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2.E: Psychological Research (Exercises)


2.1: Why Is Research Important?

Review Questions

Q1

Scientific hypotheses are ________ and falsifiable.

1. observable
2. original
3. provable
4. testable

Q2

________ are defined as observable realities.

1. behaviors
2. facts
3. opinions
4. theories

Q3

Scientific knowledge is ________.

1. intuitive
2. empirical
3. permanent
4. subjective

Q4

A major criticism of Freud’s early theories involves the fact that his theories ________.

1. were too limited in scope
2. were too outrageous
3. were too broad
4. were not testable

Critical Thinking Questions

Q5

In this section, the D.A.R.E. program was described as an incredibly popular program in schools across the United States despite the fact that research consistently suggests that this program is largely ineffective. How might one explain this discrepancy?

Q6

The scientific method is often described as self-correcting and cyclical. Briefly describe your understanding of the scientific method with regard to these concepts.

Personal Application Questions

Q7

Healthcare professionals cite an enormous number of health problems related to obesity, and many people have an understandable desire to attain a healthy weight. There are many diet programs, services, and products on the market to aid those who wish to lose weight. If a close friend was considering purchasing or participating in one of these products, programs, or services, how would you make sure your friend was fully aware of the potential consequences of this decision? What sort of information would you want to review before making such an investment or lifestyle change yourself?

Solution

D

B

B

D

S5

There is probably tremendous political pressure to appear to be hard on drugs. Therefore, even though D.A.R.E. might be ineffective, it is a well-known program with which voters are familiar.

S6

This cyclical, self-correcting process is primarily a function of the empirical nature of science. Theories are generated as explanations of real-world phenomena. From theories, specific hypotheses are developed and tested. As a function of this testing, theories will be revisited and modified or refined to generate new hypotheses that are again tested. This cyclical process ultimately allows for more and more precise (and presumably accurate) information to be collected.

2.2: Approaches to Research

Review Questions

Q1

Sigmund Freud developed his theory of human personality by conducting in-depth interviews over an extended period of time with a few clients. This type of research approach is known as a(n): ________.

1. archival research
2. case study
3. naturalistic observation
4. survey

Q2

________ involves observing behavior in individuals in their natural environments.

1. archival research
2. case study
3. naturalistic observation
4. survey

Q3

The major limitation of case studies is ________.

1. the superficial nature of the information collected in this approach
2. the lack of control that the researcher has in this approach
3. the inability to generalize the findings from this approach to the larger population
4. the absence of inter-rater reliability

Q4

The benefit of naturalistic observation studies is ________.

1. the honesty of the data that is collected in a realistic setting
2. how quick and easy these studies are to perform
3. the researcher’s capacity to make sure that data is collected as efficiently as possible
4. the ability to determine cause and effect in this particular approach

Q5

Using existing records to try to answer a research question is known as ________.

1. naturalistic observation
2. survey research
3. longitudinal research
4. archival research

Q6

________ involves following a group of research participants for an extended period of time.

1. archival research
2. longitudinal research
3. naturalistic observation
4. cross-sectional research

Q7

A(n) ________ is a list of questions developed by a researcher that can be administered in paper form.

1. archive
2. case Study
3. naturalistic observation
4. survey

Q8

Longitudinal research is complicated by high rates of ________.

1. deception
2. observation
3. attrition
4. generalization

Critical Thinking Questions

Q9

In this section, conjoined twins, Krista and Tatiana, were described as being potential participants in a case study. In what other circumstances would you think that this particular research approach would be especially helpful and why?

Q10

Presumably, reality television programs aim to provide a realistic portrayal of the behavior displayed by the characters featured in such programs. This section pointed out why this is not really the case. What changes could be made in the way that these programs are produced that would result in more honest portrayals of realistic behavior?

Q11

Which of the research methods discussed in this section would be best suited to research the effectiveness of the D.A.R.E. program in preventing the use of alcohol and other drugs? Why?

Q12

Aside from biomedical research, what other areas of research could greatly benefit by both longitudinal and archival research?

Personal Application Questions

Q13

A friend of yours is working part-time in a local pet store. Your friend has become increasingly interested in how dogs normally communicate and interact with each other, and is thinking of visiting a local veterinary clinic to see how dogs interact in the waiting room. After reading this section, do you think this is the best way to better understand such interactions? Do you have any suggestions that might result in more valid data?

Q14

As a college student, you are no doubt concerned about the grades that you earn while completing your coursework. If you wanted to know how overall GPA is related to success in life after college, how would you choose to approach this question and what kind of resources would you need to conduct this research?

Solution

B

C

C

A

D

B

D

C

S9

Case studies might prove especially helpful using individuals who have rare conditions. For instance, if one wanted to study multiple personality disorder then the case study approach with individuals diagnosed with multiple personality disorder would be helpful.

S10

The behavior displayed on these programs would be more realistic if the cameras were mounted in hidden locations, or if the people who appear on these programs did not know when they were being recorded.

S11

Longitudinal research would be an excellent approach in studying the effectiveness of this program because it would follow students as they aged to determine if their choices regarding alcohol and drugs were affected by their participation in the program.

S12

Answers will vary. Possibilities include research on hiring practices based on human resource records, and research that follows former prisoners to determine if the time that they were incarcerated provided any sort of positive influence on their likelihood of engaging in criminal behavior in the future.

2.3: Analyzing Findings

Review Questions

Q1

Height and weight are positively correlated. This means that as height ________ weight ________.

1. There is no relationship between height and weight.
2. Usually, the taller someone is, the thinner they are.
3. Usually, the shorter someone is, the heavier they are.
4. As height increases, typically weight increases.

Q2

Which of the following correlation coefficients indicates the strongest relationship between two variables?

1. $$-0.90$$
2. $$-0.50$$
3. $$+0.80$$
4. $$+0.25$$

Q3

Which statement best illustrates a negative correlation between the number of hours spent watching TV the week before an exam and the grade on that exam?

1. Watching too much television leads to poor exam performance.
2. Smart students watch less television.
3. Viewing television interferes with a student’s ability to prepare for the upcoming exam.
4. Students who watch more television perform more poorly on their exams.

Q4

The correlation coefficient indicates the weakest relationship when ________.

1. it is closest to $$0$$
2. it is closest to $$-1$$
3. it is positive
4. it is negative

Q5

________ means that everyone in the population has the same likelihood of being asked to participate in the study.

1. operationalizing
2. placebo effect
3. random assignment
4. random sampling

Q6

The ________ is controlled by the experimenter, while the ________ represents the information collected and statistically analyzed by the experimenter.

1. dependent variable; independent variable
2. independent variable; dependent variable
3. placebo effect; experimenter bias
4. experiment bias; placebo effect

Q7

Researchers must ________ important concepts in their studies so others would have a clear understanding of exactly how those concepts were defined.

1. randomly assign
2. randomly select
3. operationalize
4. generalize

Q8

Sometimes, researchers will administer a(n) ________ to participants in the control group to control for the effects that participant expectation might have on the experiment.

1. dependent variable
2. independent variable
3. statistical analysis
4. placebo

Critical Thinking Questions

Q9

Earlier in this section, we read about research suggesting that there is a correlation between eating cereal and weight. Cereal companies that present this information in their advertisements could lead someone to believe that eating more cereal causes healthy weight. Why would they make such a claim and what arguments could you make to counter this cause-and-effect claim?

Q10

Recently a study was published in the journal, Nutrition and Cancer, which established a negative correlation between coffee consumption and breast cancer. Specifically, it was found that women consuming more than $$5$$ cups of coffee a day were less likely to develop breast cancer than women who never consumed coffee (Lowcock, Cotterchio, Anderson, Boucher, & El-Sohemy, 2013). Imagine you see a newspaper story about this research that says, “Coffee Protects Against Cancer.” Why is this headline misleading and why would a more accurate headline draw less interest?

Q11

Sometimes, true random sampling can be very difficult to obtain. Many researchers make use of convenience samples as an alternative. For example, one popular convenience sample would involve students enrolled in Introduction to Psychology courses. What are the implications of using this sampling technique?

Q12

Peer review is an important part of publishing research findings in many scientific disciplines. This process is normally conducted anonymously; in other words, the author of the article being reviewed does not know who is reviewing the article, and the reviewers are unaware of the author’s identity. Why would this be an important part of this process?

Personal Application Questions

Q13

We all have a tendency to make illusory correlations from time to time. Try to think of an illusory correlation that is held by you, a family member, or a close friend. How do you think this illusory correlation came about and what can be done in the future to combat them?

Q14

Are there any questions about human or animal behavior that you would really like to answer? Generate a hypothesis and briefly describe how you would conduct an experiment to answer your question.

Solution

D

A

D

A

D

B

C

D

S9

The cereal companies are trying to make a profit, so framing the research findings in this way would improve their bottom line. However, it could be that people who forgo more fatty options for breakfast are health conscious and engage in a variety of other behaviors that help them maintain a healthy weight.

S10

Using the word protects seems to suggest causation as a function of correlation. If the headline were more accurate, it would be less interesting because indicating that two things are associated is less powerful than indicating that doing one thing causes a change in the other.

S11

If research is limited to students enrolled in Introduction to Psychology courses, then our ability to generalize to the larger population would be dramatically reduced. One could also argue that students enrolled in Introduction to Psychology courses may not be representative of the larger population of college students at their school, much less the larger general population.

S12

Anonymity protects against personal biases interfering with the reviewer’s opinion of the research. Allowing the reviewer to remain anonymous would mean that they can be honest in their appraisal of the manuscript without fear of reprisal.

2.4: Ethics

Review Questions

Q1

________ is to animal research as ________ is to human research.

1. informed consent; deception
2. IACUC; IRB
3. IRB; IACUC
4. deception; debriefing

Q2

Researchers might use ________ when providing participants with the full details of the experiment could skew their responses.

1. informed consent
2. deception
3. ethics
4. debriefing

Q3

A person’s participation in a research project must be ________.

1. confidential
2. rewarded
3. voluntary
4. public

Q4

Before participating in an experiment, individuals should read and sign the ________ form.

1. informed consent
2. debriefing
3. IRB
4. ethics

Critical Thinking Questions

Q5

Some argue that animal research is inherently flawed in terms of being ethical because unlike human participants, animals do not consent to be involved in research. Do you agree with this perspective? Given that animals do not consent to be involved in research projects, what sorts of extra precautions should be taken to ensure that they receive the most humane treatment possible?

Q6

At the end of the last section, you were asked to design a basic experiment to answer some question of interest. What ethical considerations should be made with the study you proposed to ensure that your experiment would conform to the scientific community’s expectations of ethical research?

Personal Application Questions

Q7

Take a few minutes to think about all of the advancements that our society has achieved as a function of research involving animal subjects. How have you, a friend, or a family member benefited directly from this kind of research?

Solution

B

B

C

A

S5

In general, the fact that consent cannot be obtained from animal research subjects places extra responsibility on the researcher to ensure that the animal is treated as humanely as possible and to respect the sacrifice that the animal is making for the advancement of science. Like human research, the animals themselves should also receive some of the benefits of the research, and they do in the form of advanced veterinary medicine, and so on.

S6

The research should be designed in such a way to adhere to the principles described in this section depending on the type of study that was proposed.

Contributors and Attributions

2.E: Psychological Research (Exercises) is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by OpenStax via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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