PSYC 3450: Experimental Psychology SPRING 2014
Name ___________________________________
When students assume that their textbook must be correct, they are relying on _________ as a way of
a. the a priori method
b. experience
c. creativity
d. authority
If our experiences include some unforgettable or extreme events, we might overestimate how often those
kinds of events occur. This is called
a. belief perseverance
b. a confirmation bias
c. the availability heuristic
d. the a priori heuristic
Students sometimes change their answers on multiple-choice questions. They believe that the most common
outcome is that they change from the correct answer to a wrong answer, despite research that shows
otherwise. What accounts for the strength of this erroneous belief?
a. scientific thinking via logical deduction
b. social cognition biases that distort their beliefs of their experiences
c. a priori thinking—they reason that it would have been better to go with the first hunch or instinct
d. none of the above—students in fact believe that they are successful when they change
As psychologists use the term, determinism means that
a. free choice does not exist
b. all the events of our lives have been “determined” ahead of time
c. every event has a cause that can be known and discovered with certainty
d. events can be predicted with greater than chance probability
A major characteristic of psychological science is its objectivity, which means that
a. science is free from human biases
b. psychologists assume that people are essentially machines
c. observations can be verified by more than a single observer
d. results of research are always reported in terms of numbers (statistics)
Which of the following is not an empirical question?
a. Can prayer reduce blood pressure?
b. Are prayers regularly answered by God?
c. Do college seniors pray for different things than college freshmen?
d. none of these are empirical questions — prayer is too private
All of the following generally characterize pseudoscience except
a. they try to confuse the naive by associating with concepts from legitimate science
b. they rely exclusively on anecdotal evidence for support
c. they can be adequately falsified
d. they are repeatedly evaluated using the scientific method
People often will believe that learning graphology (interpreting handwriting) will allow them to assess one’s
personality. One reason is motivational—having spent $30, they convince themselves of the value of the
experience and work harder to bring about the desired outcome. This phenomenon is called
a. confirmation bias
b. belief perseverance
c. availability heuristic
d. effort justification
Milgram’s subjects thought they were in a study about punishment, when in fact they it was about ________.
a. Obedience
b. helping behavior
c. sympathy
d. antisocial personality disorder
A study that involves naturalistic observation of public behavior would likely receive the following designation
from an IRB
a. exempt from review
b. expedited review
c. full review
d. none of the above
Which of the following is not part of the APA’s ethics code for humans?
a. those who are at least at minimal risk must give their informed consent
b. people may or may not decide to participate, but once they start a study, they are obligated to finish it
c. participants must be thoroughly debriefed at the end of a study
d. participants must be assured of confidentiality
Researchers believe that some degree of deception in research is sometimes warranted because
a. without it, participants might not behave naturally
b. without it, participants would be less likely to volunteer
c. most participants really cannot understand the complexity of research in psychology
d. participants expect to be deceived
In terms of the current ethics code, Milgram’s obedience research is most questionable with respect to which
a. confidentiality
b. debriefing
c. following up on participants to insure their well being
d. allowing participants to quit any time in the procedure
Research participants can expect to find several pieces of information in an informed consent form. Which of
the following may not be listed?
a. a statement of the possible risks for participating
b. a statement of the study’s true purpose and hypothesis
c. an assurance of confidentiality
d. none of the above; all of these things must be listed
If a researcher is concerned about _______, then the researcher may ask participants to not disclose any
information to others until the study is completed.
a. deception
b. participant crosstalk
c. confidentiality
d. desensitizing
Basic research is concerned with ______ while applied research tries to ________.
a. experimental realism; accomplish mundane realism
b. establishing essential principles; solve practical problems
c. the laboratory only; use field studies only
d. mundane realism; accomplish experimental realism
If a study is high on experimental realism, then
a. participants will take the procedures seriously
b. the participant’s task will resemble a normal daily activity
c. it is certain that deception has been used
d. it is almost certainly a field study rather than a laboratory study
A researcher is measuring aggression. Which of the following is most clearly inadequate as an operational
definition of the term?
a. choosing a button which makes it difficult for another subject to complete a task
b. honking one’s horn at an intersection for a period of more than two seconds
c. attempting to harm someone
d. delivering electric shocks to a competitor
What is the advantage of using operational definitions?
a. they force researchers in different laboratories to all use the exact same definition
b. they facilitate replication
c. it’s easy to agree on a universal definition for a concept like aggression
d. there are no advantages to using operational definitions; no two persons can ever agree on the best definition
Two researchers with two completely different operational definitions for aggression nonetheless produce the
same result — frustration leads to aggression. This outcome is referred to as
a. partial replication
b. operationism
c. converging operations
d. serendipity
All of the following are true of theories except
a. they organize existing data
b. an attribute of a good theory is that it is high on “productivity”
c. provide the basis for making predictions that can be tested empirically
d. they are tentative until the facts prove them true
A prediction is made from a theory and the results are just as predicted. What can be concluded about the
a. it has been proven true
b. it has been inductively supported
c. it has been turned into a fact
d. it has been disproven
Anxiety is not observed directly but is inferred from certain behaviors. That is, anxiety is an example of
a. a construct
b. a law
c. a theory
d. an operational definition
Hypotheses are
a. reasonable predictions about what should occur under specific circumstances
b. guesses about the causes of events
c. generated from theory through the process of induction
d. considered to be “proven true” when supported by more than one experiment
Some dogs can open gates with their noses. To explain this phenomenon by attributing logic and problem
solving abilities to the dog is to
a. give a parsimonious explanation
b. falsify a simpler explanation
c. be guilty of a confirmation bias
d. give an explanation that is not very parsimonious
A researcher uses some of the same procedures in her method as in a previous study, but she adds a new
variable to be tested. What has she done?
a. engaged in data falsification
b. did an exact replication of the previous study
c. partially replicated the previous study
d. created serendipity in her study
For any experiment investigating the effect of X on Y,
a. X is the independent variable
b. Y is the dependent variable
c. both alternatives a. and b.
d. none of the above
A researcher tests four different groups of participants. Each group is given a different dosage of caffeine, and
reaction time is measured for each subject. Which of the following is true?
a. dosage level is the dependent variable
b. reaction time is an independent variable
c. the independent variable has four levels
d. the independent variable is a subject variable
Rats learning a maze are tested after varying degrees of food deprivation. Some run the maze after 4 hours
without food, others after 8 hours, and others after 12 hours deprivation. In this study,
a. food deprivation is the manipulated independent variable
b. the rats are a subject variable
c. the independent variable is a task variable
d. food deprivation is the dependent variable
To see if the time of day has an effect on helping behavior, experimenters ask passersby for directions in New
York’s Central Park, either at 8:00 am or 8:00 pm. Which of the following is true?
a. this is an example of field research that lacks an independent variable
b. this is a study with two independent variables (the times)
c. the independent variable is a situational variable
d. the independent variable is an instructional variable
A researcher wants to know if children prefer cereal that has colors in it. Preschoolers compare plain-colored
Wheatios with multicolored Rice Chrunchios. The children preferred the latter. What can be concluded?
children prefer colored cereal
whether the cereal is composed of wheat or rice is the independent variable
cereal type is confounded with cereal color
cereal color is the dependent variable
In a study in which some participants are made anxious and others are not, and anxious subjects then do
more poorly on a difficult problem, anxiety is
a. a subject variable
b. the dependent variable
c. an extraneous variable being controlled
d. a manipulated independent variable
People are given a personality test and then separated into those who tend to be introverted and those
who tend to be extroverted. In this study the independent variable is a _______ variable.
a. subject
b. manipulated
c. task
d. controlled
When a subject variable is used as an independent variable and differences occur between groups on the
dependent measure, what can be concluded?
a. the independent variable caused the differences to occur, assuming there are no confounds
b. the two groups performed differently
c. in this case, the subject variable must be a dependent variable, not an independent variable
d. because a subject variable is being used, nothing at all can be concluded
In the Bobo doll study by Bandura, Ross, and Ross,
a. children saw different degrees of aggression; there was no control group used
b. both a manipulated and a subject variable were included
c. the size of the Bobo doll was kept the same for both adult models and child participants
d. the dependent variable was sex
In a study comparing two sets of rankings, a researcher erroneously uses a statistical analysis designed
for use with interval or ratio data. This study will have questionable
a. internal validity
b. construct validity
c. statistical conclusion validity
d. reliability
Those who argue that psychologists know a great deal about college sophomores but very little about
other groups are criticizing the ______ validity of psychological research.
a. internal
b. construct
c. external
d. statistical conclusion
Worker productivity is assessed before and after a program for overtime is instituted. Just after the pretest,
workers receive an unexpected bonus check based on unusually high product sales. Productivity is higher
on the posttest than on the pretest, but the researcher suspects ______ as a threat to internal validity.
a. history
b. regression
c. instrumentation
d. selection
Brady’s “ulcers in executive monkeys” study was flawed due to
a. selection
b. maturation
c. attrition
d. testing
In a sequence of trials, an infant looks at a stimulus for 10 seconds, then 8, then 6, then 4. On the next trial, the
infant looks for 12 seconds. What has occurred on this last trial?
a. the infant has noticed a change in the stimulus
b. habituation has occurred
c. the infant has lost interest in the stimulus
d. the infant is afraid of the stimulus
A test with a minimum amount of measurement error is said to be
a. reliable
b. valid
c. both alternatives a. and b.
d. none of the above
The reading on a standard bathroom scale you just purchased is drastically different when every time you step
on the scale. If this is the case, then based on this fact alone, this particular scale is
a. not reliable but probably valid
b. not reliable
c. not valid
d. neither reliable nor valid
A test is said to be reliable if ___________, and valid if it _____________.
a. its results are repeatable; measures what it is supposed to measure
b. has a sufficiently high amount of measurement error; measures what it is supposed to measure
c. its results are repeatable; is low in measurement error
d. measures what it is supposed to measure; is low in measurement error
When using a(n) ______ measurement scale, the most that can be said is that one score is greater than
a. nominal
b. ordinal
c. interval
d. ratio
Which of the following is true about interval and ratio scales?
a. in a ratio scale, a score of zero means the absence of the phenomenon being measured
b. in an interval scale, it is not possible to achieve a score of zero
c. equal intervals exist in interval scales, but such is not the case in ratio scales
d. equal intervals exist in ratio scales, but such is not the case in interval scales
A Type I error occurs when the researcher
a. rejects Ho, but Ho is true
b. rejects Ho, but Ho is false
c. fails to reject Ho, but Ho is true
d. fails to reject Ho, but Ho is false
A Type II error occurs when the researcher
a. rejects Ho, but Ho is true
b. rejects Ho, but Ho is false
c. fails to reject Ho, but Ho is true
d. fails to reject Ho, but Ho is false
Compared to a cross-sectional study, a longitudinal study
a. takes less time to complete
b. has to deal with potential cohort effects
c. has attrition as its major difficulty
d. has to be concerned about counterbalancing properly
In a taste test comparing popcorn brands A, B, C and D, the experimenter decides to use complete
counterbalancing. Assuming that one subject will be tested in each of the sequences used, how many people
will be needed to complete the study?
a. 24
b. 48
c. 12
d. 4
In a research example that used Starbucks coffee, participants did not know whether they were drinking
regular or caffeine. They were later tested for memory by experimenters who did not know which group the
participants were in. Which of the following is true about this study?
a. it failed to control for experimenter expectations
b. it illustrates the carry-over effect
c. the participants were senior citizens, so it showed an especially high level of cohort effects
d. the design was an example of a double blind procedure