Researchers use the terms variable, subject, sample, and population when describing their
Psychologists do research to measure and describe behavior; to understand
when, why, and how events occur; and to apply knowledge to real-world
The Scientific Method
Psychologists use the scientific method, which is a
standardized way of making observations, gathering data, forming theories,
testing predictions, and interpreting results.
Research must be replicable, falsifiable, precise, and parsimonious.
Psychologists use descriptive or correlational methods such
as case studies, surveys, naturalistic
observation, and laboratory observation to describe
events, experiences, or behaviors and to look for links between them.
Researchers use tests to collect information about
personality traits, emotional states, aptitudes, interests, abilities, values,
Tests must be reliable and valid.
Researchers use experiments to collect information about
causal relationships between variables.
In experiments, researchers include experimental and control groups.
Bias is the distortion of results by a variable.
Types of bias include sampling bias, subject bias, and experimenter bias.
Psychologists must consider ethical norms when doing research
involving humans or animals.
Researchers analyze and interpret the data they’ve collected by using descriptive statistics and organizing their information in histograms or bar graphs.
Researchers use inferential statistics to determine the
likelihood that a result is due simply to chance.
Statistical significance means that a result is probably not
due to chance.