Key Terms and Issues


Ex post facto research

Archival data

Instrumentation bias

Content analysis


Participant observation

Naturalistic observation


Correlation coefficient

Positive correlation

Zero correlation

Negative correlation

Coefficient of determination

Restriction of range


Median split

Key Issues

In this chapter, we address the following questions:

1. Why is description a valuable goal in its own right?

2. Why is it difficult to infer causality from correlational designs?

3. Why must we use scientific methods (rather than informal observation) to accurately describe behavior?

4. What are the primary problems with archival research? ex-post facto research? observational research? research involving psychological tests?

5. How can the data from a correlational design be summarized?

6. What do positive and negative correlation coefficients mean?

7. What common statistical tests can be used on correlational data?

8. When referring to the results of a correlational study, what does statistical significance mean?

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