1. What are the five steps of the scientific method?
2. Describe the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning, and give an example of each.
3. State a hypothesis that identifies a specific variable that causes some people to choose red as their favorite color. Create a prediction from your hypothesis.
4. Search in a current newspaper or on a news website and find one news story that is based on the results of a recent research study. Summarize the research result according to the story. Do you have any reason to doubt that this information is accurate?
5. List the five sections typically found in a research article and describe briefly what each should contain.
6. Determine whether each of the following hypotheses is testable and refutable. If not, explain why.
(a) Young children can see good or evil auras surrounding the people they meet.
(b) A list of three-syllable words is more difficult to memorize than a list of one-syllable words.
(c) The incidence of paranoia is higher among people who claim to be abducted by aliens than in the general population.
(d) If atomic weapons were never invented, then there would be less anxiety in the world.
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7. For each of the following operational definitions, decide whether you consider it to be a valid measure. Explain why or why not. Decide whether you consider it to be a reliable measure. Explain why or why not.
(a) A researcher defines social anxiety in terms of the number of minutes before a child begins to interact with adults other than his or her parents.
(b) A professor classifies students as either introverted or extroverted based on the number of questions each individual asks during one week of class.
(c) A sports psychologist measures physical fitness by measuring how high each person can jump.
(d) Reasoning that bigger brains require bigger heads, a researcher measures intelligence by measuring the circumference of each person’s head (just above the ears).
8. In this chapter, we identified four scales of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio.
(a) What additional information is obtained from measurements on an ordinal scale compared to measurements from a nominal scale?
(b) What additional information is obtained from measurements on an interval scale compared to measurements from an ordinal scale?
(c) What additional information is obtained from measurements on a ratio scale compared to measurements from an interval scale?
9. Select one construct from the following list:
happiness hunger exhaustion motivation creativity fear
Briefly describe how it might be measured using:
(a) an operational definition based on self-report (e.g., a questionnaire)
(b) an operational definition based on behavior (e.g., what kinds of behavior would you expect to see from an exhausted individual?)
10. Explain the difference between passive and active deception.
11. A researcher studying cyberbullying among middle-school students interviews a group of students from a local middle school about their cyberbullying experiences. For this study, identify the target population, the accessible population, and the sample.
12. For each of the following scenarios, identify which research strategy is used: descriptive, correlational, experimental, or nonexperimental.
a. Dr. Jones conducts a study examining the relationship between sugar consumption and activity level for 5-year-old children. Sugar consumption scores are obtained by interviewing each child’s parents and activity level is measured by observing the children during an outdoor play period.
b. Dr. Jones conducts a study examining the relationship between sugar consumption and activity level for 5-year-old children. Sugar consumption scores are obtained by interviewing each child’s parents. Based on the interview results, the boys are divided into two groups: those who consume large amounts of sugar and those who eat relatively small amounts. Then activity level is measured by observing the children during an outdoor play period to determine if there is any difference between the two groups.
c. Dr. Jones conducts a study examining the relationship between sugar consumption and activity level for 5-year-old children. A group of children is randomly separated into two groups. One group is given a sugary cereal for breakfast and the other is given oatmeal. Activity level is then measured by observing the children during an outdoor play period to determine if there is any difference between the two groups.
d. Dr. Jones conducts a study examining activity level of 5-year-old children. Each afternoon for 1 week, a group of boys in a child-care center is observed during a 30-minute period while they play outdoors. Activity level is recorded during the 30-minute period.
13. Explain how using college students as participants in a study may limit the external validity of a study’s research findings.
14. Selection bias and individual differences are both potential problems dealing with the participants in a study.
a. Identify which of these is a threat to internal validity and which is a threat to external validity, and describe how each one is a threat.
b. Suppose that you were planning a research study in which the individuals who participate will be put into separate groups and each group will participate in one of the treatment conditions that are being compared. Explain how you could minimize the risk of selection bias and how you could minimize the risk that individual differences become a confounding variable.
15. A researcher would like to compare two methods for teaching math to third-grade students. Two third-grade classes are obtained for the study. Mr. Jones teaches one class using method A, and Mrs. Smith teaches the other class using method B. At the end of the year, the students from the method-B class have significantly higher scores on a mathematics achievement test. Does this result indicate that method B causes higher scores than method A? Explain your answer, and identify the general problem that precludes a cause-and-effect explanation.
16. Explain why plagiarism is unethical.