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Homework - Research Design

DIRECTIONS: This assignment can either be typed or handwritten, but must be neat and easy to follow in order to receive full credit. These questions may require some use of your imagination. If you have a hard time, try to get some ideas from an introductory (or any other) psychology text.

Essays

  1. Drawing on your knowledge from previous psychology courses and your imagination, design a simple experiment with two groups (as we did in class with the marijuana-memory example). Use an outline format and include the following (42 points total):
    1. The research question in one sentence (6 pts). Ex. What is the effect of marijuana on memory?
    2. Operational definitions of key terms (12 pts). Ex.
      Marijuana was defined as smoking .5 grams in 15 mins.
      Memory was defined as number of words remembered from a list of 20 presented 2 sec apart.
    3. Descriptions of the independent variable and its levels (12 pts).
      Ex. The IV was marijuana; its levels were present or absent.
    4. Description of the dependent variable (6 pts).
      Ex The DV was short term memory performance.
    5. Two possible extraneous variables (6 pts).
      Exs. prior experience with the drug and use of other drugs such as caffeine.

  2. Drawing on your knowledge from previous psychology courses and your imagination, design an experiment with two independent variables. Use an outline format and include the following (38 points total):
    1. The three research questions involved (6 pts). One for each IV and one for the interaction.
    2. Operational definitions of key terms in each question (12 pts).
    3. Descriptions of each independent variable, including their levels and whether the variable is between groups or within (12 pts).
    4. Description of the dependent variable (2 pts).
    5. The number of groups in the design and describe each group clearly (2 pts).
    6. Two possible extraneous variables (4 pts).

  3. Give an example (other than that used in class) of a Naturalistic Observation (5 points). Emphasize the systematic approach; for example, include operational definitions for two behaviors that you will observe.

  4. Give an example (other than that used in class) of a Case Study (5 points). Use either the retrospective or the longitudinal approach and explain why your example fits that approach.

Multiple Choice (10 points)

  1. A researcher investigated the relationship between test length and grades in a Western Civilization course. She conducted an experiment and found that students who taking long exams received better grades than students who took short exams. The independent variable was
    a. test grades
    c. class size
    b. gender of the students
    d. length of test

  2. A factorial design involves
    a) manipulating two or more independent variables.
    b) an inability to specify the overall effect of an independent variable.
    c) having multiple dependent measures.
    d) a limit on the amount of causation that can be inferred.

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