Research Method Questions

Research Method Questions

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1. What is the independent variable?

2. What is the dependent variable?

3. Which one of the research designs below enables use to determine cause and effect?

A. correlational B. descriptive C. experimental D. A & C

4. The “scientific method” refers to

A. historical, social-cultural, and ethical contexts in which science takes place. B. the specific procedures, measurements, and instruments used by psychologists to conduct research. C. an abstract concept that describes the logic and methods used to answer questions. D. the development of psychophysical methods for measuring thought processes.

5. In a study that investigates the effects of two different doses of a drug on memory performance, memory

performance represents the ____ variable and doses of the drug represent the ____variable.

A. correlational; confounding B. experimental; control C. dependent; independent D. independent; dependent

6. When the three requirements for causal inference are met, an experiment is said to be

A. balanced. B. internally valid. C. an independent groups design. D. held constant.

7. The extent to which findings from a study can be used to describe different populations, settings, and conditions is referred to as

A. sampling. B. internal validity. C. external validity. D. the multimethod approach.

8. The statement of a research hypothesis includes

A. an explanation for why a particular behavior is under investigation. B. a predicted outcome and an explanation for the outcome. C. an overview of previous research findings regarding the topic. D. all of these

Research Method Questions

9. You are investigating how sleep affects memory. You assign half of your participants to sleep for 8 hours and half to sleep for 4 hours. You then have participants complete a questionnaire asking them to recall how many times their parents brought them to the zoo as a child. Which of the following statements is NOT true concerning this experiment?

A. The independent variable is recall.

B. The dependent variable is recall.

C. The independent variable is amount of sleep.

D. Sleep is expected to affect memory.

10. What does an Institutional Review Board (IRB) do?

A. Makes sure a proposed study is ethical

B. Makes sure a study was conducted according to the plan

C. Makes sure a study will employ a method that produces quality data

D. A & C

11. A researcher computes an inferential statistic to test the difference between mean scores for an experimental group and a control group. The probability of the obtained statistical value for the t-test is .025, which is less than the alpha level of significance (p < .05). The researcher should

A. reduce the alpha level of significance to .025 to form a definite conclusion. B. accept the null hypothesis of no difference between the experimental and control groups because the probability is so small; thus, the independent variable had no effect. C. reject the null hypothesis of no difference between the experimental and control groups because the probability is so small; thus, the independent variable had a reliable effect on the dependent variable. D. neither accept nor reject the null hypothesis of no difference because the probability value of .025 is significantly different than .05.

Research Method Questions

12. When participants begin an experiment but fail to complete it, the internal validity of the experiment can be threatened. Which of the following types of subject loss poses the most serious threat to internal validity?

A. the loss occurs because of an error by the experimenter. B. the loss leads to different numbers of participants in the groups in the experiment. C. the loss occurs because of equipment failure. D. the loss occurs because of some characteristic of the participant that is related to the outcome of the study.

13. A potential problem that arises when evaluating research findings presented in the media (e.g., television,

magazines, online) is that

A. those reporting the findings have little financial stake in the public’s acceptance of the findings. B. important aspects of the research method are likely not reported. C. the findings may be from research studies conducted in other countries. D. all of these

14. A researcher randomly assigns one classroom to a new teaching method and a second classroom to the

control condition (the regular teaching method). This researcher faces the potential problem of confounding due to

A. experimenter effects. B. selective subject loss. C. intact groups. D. extraneous variables.

15. (4 points) You are interested in studying the role that gender plays in math performance and verbal skills.

You study girls and boys who range in age from 6 to 10 years. Write a hypothesis for your experiment.

16. Informed consent forms are required for studies to

A. have a contract between subjects and researchers.

B. make subjects aware of what they are signing up for.

C. Protect participants, researchers, and their institutions.

D. All of the above

17. Which of the following is an example of an individual differences (subject) variable?

A. individuals randomly assigned to one of three different treatments in a diabetes study B. an independent variable involving three levels of nicotine in a smoking cessation program C. a law enforcement training program compared over a 4-week or an 8-week period D. individuals classified as introverted or extraverted in a study of alcohol use

18. Which of the following represents the basic question addressed by the risk/benefit ratio?

A. Are the risks in a study greater than minimal risk? B. Will the researcher’s reputation be enhanced or hurt by the study’s findings? C. Are the benefits (to individual participants and society) of a study greater than the risks? D. Are the benefits gained by individuals greater than the risks posed to society?

19. When the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater than

those encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine tests, we say that the risk is

A. minor risk. B. daily risk. C. static risk. D. minimal risk.

Research Method Questions

20. A teacher tried a new method of teaching math to her third-grade students. She compared the scores

on their math test to the scores for students she taught last year using the old teaching method. What are the independent and dependent variables in her study?

A. IV = new teaching method; DV = old teaching method

B. IV = math scores; DV = new teaching method

C. IV = teaching method; DV = math scores

D. IV = math scores; DV = teaching method

21. Explain the difference between deception by omission and deception by commission (you can use examples

to help you explain the difference).

22. Match the major approaches to research for each of the following studies.

a) descriptive b) relational c) experimental

__ Observing that with greater consumption of coffee comes greater clarity of thought

__ Observing how many people do or do not drink coffee and how many people think clearly or poorly

__ Giving half of the people at work coffee, and the other half none, and then comparing their ability to think clearly

23. A researcher studying interpersonal communication measured the time that couples made eye contact during a conversation. Which descriptive statistics would most commonly be used to describe the researcher’s duration measurements?

A. mean and standard deviation B. median and difference scores C. mode and correlation D. proportion and percentage

24. The primary means scientists use to establish control in their observations is to

A. systematically manipulate an independent variable in an experiment. B. train multiple observers. C. establish the accuracy and precision of their measurements. D. observe many dependent variables.

25. In a study examining the number of proofreading errors make when students are tested while reading under

bright or dim lighting, the number of proofreading errors represents the

A. control variable. B. intervening variable. C. dependent variable. D. independent variable.

26. Researchers may not be required to obtain informed consent in which of the following situations?

A. when doing research with children B. when doing research that involves more than minimal risk C. when observing behavior in public settings with no intervention D. when asking participants to complete questionnaires on the Internet

27. A researcher read a research report indicating that a certain medication was found to be effective when tested on men. The researcher plans to do an experiment testing the effectiveness of the same medication, but in his experiment both men and women will be tested. The researcher is planning to do a

A. partial replication of the experiment to test the reliability and external validity of the finding from the original experiment. B. replication of the experiment to test the internal validity of the original experiment. C. replication of the experiment to test the sensitivity of the original experiment. D. partial replication of the experiment to test the statistical power of the original experiment.

28. The term scientists use to refer to a psychological concept is

A. construct. B. validity. C. variability. D. operational definition.

29. Which of the following is not required of researchers in an informed consent procedure?

A. description of the nature of the research B. reasons for why deception is used in the research C. information that might influence participants’ willingness to participate D. all of these are required

30. If a psychology student wants to do research involving human participants, which of the following has the

ultimate authority to approve, disapprove, or require modifications prior to the approval of the student’s research?

A. the department chairperson B. the university’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) C. the university’s IACUC D. the faculty sponsor of the research

31. A researcher develops a brief questionnaire measure of people’s level of optimism. To determine whether

his measure is a good one, he asks a sample of people to complete his questionnaire twice, separated by one month. At the second session, he also asks his participants to complete another measure of optimism—one that has been an accepted measure of optimism for many years. Using this procedure, the researcher is establishing the

A. independent variable of optimism. B. precision and accuracy of his measure. C. reliability and validity of his measure. D. nomothetic and idiographic features of optimism.

32. Research has indicated that amount of undergraduate research activity predicts measures of later success in

the profession of psychology. For this prediction to be possible, undergraduate research activity and later success must be

A. circular. B. qualitative. C. causal. D. correlated.

Research Method Questions

33. For a class research project, students conceal themselves in bathroom stalls in order to observe

conversational behavior of individuals at sinks in the washroom. They count the number of words spoken by women and men in their respective washrooms. The most important ethical issue in this research is

A. debriefing. B. informed consent. C. privacy. D. deception.

34. Random assignment to conditions works to balance participants’ individual differences across conditions of the experiment by

A. matching individuals on key variables. B. asking individuals to participate in each condition of the experiment. C. forming groups based on an individual differences variable the researcher selects. D. generating groups of participants that are equivalent, on average.

35. Identify two ways in which debriefing benefits the participant and one way in which it benefits

the researcher.

36. (4 points) The procedure for using block randomization in an independent-groups experiment with three conditions (A, B, C) and 60 subjects is to

A. generate twenty random orders of the conditions (e.g., ACB, BAC) and assign subjects one block at a time (i.e., 3 subjects in the first block, 3 in the second block, and so on). B. generate one random order of conditions (e.g., ACB) and test the first 20 subjects in condition A, the second 20 subjects in condition C, and the last 20 subjects in condition B. C. select intact groups of 20 subjects each and randomly assign the groups to condition A, B, or C. D. generate sixty random orders of the conditions, one for each subject.

37. When scientists conduct research, they seek to

A. use only real-world settings. B. use only laboratory settings. C. describe the findings only for people and circumstances who participated in their study. D. generalize their findings beyond the people and circumstances used in their study.

38. Greater risk in a research study is acceptable when

A. clear and immediate benefits to the participants are expected. B. the research has obvious scientific and social value. C. valid and interpretable results will be produced. D. all of these

39. A researcher conducted an experiment in which participants played either a violent or a nonviolent video game. After the game, the researcher measured hostile cognitions. The effect size, Cohen’s d, for the difference in mean hostile cognition between the violent and nonviolent conditions was .83. Based on this, it is possible to state that the video game independent variable had a _______ effect on hostile cognition in this experiment.

Research Method Questions

A. nonsignificant B. small C. medium D. large

40. A(n) __________ is a logically organized set of propositions that serves to define events, describe

relationships among events, and explain the occurrence of events.

A. theory B. intervening variable C. hypothesis D. causal inference

Research Method Questions

41. (6 points) A researcher was interested in whether divorce and remarriage influence the extent to which children are sociable. At a nearby school, the researcher classified 5th-graders into one of three groups: intact parents (no divorce), divorced (single-parent families), and remarried parents. The researcher interviewed the 5th-graders and rated their sociability, and also asked them to complete a questionnaire that assessed their level of comfort in different social situations. What type of experimental design did this researcher use?

Research Method Questions

What is the independent variable?

What is the dependent variable?

42. (8 points) A researcher tested whether exposure to images of very thin fashion models causes young women to be dissatisfied with their own body, compared to exposure to athletic body images or neutral (non-body) images. She randomly assigned 120 women from an introductory psychology course to one of three exposure conditions: very thin female images, athletic female images, or neutral images (e.g., household objects). Each condition had 10 images, projected individually on a large screen. The young women participated in small groups. Each image was displayed for 1 minute, for a total of 10 minutes of exposure. After viewing each image, participants wrote for 30 seconds a description of the image (the participants were led to believe their memory was being tested). After viewing the images, the women completed a questionnaire about satisfaction with their body. Negative scores indicate body dissatisfaction and positive scores indicate satisfaction with their body. The mean scores for each condition were as follows:  

What type of experimental design did this researcher use?

Describe the independent variable in this study.

Describe the dependent variable in this study.

Someone unfamiliar with research methods criticizes the findings by arguing that women who viewed the very thin images probably were more dissatisfied with their bodies even before participating in the experiment. State whether you agree or disagree with this argument and explain your reasoning.

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