Research Variables Exercise – Dr. Mascolo
Analyze each of these 8 studies to determine: a) what is the Predictor Variable (PV) and what is the
Response Variable (RV); b) whether the PV is Categorical (Qualitative) or Quantitative; c) whether the RV
is Categorical (Qualitative) or Quantitative; & d) whether the PV is Natural or Manipulated. Use these
determinations to assign each study to one of the cells in the Table on the next page (Each study is
correctly assigned to only one cell, and no cell is blank assigned more than one study). Lastly, type a
brief explanation of how you made your determinations (1 page should do).
Study 1. Do different forms of psychoanalytic technique relate to outcome? Researchers compared 3
techniques with a no treatment control: Freudian, Adlerian, & Jungian. Volunteers were assigned to one of these
4 conditions & anxiety levels were recorded on a 50-point scale.
Study 2 Colds are caused by the rhinovirus, but some researchers believe that emotional stress
increases a person’s vulnerability. Subjects were asked about stressful experiences and then ushered into a
room infected by this virus. A week later subjects were examined and classified as suffering cold symptoms or
Study 3 People judge other people’s emotions by examining their facial expressions. However, the first
person’s own emotions can bias their judgments. Researchers assigned subjects to different durations of a sad
movie: 0, 30, 60, or 90 minutes. Then all the subjects were shown pictures of people and were asked to classify
each as “sad”. “happy”, or “neutral”.
Study 4 How much does Blood Alcohol Content slow a driver’s reaction time? Subjects were given 0, 1,
3, or 5 shots of alcohol in a fruit drink that masked the alcohol content. Then they played a Mario Brothers video
game. When they were confronted with a pedestrian blocking their path, the time required to stop their car was
measured in milliseconds.
Study 5 An instructor wondered if mathematical aptitude predicted course grades. A math test was
given to students at the start of the course, and the results were compared to final grades (percentage) at the
end of the course.
Study 6 Researchers examined the relationship between ethnicity and career goals. Black, Asian,
Hispanic, & Pacific Islander students declared their career goals by selecting 1 of 20 different choices.
Study 7 A researcher investigator described a fictional political protest to 2 groups of subjects. The
description was identical for the 2 groups except that 1 group was told the protesters were high school students,
and the other group was told the protesters were senior citizens. Then, add subjects were asked whether they
supported or opposed the protest.
Study 8 Are male & female managers judged differently? Both men & women read a description of a
hypothetical manager whose personal characteristics were stereotypically masculine. Then they rated how
much they would like to work for such a manager on a 10-point scale.
Research Variables Exercise – Dr. Mascolo
Response Variable
Predictor Variable
Natural Predictor