2 Individual Assignment
Answer the following questions covering material from Ch. 1–5 of Methods in Behavioral Research:
1. A researcher is interested in studying the effects of different levels of distraction—none, low, and high—on scores on a test of visual memory. Participants are randomly assigned to one of three conditions: no distraction, low distraction, or high distraction. All participants engage in a test of visual memory. What is the independent variable? What is the dependent variable? What is the purpose of random assignment to groups? What is the purpose of random assignment to groups?
2. Define theory and explain its function. How does theory relate to the practice of psychology?
3. Define hypothesis and provide an example.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.
4. Describe the content that should appear in a well-written informed consent form for a research study. Why is it important to obtain informed consent? What are the three principles outlined by the Belmont Report? What additional concerns do you have (if any) when obtaining consent from a minor?
5. What is the function of an institutional review board?
6. What is an operational definition of a variable? How might the variable sense of humor be defined operationally? (2 points)
7. Complete Table 4.1 on p. 72 of the text. For each of the eight examples listed, determine whether a positive, negative, or curvilinear relationship exists.
8. Define reliability as it relates to measurement of behavior.
9. Define and describe scales of measurement.
10. What is the difference between construct validity, internal validity, and external validity?
11. What is the difference between correlation and causation? How are third variables controlled for?
2 Individual Assignment