# Research scenarios and analysis assignment

Research scenarios and analysis assignment

PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2015 Assignment Version G p. 1
EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY
School of Psychology and Social Science
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2
Assignment Handout 2015
Total Points = 296 (worth 50% of the semester mark)
Part A. Research Scenarios (36 points)
In each of the research scenarios presented below, you are required to provide answers to
various questions that ask about the Null and Alternative hypotheses, independent and
dependent variables (if any). You are also asked to comment on what might be wrong with
the experimental design employed in the study and you may be asked to provide a solution or
• it is in your best interests to be as precise and succinct as possible;
There is a one (1) page limit for the answers for Scenario 1, and a one (1) page limit for the
Scenario 1
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.
1. What is the Null Hypothesis (Ho)? (4 points)
2. What is the Alternative Hypothesis (Ha)? (2 points)
3. What is (are) the Independent Variable(s)? (2 points)
4. What is (are) the Dependent Variable(s)? (2 points)
5. What are the possible confounds in Karsh’s experimental design? (8 points)
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2015 Assignment Version G p. 2
Scenario 2
An investigator believed that sensory deprivation inhibits the intellectual development of
animals. He ran an experiment to examine this thesis in the following way. He used two rats,
each of which had just given birth to eight pups. One rat and her litter were placed in a large
cage. This cage had ample space and lots of objects to explore. The baby rats in this cage
breastfed off their mother. The second rat’s pups were separated from the mother, and each
was placed in a separate cage. These cages were quite small, and the only objects they could
see or hear were the four walls and the food and water dispensers. After five months, both
groups were tested in a multiple-T maze using food as a reward. Following 20 trials, all of the
nondeprived pups were running the maze without error, but the deprived pups were still
making several errors. This latter group frequently froze and had to be prodded to move. The
experimenter concluded that sensory deprivation inhibits intellectual development such that
deprived rats did not have the intellectual ability to learn even a simple maze.
1. What is the Null Hypothesis (Ho)? (4 points)
2. What is the Alternative Hypothesis (Ha)? (2 points)
3. What is (are) the Independent Variable(s)? (2 points)
4. What is (are) the Dependent Variable(s)? (2 points)
5. Briefly describe the possible confounds in the experiment. (6 points)
6. Devise a solution to control the confounds in this experiment. (2 points)
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2015 Assignment Version G p. 3
Part B: Research Analyses (t-tests) (65 points)
Question 1: Background
In an experiment on the lateralization of cortical functioning, a subject looks at a “+” sign in
the centre of a computer screen and is asked to press a key when he recognises a word which
may appear either side of the “+” sign. As a check on whether or not the word has been truly
recognised, the subject is also asked to type the word just identified. The experimental
hypothesis is that words presented in the right visual field will be more quickly recognised
than words presented in the left visual field, because the former are processed by the left
cerebral hemisphere, which is thought to be more proficient with verbal information. An
experimenter decided to examine the difference between the left and the right visual fields.
He recruited 10 subjects who were shown words in their left visual field and another 10
subjects who were shown words in their right visual field. For each of 20 subjects, the median
response time to 40 words in the left or right visual fields is recorded in the table below.
Table 1
Median word recognition times in milliseconds for words in the left and right visual fields
Subject Left Visual Field Subject Right Visual Field
1 510 11 402
2 523 12 455
3 310 13 281
4 571 14 533
5 493 15 431
6 512 16 499
7 549 17 511
8 477 18 398
9 430 19 421
10 490 20 477
Write up the analyses as you would in the Results and Discussion section of a journal article,
including the report of the central tendency, variability measures, and the outcome of the ttest
(30 points). The heading you should use at the top of the page is Results and Discussion.
You should also create a graph of the data (15 points). Follow this up with a discussion (20
points) in which you:
(a) present some conclusions about whether or not there is a difference between the left
and right visual fields when it comes to recognising verbal information;
(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 cerebral lateralisation to
write the Results and Discussion section.
Please read the following formatting instructions concerning Question 1. The Results and
Discussion section of this question has a ONE (1) page limit. Failure to read, understand, and
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2015 Assignment Version G 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. 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 Question 1
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2015 Assignment Version G p. 5
Part B: Research Analyses (ANOVAs) (195 points)
Question 2: Background
A police researcher, influenced by Paul Ekman’s work on the psychology of lying, wanted to
investigate the ability of members of various law enforcement groups to detect when
someone is lying. In Ekman’s original experiments, different university-aged women were
video presentations. In half the videos, the woman was asked to lie about what they had seen.
In the other half, they were asked to tell the truth about what they had seen. The police
researcher replicated parts of Ekman’s original studies by involving some of his fellow police
robbery detectives, agents from the Secret Service, police officers who specialised in
conducting lie detector tests (polygraphers), magistrates, lawyers, and psychiatrists. The
researcher asked the participants to watch each of the videos and then simply decide whether
or not the woman in the video was telling the truth or lying. The data below in Table 1
represent the total number of correct identifications (in either detecting a lie or detecting truth
telling) that each participant made. Based on his data, the police researcher made the startling
conclusion that all law enforcement groups – that is, the participants of his experiment who
represented law enforcement groups – were superior compared to members of the general
public when it came to detecting who was telling a lie compared to who was telling the truth.
Table 1
Data from the police researcher’s unpublished study
Law Enforcement Groups – Number of Correct Identifications
Police
Robbery
Detectives
Secret
Service
Agents
Polygraphers Magistrates Lawyers Psychiatrists
5 8 5 5 3 5
6 8 5 6 4 5
7 7 6 6 5 6
4 7 4 6 4 5
5 6 5 4 4 6
6 7 5 4 5 4
5 8 6 4 7 5
6 7 4 4 6 5
5 7 6 5 5 7
6 7 4 6
Question 2: Assignment Task (One way ANOVA, Planned Comparisons & Post Hocs)
Perform appropriate analyses to determine whether or not the data supports the claim that
different law enforcement officers differ when it comes to detecting detect truth telling and
lying. As part of your analyses, you should perform two planned orthogonal comparisons:
One that compares the Secret Service agents with all of the other groups and another that
compares the law enforcement officers who are in the ‘front line’ (police robbery detectives
and Secret Service agents) versus the others. You should also choose, perform, and report the
post hoc comparisons you deem relevant to check whether or not particular pairs of groups
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2015 Assignment Version G p. 6
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 the central tendency, variability measures, and the outcome of the
statistical analysis you choose to perform (50 points). The heading you should use at the top
of the page is Results and Discussion. You should also create a graph of the data (15 points).
Follow this up with a discussion in which you present some conclusions about the ability of
various law enforcement groups to detect lying and truth telling (30 points).
NOTE: You do not have to find additional references about the psychology of lying to write
the Results and Discussion section.
Please read the following formatting instructions concerning Question 2. The Results and
Discussion section of this question has a TWO (2) page limit. Failure to read, understand, and
• 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. 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 Question 2
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2015 Assignment Version G p. 7
Question 3: Background
Researchers have long suspected that exercise has a positive effect on one’s psychological
well-being. Dr Richard Simmons decided to investigate the effects of exercise in a
longitudinal study. He recruited five male volunteers to test a four-week exercise regime in
which the participants did aerobic exercise for four hours per day, five days per week under
the supervision of a fitness instructor. At the end of each week, the participants filled in a
measure of psychological well-being known as the Psychological Well-Being Scale (PWBS).
Scores on the PWBS could range between 1 to 70 with higher values indicating greater selfreported
psychological well-being. Dr Simmonds carefully recruited his participants. All his
participants were born in October, 1962. At the beginning of the study, all participants
weighed 77 kilos and all were the same height (177 cm tall). None of the participants had
exercised regularly in the past 12 months. The well-being scores for the four assessments are
listed in Table 1.
Table 1
Data from the Simmonds study
Scores on the PWBS
Subject End of
Week 1
score
End of
Week 2
score
End of
Week 3
score
End of
Week 4
score
1 60 59 63 68
2 52 53 58 61
3 61 67 69 69
4 44 46 50 50
5 63 62 66 67
At the end of the four-week research study, Dr Simmons wrote up his results with the
conclusion that a four-week exercise programme was necessary to significantly improve
one’s psychological well-being for people of all ages. However, when he submitted his paper
to a journal, the peer reviewers pointed out a number of flaws with his study and his
conclusions and asked him to re-write the Results and Discussion section, incorporating the
flaws that were pointed out to him.
Write up the analyses as you would in the Results and Discussion section of a journal article,
including the report of the central tendency and variability measures and the outcome of the
analyses (50 points). The heading you should use at the top of the page is Results and
Discussion. Include a graph of your data (15 points) and make sure you report the percentage of
variability in rumination scores that is accounted for by the ‘time’ variable (5 points). Follow this
up with a discussion (30 points) in which you:
(a) present some conclusions about the relationship between exercise and psychological
well-being;
(b) discuss the shortcomings of the 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 conclusions.
PSY2202 Research Methods in Psychology 2 Semester 1, 2015 Assignment Version G p. 8
NOTE: You do not have to find additional references on exercise and psychological well-being
to write the Results and Discussion section.
Please read the following formatting instructions concerning Question 3. The Results and
Discussion section of this question has a TWO (2) page limit. Failure to read, understand, and
• 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. 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 the Assignment