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Week 4 Lab Activity PART A: Participating in online experiments

Organizations such as the Social Psychology Network andthe American Psychological Society have links to various experiments online. Some websites with lists of online experiments include: and

Go to one or both of these websites, and participate in at least 1 online study. Then, answer the following questions:

1) Identify which study you participated in and on which website you found the link to that study.

2) Identify at least 4 relevant concepts from our textbook that you experienced with regard to the study (e.g. informed consent, independent variable, dependent variable, etc.). Be sure to explain clearly how each concept was incorporated into the study. Also, note any flaws/issues/concerns you encountered as well.

PART B: APA Style—figures and tables

Go to the following link:­centre/citing­resources/apa­ style/apa­style­practice­exercises

Complete the following exercises: a) General formatting exercise, b) Formatting figures, and c) Formatting tables.

1) Save your report for each exercise and attach your results (for all 3 exercises) to this assignment.

PART C: Designing research studies

Reflect on and respond to the following prompts:

1) Design an experiment to test the hypothesis that single­gender math classes are beneficial to adolescent females. Operationally define both the independent and dependent variables. Your experiment should have two groups and use the matched pairs procedure. Make a good case for your selection of the matching variable. In addition, defend your choice of either a posttest­only design or a pretest­posttest design.

2) Design a repeated measures experiment that investigates the effect of report presentation style on the grade received for the report. Use two levels of the independent variable: a “professional style” presentation (high­quality paper, consistent use of margins and fonts, carefully constructed tables and charts) and a “nonprofessional style” (average­quality paper, frequent changes in the margins and fonts, tables and charts lacking proper labels). Discuss the necessity for using counterbalancing. Create an APA­ formatted table illustrating the experimental design.

3) Professor Foley conducted a cola taste test. Each participant in the experiment first tasted 2 ounces of Coca­Cola, then 2 ounces of Pepsi, and finally 2 ounces of RC Cola. A rating of the cola’s favor was made after each taste. What are the potential problems with this experimental design and the procedures used? Revise the design and procedures to address these problems. You may wish to consider several alternatives and think about the advantages and disadvantages of each

PART D: Thinking critically about research

Reflect on and respond to the following prompts:

1) Dr. Turk studied the relationship between age and reading comprehension, specifically predicting that older people will show lower comprehension than younger ones. Turk was particularly interested in comprehension of material that is available in the general press. Groups of participants who were 20, 30, 40, or 50 years of age read a
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chapter from a book by physicist Stephen W. Hawking (1988) entitled A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes (the book was on the best­seller list at the time). After reading the chapter, participants were given a comprehension measure. The results showed that there was no relationship between age and comprehension scores; all age groups had equally low comprehension scores. Why do you think no relationship was found? Identify at least two possible reasons.

2) Recall the experiment on facilitated communication by children with autism that was described in Chapter 2 (by Montee, Miltenberger, & Wittrock, 1995). Interpret the findings of that study in terms of experimenter expectancy effects.

3) If you were investigating variables that affect helping behavior, would you be more likely to use a straightforward or staged manipulation? Why? Explain.

4) In a pilot study, Dr. Mori conducted a manipulation check and found no significant difference between the experimental conditions. Should she continue with the experiment? What should she do next? Explain your recommendations for Dr. Mori.

5) Write a debriefing statement that you would read to participants in the Asch study.

Part E: Confounding Variables

Answer the same four questions for each of the 5 experiments described below. Hint: One of the selections contain no confounds.

1) Identify the independent variable(s).

2) Identify the dependent variable(s).

3) Identify any confounding variable(s)

4) Propose a method to “unconfound” the experiment.

Experiment #1:

Tom Rogers wanted to test a new “singalong” method to teach math to fourth graders (e.g., “I love to multiply” to the tune of “God Bless America”). He used the singalong method in his first period class. His sixth period students continued solving math problems with the old method. At the end of the term, Mr. Rogers found that the first period class scored significantly lower than the sixth period class on a mathematics achievement test. He concluded that the singalong method was a total failure.

Experiment # 2:

An airport administrator investigated the attention spans of air traffic controllers to determine how many incoming flights the average controller can coordinate at the same time. Each randomly selected controller was tested, without his or her knowledge, by a computer program that fed false flight information to a computer terminal. The controller first “received” information from one plane, and by the end of an hour the controller was coordinating 10 planes simultaneously. The administrator analyzed the errors collected by the computer program. The analysis revealed that the maximum number of planes a controller could handle without making potentially fatal errors was six planes. Also, no errors occurred when only one to three planes were incoming. He concluded that a controller should never coordinate more than six incoming flights.

Experiment # 3:

A drug company developed a new medication to control the manic phase of bipolar manic­depression. The firm hired a hospital psychiatrist to test the effectiveness of the drug. He identified a group of manic­depressive patients and randomly assigned them to a drug or placebo group. Nurse Ratched was told to administer the drug and Nurse Johnson was told to administer the placebo. Each nurse made daily observations of her patients during treatment. A month later the observations were compared. In general, patients in the drug group had behaved more “normally” than patients in the placebo group. The drug company publicized its product’s effectiveness.

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Experiment # 4:

Dr. Goodrich wanted to demonstrate that his tires were better than those of his competitor, Dr. Goodyear. From car registration and leasing records, he found 40 salespeople who drove the same model of automobile approximately the same number of miles per week. Anonymously, Dr. Goodrich hired an independent research assistant, who was unaware of the purpose of the study, to randomly assign to 20 of the salespeople a new set of unmarked Goodrich tires, and to the other 20 a new set of unmarked Goodyear tires of the same price and quality. After six months and an average of 15,000 miles traveled by both groups, the assistant arranged for the salespeople to exchange tires. After another six months, and similar mileage, the assistant measured the amount of tread wear and reported that the Goodrich tires had actually worn more than the Goodyear tires.

Experiment # 5:

An investigator was interested in studying the effect of taking a course in child development upon attitudes toward childrearing. At the end of the semester, the researcher distributed a questionnaire to students who had taken the child development course. Questionnaires were also given to an equal number of students who had not taken the course. The students who had taken the child development course had different attitudes from the students who had not taken the course (e.g., they had more positive attitudes about having large families).

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