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March 15, 2012

What Did You Just Say?


by Trish Knowles

Imagine that you pick up a psychology journal and read “hypothesis testing often has a role to play even in meta-analysis and Bayesian analysis, but the hypotheses to be tested are different because they continue to pertain to the parameters of original interest.”

Are you thinking what I am? Ummm, what?!

Okay, there’s no need to panic. Close your eyes for a moment, breathe deeply a few times, maybe stretch a bit…. Better?

Now that your initial alarm at encountering jargon has subsided, let me introduce you to a great new tool from that can help: the APA Concise Dictionary of Psychology app for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

With more than 10,000 entries covering concepts, processes, and therapies across 90 subareas of psychology, the app gives you the power to unlock the mysteries of the field’s vocabulary—anytime and anywhere—with a mere tap of a finger. You can search terms, browse an alphabetical list, add notes about definitions, mark terms as favorites, and link directly between cross-references. The app also includes “Word of the Day” and “Historical Figures in Psychology” pop-ups, abbreviations and alternative spellings, search term suggestions, and several other useful features.

Test drive the free trial version with limited functionality (from iTunes or the Android Market) or jump right in and grab the full paid version instead (from iTunes or the Android Market).
If you’re more of a gotta-hold-it book-on-the-shelf kind of person, check out the print edition of this and other APA dictionaries and reference books here.

Now, where were we? Ah, yes:

Thus, in our view, the advantage of meta-analysis and Bayesian analysis is not so much that they avoid significance testing, but instead that they provide methods for accumulating information over multiple studies  in a manner that still focuses on the parameters of scientific interest, such as the magnitude of a treatment  effect.

Here's how to cite the app in APA Style:

American Psychological Association. (2012). APA concise dictionary of psychology 
(Version 1.0) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com

Quotes are from Howard, G. S., Maxwell, S. E., & Fleming, K. J. (2000). The proof of the pudding: An illustration of the relative strengths of null hypothesis, meta-analysis, and Bayesian analysis. Psychological Methods, 5, 315-332. doi:10.1037/1082-989X.5.3.315


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