Research Methods in Psychology

Part A: Research Scenario (22 points)
In the research scenario presented below, you are required to provide answers to various
questions that ask about the Null and Alternative hypotheses, and independent and dependent
variables (if any).comment on what might be wrong with the
experimental design employed in the study and how the study design can be improved.
Part A, Section 1: Background
Karsh (1983) designed an experiment on the relationship between early handling and
friendliness in cats. She randomly assigned kittens to one of three groups which differed
according to the age of first handling. The first group was handled daily from 3 to 14 weeks
of age, the second from 7 to 14 weeks of age and the third received no handling from birth to
14 weeks. Different experimenters handled each kitten on different days. “Handling” was
defined as an experimenter holding a kitten on his/her lap while petting it for 15 minutes.
Friendliness was measured by how long each kitten stayed with the experimenter when not
restrained, and by how long it took each kitten to reach the experimenter. Karsh found that
the kittens handled from 3 to 14 weeks stayed longer with the experimenter and ran more
quickly to the experimenter than kittens handled from 7 to 14 weeks. Also, kittens handled
from 7 to 14 weeks were more “friendly” than kittens who received no handling at all. Karsh
concluded that kittens should be handled as early as possible to ensure life-long friendliness
towards humans.
Part A, Section 2: Assignment Task
Answer the following questions.
1. Briefly state the Null Hypothesis (Ho). (2 points)
2. Briefly state the Alternative Hypothesis (Ha). (2 points)
3. What is (are) the Independent Variable(s) and the levels of the IV? (2 points)
4. What is (are) the Dependent Variable(s)? (2 points)
5. Describe the possible confound(s) in this experimental design. (10 points)
6. Describe some suggestions for improving the study’s design. (4 points)
In answering the questions,
• it is in your best interests to be as precise and succinct as possible;
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2017 Assignment Version I p. 2
• type and format your answers using the questions as your headings.
There is a one (1) page limit for answers to Part A. Use Times or Times New Roman 12-
point font (Times is the font used in this assignment). Block justify your text (just like the
text in this document); do not use left- or right-justification. You may use single or double
line spacing.
End of Part A
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2017 Assignment Version I p. 3
Part B: Research Analyses – t-test (55 points)
Part B, Section 1: Background
There is an old adage: ‘Absence leads the heart to wander’. In psychological terms, this adage
is represented as the physical reinforcement theory. Briefly, the theory proposes that
attraction to another person depends on physical reinforcement achieved through interaction
with them. A researcher has conducted an experiment to test this theory. In her experiment,
participants are asked to make attractiveness ratings of two different people – one with whom
they have interacted (Person I, for Interaction) and one with whom they have not (Person N,
for No interaction). The physical reinforcement theory predicts that attraction ratings will be
greater for Person I than for Person N. The dependent variable is the rating of the
attractiveness of these two people on a nine-point scale from 1 to 9 (where 1 = ‘do not like at
all’ and 9 = ‘like a great deal’). The attractiveness ratings data for the study are provided
below.
Table 1
Rating of Attractiveness for Person I or Person N
Subject Person I Person N
1 7 5
2 6 6
3 5 2
4 6 3
5 5 4
6 7 5
7 3 6
Part B, Section 2: Assignment Task
Write up the analyses as you would in the Results and Discussion section of a journal article,
including the report of a central tendency measure, a variability measure, and the outcome of
the t-test (20 points). The centred heading you should use at the top of the page is Results
and Discussion. You should also create and embed a graph of the data (15 points). Follow
this up with discussion (20 points) in which you:
(a) present some conclusions about whether or not the attractiveness ratings vary for
Person I versus Person N and whether or not the physical reinforcement theory is
supported by the data;
(b) discuss the shortcomings of the study’s design and the possible confounds;
(c) provide some suggestions for improvement of the study’s design.
NOTE: You do not have to find or include additional references on attractiveness research or
the physical reinforcement theory to write the Results and Discussion section.
Please read the following formatting instructions. The Results and Discussion section of this
question has a ONE (1) page limit. Failure to read, understand, and follow these instructions
will lead to lost marks!
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2017 Assignment Version I p. 4
• The Results and Discussion section must be formatted according to current APA style
(6th Edition of the APA Publication Manual) and typed on A4 paper. No handwritten
assignments will be accepted. Use Times or Times New Roman 12-point font (Times
is the font used in this assignment), double-spaced, with 2.54-cm margins left and
right, top and bottom. Block justify your text (just like the text in this document); do
not use left- or right-justification. If you follow these instructions, you should have a
maximum of 25 lines per A4 page. In other words, do not include more than 25 lines
per A4 page.
• Your Results and Discussion section should be no more than ONE (1) page long. If
you go over the 1-page limit or format your Results and Discussion section in a way
that looks like it goes over the 1-page limit, then the lines you write in excess of the 1-
page limit will not be read or considered. In addition, you will be automatically
penalised a minimum of 7 points. No appeals – none whatsoever, for any possible
reason – to this automatic 7-point penalty will be accepted.
• The graph must be formatted in APA style, with an appropriate APA-formatted
caption. The graph may be either hand-drawn or computer-drawn. For example, it is
perfectly acceptable to hand-draw the graph, scan and insert the hand-drawn graph
into your document as a picture file, and then format the caption for the graph in APA
style. The graph and caption must be formatted within the 1-page Results and
Discussion section, just like it would appear in a journal article.
To be clear and unambiguous: Everything you write in your Results and Discussion section
for this question – headings, graph, words, anything – must be within the 1-page limit.
Do not include an Appendix.
End of Part B
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2017 Assignment Version I p. 5
Part C: Research Analyses – Between-groups ANOVA (105 points)
Part C, Section 1: Background
In 1945, Jonathon Taylor wanted to address the question “What are the effects of
environmental stress, such as time pressure, on workers’ productivity?” The relationship
between environmental stress and productivity in organisations had generated much debate in
the early 40’s. Some researchers suggested that increased time pressure actually motivated
workers to work more quickly and exert more effort, thus improving their productivity.
However, other researchers were of the opinion that it reduced productivity by inhibiting
concentration and increasing error rates. Proponents of both viewpoints proposed that their
opinions were only “common sense”, but thanks to Mr. Taylor, we may be able to shed some
light on the issue. The question of “environmental stress” and “time pressure” may be
expressed in the following way: Does time pressure (a type of environmental stress) produce
a greater degree of workers’ productivity than does little or no time constraints (in other
words, what are the effects of time pressure on productivity).
Before stringent ethical guidelines directed psychological research, Taylor conducted the
following study in a car manufacturing firm. He divided 80 production line workers in the car
manufacturing company into four groups: E1, E2, E3, and Control4. On average, it was already
known that workers in this manufacturing firm assembled around 80-90 pieces of machinery
per hour. In Taylor’s study, Group 1 (n = 20) were given a 50 minute time limit (low time
pressure), Group 2 (n = 20) were given a 40 minute time limit (medium time pressure) and
Group 3 (n = 20) were given a 30 minute time limit (high time pressure) to complete the
correct assembly of as many pieces as possible. Group C (the control group) were told to
work as per usual with no time constraints given. All the pieces to be assembled were
identical and data collection took place in the first hour (commencing 9:00 a.m.) of four
consecutive days. The total number of pieces correctly produced was calculated as correct
pieces/hr and was averaged across the 4 days for each group. Data from the Taylor’s (1945)
study are given below.
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2017 Assignment Version I p. 6
Table 2
Number of Pieces of Machinery Correctly Assembled Per Hour
Type of Incentive
Experimental:
Low pressure
50 minutes
Experimental:
Medium pressure
40 minutes
Experimental:
High pressure
30 minutes
Control
(No time pressure)
113 100 92 125
122 85 83 123
95 95 85 95
91 92 82 92
108 70 50 110
122 96 87 127
105 63 48 108
107 71 64 134
100 98 95 101
89 55 53 93
125 106 96 136
123 119 115 125
124 117 106 126
103 96 93 103
85 80 79 89
108 95 90 110
105 101 97 106
122 100 82 122
133 95 85 135
125 123 109 129
Part C, Section 2: Assignment Task
Perform the appropriate analyses to determine whether or not the data supports the claim that
time pressure enhances productivity. As part of your analyses, perform and report on two
planned comparisons. In your Results and Discussion section (see below), report on the sets
of weights (coefficients) that you used for the planned comparisons in your write up:
1) One that compares all of the experimental groups with the control group.
2) One that compares only the 50 minute group with the 40 minute group.
You should also choose, perform, and report the post hoc comparisons you deem relevant to
check whether or not particular pairs of groups are significantly different. As with the
planned comparisons, report the results of the post hoc tests in your Results and Discussion
section write up.
Write up the analyses as you would in the Results and Discussion section of a journal article,
including the report of a central tendency measure, a variability measure, the outcome of the
statistical analyses you choose to perform (50 points), along with the results of the planned
comparisons (10 points). The centred heading you should use at the top of the page is Results
and Discussion. You should also create and embed a graph of the data (15 points). Follow
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2017 Assignment Version I p. 7
this up with a discussion in which you present some conclusions about the relationship
between time pressure and productivity (30 points).
NOTE: You do not have to find additional references on the effects of pressure on workers’
productivity to write the Results and Discussion section.
Please read the following formatting instructions. The Results and Discussion section of this
question has a TWO (2) page limit. Failure to read, understand, and follow these instructions
will lead to lost marks!
• The Results and Discussion section must be formatted according to current APA style
(6th Edition of the APA Publication Manual) and typed on A4 paper. No handwritten
assignments will be accepted. Use Times or Times New Roman 12-point font (Times
is the font used in this assignment), double-spaced, with 2.54-cm margins left and
right, top and bottom. Block justify your text (just like the text in this document); do
not use left- or right-justification. If you follow these instructions, you should have a
maximum of 25 lines per A4 page. In other words, do not include more than 25 lines
per A4 page.
• Your Results and Discussion section should be no more than TWO (2) pages long. If
you go over the 2-page limit or format your Results and Discussion section in a way
that looks like it goes over the 2-page limit, then the lines you write in excess of the 2-
page limit will not be read or considered. In addition, you will be automatically
penalised a minimum of 7 points. No appeals – none whatsoever, for any possible
reason – to this automatic 7-point penalty will be accepted.
• The graph must be formatted in APA style, with an appropriate APA-formatted
caption. The graph may be either hand-drawn or computer-drawn. For example, it is
perfectly acceptable to hand-draw the graph, scan and insert the hand-drawn graph
into your document as a picture file, and then format the caption for the graph in APA
style. The graph and caption must be formatted within the 2-page Results and
Discussion section, just like it would appear in a journal article.
To be clear and unambiguous: Everything you write in your Results and Discussion section
for this question – headings, graph, words, anything – must be within the 2-page limit.
Do not include an Appendix.
End of Part C
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2017 Assignment Version I p. 8
Part D: Research Analyses – Repeated Measures ANOVA (100 points)
Part D, Section 1: Background
A clinical psychologist was part of a hospital team investigating a new experimental drug
aimed at helping children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
This new drug was supposed to be an improvement over previously available ADHD drugs
because it was claimed to be ‘faster acting.’ In other words, the drug company claimed that
the new ADHD drug had ‘immediate effects’ in reducing ADHD symptomatology. The
clinical psychologist suggested a design in which three dosages – a low, a moderate, and a
high dose – of the drug were tested in the same subjects, primarily as a way to control for
individual differences in the severity of different ADHD symptomatology amongst the
subjects. The drug dosages were tested in a fixed order (low first, followed by moderate,
followed by a high dose) over three separate days. (Unfortunately, the drug company did not
provide any information about the half-life of the drug, an indication of how long the drug
remains in the body.).
The research team recruited 12 subjects, randomly selected from three high schools in Perth.
In their procedure, subjects were measured on a standardised test of reading comprehension,
two hours after taking a dose of the drug. It is assumed that the higher the reading
comprehension score, the better the effectiveness of the drug, since it is claimed that the drug
calms the student long enough so that they can sit still long enough to read during the test.
The results of the study are tabled below. The clinical psychologist conducted the data
analysis and wrote up a report strongly suggesting that the ADHD drug, as predicted, had
‘immediate’ effects. Moreover, the team concluded in the paper that even a low dose of the
drug was bound to be effective in ‘calming’ students with ADHD symptomatology. After
submitting their manuscript for peer-review, the research team was dismayed that their
research was not recommended for publication.
Table 4
Data from the ADHD Drug Study
Reading Comprehension Score
Subject Low dose Moderate dose High dose
1 35 60 30
2 23 55 20
3 30 65 25
4 40 45 45
5 50 80 40
6 35 75 40
7 30 63 25
8 25 35 30
9 43 75 60
10 15 58 25
11 45 80 35
12 25 65 33
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2017 Assignment Version I p. 9
Part D, Section 2: Assignment Task
Write up the analyses as you would in the Results and Discussion section of a journal article,
including the report of a central tendency measure, a variability measure, and the outcome of the
analyses (50 points). The centred heading you should use at the top of the page is Results and
Discussion. You should also create and embed a graph of the data (15 points) and make sure you
report the percentage of variability in reading comprehension scores that is accounted for by the
dosage variable (5 points). Follow this up with a discussion (30 points) in which you:
(a) present some conclusions about the relationship between the different drug dosages on
reading comprehension;
(b) discuss the shortcomings of the study’s design and the possible confounds;
(c) discuss what additional data you would have liked to have collected to clarify the
meaning of the present results, especially in light of the clinical psychologist’s

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