Glossary
Chapter 1
Archival research Research that involves the use of previously collected data.
Army Alpha An intelligence test developed during World War I and used by the army for soldiers who can read.
Army Beta An intelligence test developed during World War I and used by the army for soldiers who cannot read.
Cause-and-effect relationships The result of a well-controlled experiment about which the researcher can confidently state that the independent variable caused the change in the dependent variable.
Control group A group of employees who do not receive a particular type of training so that their performance can be compared with that of employees who do receive training.
Convenience sample A nonrandom research sample that is used because it is easily available.
Correlation A statistical procedure used to measure the relationship between two variables.
Correlation coefficients A statistic, resulting from performing a correlation, that indicates the magnitude and direction of a relationship.
Debriefed Informing the subject in an experiment about the purpose of the study in which he or she was a participant and providing any other relevant information.
Dependent variable The measure of behavior that is expected to change as a result of changes in the independent variable.
Difference score A type of effect size used in meta-analysis that is signified by the letter d and indicates how many standard deviations separate the mean score for the experimental group from the control group.
Dissertation A formal research paper required of most doctoral students in order to graduate.
Effect size Used in meta-analysis, a statistic that indicates the amount of change caused by an experimental manipulation.
Experiment A type of research study in which the independent variable is manipulated by the experimenter.
Experimental group In an experiment, the group of subjects that receives the experimental treatment of interest to the experimenter.
External validity The extent to which research results can be expected to hold true outside the specific setting in which they were obtained.
Field research Research conducted in a natural setting as opposed to a laboratory.
Generalizability Like external validity, the extent to which research results hold true outside the specific setting in which they were obtained.
Graduate Record Exam (GRE) A standardized admission test required by most psychology graduate schools.
Hawthorne effect When employees change their behavior due solely to the fact that they are receiving attention or are being observed.
Hawthorne studies A series of studies, conducted at the Western Electric plant in Hawthorne, Illinois, that have come to represent any change in behavior when people react to a change in the environment.
Human factors A field of study concentrating on the interaction between humans and machines.
Hypothesis An educated prediction about the answer to a research question.
Independent variable The manipulated variable in an experiment.
Industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology A branch of psychology that applies the principles of psychology to the workplace.
Informed consent The formal process by which subjects give permission to be included in a study.
Institutional review boards A committee designated to ensure the ethical treatment of research subjects.
Internship A situation in which a student works for an organization, either for pay or as a volunteer, to receive practical work experience.
Intervening variable A third variable that can often explain the relationship between two other variables.
Journals A written collection of articles describing the methods and results of new research.
Magazines An unscientific collection of articles about a wide range of topics.
Manipulation The alteration of a variable by an experimenter in expectation that the alteration will result in a change in the dependent variable.
Mean effect size Used in meta-analysis, a statistic that is the average of the effect sizes for all studies included in the analysis.
Organizational psychology The field of study that investigates the behavior of employees within the context of an organization.
Personnel psychology The field of study that concentrates on the selection and evaluation of employees.
Practical significance The extent to which the results of a study have actual impact on human behavior.
Practicum A paid or unpaid position with an organization that gives a student practical work experience.
Quasi-experiments Research method in which the experimenter either does not manipulate the independent variable or in which subjects are not randomly assigned to conditions.
Random assignment The random, unbiased assignment of subjects in a research sample to the various experimental and control conditions.
Random sample A sample in which every member of the relevant population had an equal chance of being chosen to participate in the study.
Terminal master’s degree programs Graduate programs that offer a master’s degree but not a Ph.D.
Theory A systematic set of assumptions regarding the cause and nature of behavior.
Trade magazines A collection of articles for those “in the biz,” about related professional topics, seldom directly reporting the methods and results of new research.