Assignment: Psychology – Lab Assignment

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Assignment: Psychology – Lab Assignment

Assignment: Psychology – Lab Assignment

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Lab Activity 2 PART A: Identifying experimental variables

Identify the independent and dependent variables in the following descriptions of experiments:

1. Students watched a cartoon either alone or with others and then rated how funny they found the cartoon to be.

2. A comprehension test was given to students after they had studied textbook material either in silence or with the television turned on.

3. Some elementary school teachers were told that a child’s parents were college graduates, and other teachers were told that the child’s parents had not finished high school; they then rated the child’s academic potential.

4. Workers at a company were assigned to one of two conditions: one group completed a stress management­training program; another group of workers did not participate in the training. The number of sick days taken by these workers was examined for the two subsequent months

PART B: Nonexperimental observations

Respond to the following questions:

1. You observe that classmates who get good grades tend to sit toward the front of the classroom, while those who receive poor grades tend to sit toward the back. What are three possible cause­ and­effect relationships for this nonexperimental observation?

2. A few years ago, newspapers reported a finding that Americans who have a glass of wine a day are healthier than those who have no wine (or who have a lot of wine or other alcohol). What are some plausible alternative explanations for this finding; that is, what variables other than wine could explain the finding?

3. The limitations of nonexperimental research were dramatically brought to the attention of the public by the results of an experiment on the effects of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (part of a larger study known as the Women’s Health Initiative). An experiment is called a clinical trial in medical research. In the clinical trial, participants were randomly assigned to receive either the hormone replacement therapy or a placebo (no hormones). The hormone replacement therapy consisted of estrogen plus progestin. In 2002, the investigators concluded that women taking the hormone replacement therapy had a higher incidence of heart disease than did women in the placebo (no hormone) condition. At that point, they stopped the experiment and informed both the participants and the public that they should talk with their physicians about the advisability of this therapy. The finding dramatically contrasted with the results of nonexperimental research in which women taking hormones had a lower incidence of heart disease; in these studies, researchers compared women who were already taking the hormones with women not taking hormones. Why do you think the results were different with the experimental research and the nonexperimental research? Explain.

PART C: Is it a correlation or is it an experiment?

For the following questions, first answer whether the study described is a correlation or is it in experiment. If it is a correlation, is it positive or negative? If it is an experiment, what are the independent and dependent variables?

1. Dr. Snoop and Dr. Dre are interested in the effects of smoking marijuana on learning, so they place several ferrets in a box where if they press a lever they will get a food pellet. Some ferrets are exposed to pot smoke 3 times a day; some for 1 time a day, and some not at all.  After two weeks of exposure they measure which groups of ferrets learn to push the lever faster.  They find that less pot smoke is associated with faster learning.

2. Researchers are interested in the effects of bystanders on altruistic (helping) behaviors, they have someone pretend to have a seizure when either several people are present or only one person and then see if helping behaviors are affected.  They find that people are more likely to help with fewer bystanders.

3. Researchers are interested in the effects of patterns of TV watching on children’s aggressive behavior.  They have kids keep a diary of what they are watching and for how long and then

10/27/2016 Week 2 (Oct 24 ­ Oct 30) – PSYC­330­OL50­16FA1… 2/2

compare it to school reports of aggressive actions.  They find that the more aggressive TV a child watches the more aggressive schools report they are.

4. Dr. Mnemonic is interested in the effect of type of questioning on memory. She has several subjects watch a video of car accidents and then asks some of the subjects leading questions like, “was the car red?”. Othersare asked open­ended questions like “what color was the car?”. She then looks at how people remember events based on question type.

PART D: Studying behavior

In a study published by Golub, Gilbert, and Wilson (2009), two experiments and a field study were conducted in an effort to determine whether this negative expectation is a good thing or a bad thing. In the two laboratory studies, participants were asked to complete a personality assessment and were then led to have either positive, negative, or no expectations about the results. Participants’ affective (emotional) state was assessed prior to—and directly after— hearing a negative (in the case of study 1a) or positive (in the case of study 1b) outcome. In the field study, participants were undergraduate introductory psychology students who were asked about their expectations of their performance in an upcoming exam. Then, a day after the exam, positive and negative emotion was assessed. Taken together, the results of these three studies suggest that anticipating bad outcomes may be an ineffective path to positive emotion.

First, acquire and read the following article (note: you will need to obtain the full­text article via a Wiggins Memorial Library database search): Golub, S. A., Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2009). Anticipating one’s troubles: The costs and benefits of negative expectations. Emotion, 9, 227– 281. doi:10.1037/a0014716 ­ Then, after reading the article, respond to the following: ­ 1. For each of the studies, how did Golub, Gilbert, and Wilson (2009) operationally define the positive expectations? How did they operationally define affect? 2. In experiments 1a and 1b, what were the independent variable(s)? What where the dependent variable(s)? 3. This article includes three different studies. In this case, what are the advantages to answering the research question using multiple methods? 4. On what basis did the authors conclude, “our studies suggest that the affective benefits of negative expectations may be more elusive than their costs” (p. 280)? 5. Evaluate the external validity of the two experiments and one field study that Golub, Gilbert, and Wilson (2009) conducted. 6. How good was the internal validity? Discuss and explain your reasoning.

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