from both eyes converge.
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a surgical procedure used to remove areas of the brain.
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a surgical procedure used to cut neural connections in the brain.
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reticular formation
a complex network of fibres, extending from the core of the brain-stem to the thalamus, involved in maintaining functions vital to life.
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the genetic make-up of an individual.
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the characteristics shown by an individual that are the result of both genes and the environment.
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the genotype consists of two different genes, for example Bb.
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the genotype consists of two genes that are the same, for example BB.
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one zygote. These twins are formed when a fertilised egg cell splits into two and forms two separate embryos.
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a fertilised cell (union of an egg cell and sperm cell).
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two zygotes. These twins are formed when two separate eggs both become fertilised by two different sperm cells.
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agreement between; the extent to which a pair of twins share similar traits or characteristics.
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displaying roughly equal levels of masculine and feminine traits/characteristics.
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a list of statements used to test for certain characteristics in people.
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a person who desires to be a member of the opposite sex.
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gender identity
an individual's perception of their own masculinity and/or femininity.
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from the past.
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in-born; present at birth.
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cross-cultural research
investigations carried out across more than one society.
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occurring around the world.
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gender role
the behaviours (masculine or feminine) that an individual displays.
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the scientific description of specific cultures.
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western society
mainly North America, European and Australasian countries.
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a process whereby individuals are taught and encouraged to adopt certain values and roles.
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standard or appropriate ways of behaving.
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agents of socialisation
individuals and groups in society involved in the socialising of others.
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sex-role stereotyping
treating females and males differently according to a set of expectations.
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sex-role stereotypes
culturally determined beliefs about what a particular sex's gender role should be; often an over-generalisation.
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interventionist approach
combines two or more perspectives to explain a behaviour or event.
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chemical substances produced by the body that control and regulate the activity of certain cells and organs.
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an organism in the early stages of development.
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sex organs
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the male sex organ (which produces sperm).
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the female sex organ (which produce eggs).
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the group of male sex hormones.
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the group of female sex hormones.
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before birth
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a developing embryo (after 8 weeks) until birth.
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a small structure at the base of the brain that regulates many body functions.
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cerebral hemisphere
the two halves of the brain which specialise in different functions, for example the left side for language and the right side for spatial ability.
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fine motor skills
practical skills requiring precise, small movements usually of the hands and fingers, for example using scissors, typing or threading a needle.
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adrenogenital syndrome
a set of symptoms associated with the excessive secretion of adrenal hormones.
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adrenal glands
a group of cells (in the body) that produce and release hormones.
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the main male sex hormone.
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a female hormone.
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synthetic, 'man-made' hormones.
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Turner's syndrome
a disorder where a person has the atypical chromosome pattern XO.
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Klinefelter's syndrome
a disorder where an individual has the atypical chromosome pattern XXY.
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the belief that complex systems can be explained in terms of their components.
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the belief that events are controlled by actions that come before them, therefore everything is predictable.
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construct validity
the degree to which a test measures the construct or concept that it is supposed to measure.
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temporal validity
the degree to which findings apply across time.
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observing someone else carrying out a behaviour.
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storing observed behaviours so that they can be retrieved at a later date.
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a person displaying an observable behaviour.
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demonstrating or displaying a behaviour.
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role model
a person who another associates with and wants to be like.
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the process whereby an individual associates with the qualities, characteristics and views of another person.
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when an individual is intellectually and physically capable of displaying a behaviour they have acquired.
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when an individual has a reason for displaying that behaviour.
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where and individual consciously copies or reproduces an action of behaviour.
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an individual's belief that they have the capacity to imitate a behaviour they have observed.
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positive consequences which strengthen a behaviour; making a behaviour more likely to happen again.
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a behaviour being followed with negative consequences (reducing the likelihood of that behaviour occurring again).
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a process whereby behaviours become an integrated part of an individuals identity.
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social construct
an abstract concept created by society.
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cognitive development
the idea the mind develops and changes over time.
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gender identity stage
when children are able to label themselves and others in terms of their sex (Kohlberg).
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gender stability stage
when children understand their own sex remains stable over time (Kohlberg).
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only understanding things through subjective experiences; the inability to view the world from another's perspective.
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gender constancy stage
when children understand that each person's sex is consistent across time and across situations.
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means developing the ability to view the world from another's perspective.
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to understand that the properties of an object are conserved (stay the same) even if appearance changes.
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an internal mental representation of the world which is used to make sense of experiences.
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an internal representation of a set of actions that make up a routine.
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taking in and making part of.
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to register information for later retrieval.
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unconscious forces
drives that motivate behaviour which individuals are not aware of.
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phallic stage
a stage of development where children begin to focus on their own and others genitals (Freud).
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Oedipus complex
an unconscious conflict that occurs in boys when they desire their mother yet fear their father.
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castration anxiety
the fear experienced by boys when they believe they will have their penis removed.
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Electra complex
an unconscious conflict that occurs in girls when they desire their father but worry about loosing their mothers love.
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penis envy
a feeling experienced by girls because they are jealous of the fact that men and boys possess a penis when they do not.
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to adopt the attitudes and values of another.
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a part of personality which monitors moral behaviour.
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defence mechanism
a process which protects an individual from unresolved conflicts.
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the part of the mind that individuals are not aware of.
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the consistency of the findings; how much findings can be trusted.
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accurate or true, measures what it claims.
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testable statements making predictions about what will happen in an investigation.
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to offer a clear set of criteria to describe how something will be set up or assessed or measured.
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factors that can change (or vary).
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research hypothesis
a hypothesis that predicts a difference in the measured variable (change in DV due to IV) or correlation between variables.
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null hypothesis
a hypothesis that predicts no difference in a variable or no correlation between variables.
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a relationship between two variables.
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experimental hypothesis
a hypothesis used only in experiments which predicts a difference and has a IV and DV.
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alternative hypothesis
a hypothesis which predicts a difference or correlation following a null hypothesis which predicts no difference/correlation.
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independent variable
something manipulated or set up in an experiment.
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dependent variable
something which is measured after the independent variable may have had an effect on it.
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a process of manipulating an IV and measuring a DV, while all other variables are controlled.
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confounding variables
a variable besides the IV which my have affected the DV.
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extraneous variable
a variable besides the IV which could affect the DV.
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the process of keeping variables the same.
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the process of ensuring variables occur in all possible combinations an equal number of times.
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the process of deciding the order or use of variables by chance.
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order effect
where behaviour is affected because participants take part in two or more conditions in a particular order.
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practice effect
where participants performance improves across conditions through familiarity with a task or environment.
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fatigue effect
where participants performance worsens across conditions because of tiredness/boredom.
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demand characteristics
features or cues in an experiment which help participants work out what is expected of them (the aim of the experiment). Helpful participants may respond according to what they think is being investigated.
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laboratory experiment
an experiment carried out in a controlled environment.
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field experiment
an experiment carried out in a natural environment.
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an experiment where the experimenter does not directly control the IV.
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random allocation
allocating participants by chance; each participant has an equal chance of ending up in each condition.
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ecological validity
the extent to which a situation reflects real life.
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experimental condition
the condition where a variable is actually tested.
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control condition
the condition that acts as a comparison; where nothing changes.
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experimental design
the way participants are used in conditions within an experiment.
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repeated measures design
an experimental design where the same participants are used in all conditions.
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independent groups design
an experimental design where different participants are randomly allocated to different conditions.
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matched pairs design
an experimental design where different participants are used in each condition, but where they are matched in terms of key characteristics.
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participant variables
the differences between the characteristics of participants.
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the group of people who are selected (from a population) to take part in an investigation.
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a list of pre-set questions often presented in written form.
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structured interview
participants are directly questioned using pre-set questions.
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unstructured interview
participants are directly questioned based on the answers they give.
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a person who answers a questionnaire.
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the extent to which finding are applicable to a wider population.
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response bias
where respondents represent certain types of people but not others.
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the person asking the questions.
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the person answering the questions.
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pilot study
a small scale, trial study.
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socially desirable responses
responses which are not necessarily true but are given because the respondent wants to 'look good' in front of others.
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undercover; people are not aware of being watched.
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open; people are aware of being watched.
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participant observation
when the researcher observes people whilst joining in their activities/situation.
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naturalistic observation
an observation taking place in a natural environment as opposed to a laboratory.
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ethical concerns
concerns about how participants are treated in a study in terms of their health and well-being.
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observer effect
where participants do not behave normally/naturally because they are aware of being observed.
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correlation analysis
the analysis of data to test for a relationship between two variables.
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quantitative data
data in numerical form.
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a graph for representing correlations.
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correlation co-efficient
a number measuring the strength and direction of a correlation.
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case study
an in depth investigation of one person or group or organisation.
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an out-dated term for a participant which is still sometimes used for case studies since the individuals under investigation are quite passive in the research rather than actively volunteering to take part.
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content analysis
the process of interpreting secondary material as a means to understanding people.
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operationalising variables for analysis.
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descriptive data.
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target population
the wider group of people that research findings should apply to.
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biased sample
a sample that is not representative of the target population.
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sampling frame
a section of the target population from which the sample is literally drawn.
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appropriate; morally correct.
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anonymous; private.
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informed consent
consent based on awareness of the aims of an investigation.
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misleading of participants through lies or withholding information.
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right to withdraw
ability to not continue with an investigation.
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protection of participants
avoiding causing participants unnecessary harm.
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to inform participants of the aim of research after the event.
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non-human animals
any animal species excluding human beings.
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word-for-word written account.
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pictorial representation of data.
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raw scores
the original scores collected for individual participants.
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discrete data
data in categories.
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continuous data
numerical data from a scale where, in theory, there are no intervals between scores.
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compound histogram
a histogram representing two or more sets of data.
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measure of central tendency
a measure of average.
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measure of dispersion
a measure of how spread out data is.
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a measure of dispersion that finds the difference between the highest and lowest score in a data set.
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standard deviation
a measure of dispersion that calculates how much each score (in a data set) deviates from the mean.
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Card 2


unbiased, detached or impartial, based on facts, not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations or prejudice.



Card 3


the part of a cell that contains genetic information.


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Card 4


the artificial selection of male and female animals for a particular trait. These animals are then put together to breed and produce offspring. They are observed to see whether it continues over generations. .


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


events in the environment produce rewards for some behaviours and not others. Behaviours that produce rewards are repeated whereas behaviours that are punished are not.


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