Learning Actively (Not in text) The following Learning Actively questions were written at the same time as the ones in the student textbook, but because of space constraints did not appear in the final version of the textbook. I am pleased to be able to make them available here for your use in the classroom and distribution to students. A. The following headlines appeared in online news sources. For each, identify the claim as frequency/level, association, or causal. Identify the variable(s) in each claim. Or alternatively, pick five of the claims and complete the table below. a. Worry may make women’s brains work overtime. b. High “normal” blood sugar may still harm brains. c. Want a higher GPA? Go to a private college. d. Those with ADHD do one month’s less work a year. e. When moms criticize, dads back off baby care. f. Report: 16 percent of teens have considered suicide. g. MMR shot does not cause autism, large study says. h. Breastfeeding may boost children’s IQ. i. Breastfeeding rates hit new high in United States. j. Smiling may lower your heart rate. k. OMG! Texting and IM-ing doesn’t affect spelling! l. Facebook users get worse grades in college. m. Mother’s heartburn means a hairy newborn. Claim What are the variable(s) in the claim? (stated at the conceptual level) Research Methods in Psychology, 2e By Beth Morling For each variable: Is it manipulated or measured? (Could it be both? Can you tell for sure?) For each variable: State at the operational level— how might this have been operationalized? © W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. B. Imagine you encounter each of the following headlines. What questions would you ask if you wanted to understand more about the quality of the study behind the headline? For each of your questions, indicate which of the four validities your question is addressing. a. Heartburn predicts a hairy baby b. Chamomile can soothe a colicky baby c. High distress seen in Japanese nuclear workers C. You may have heard that spreading out your studying over several sessions (distributed studying) helps you retain the information longer than if you cram your studying into a single session. How could you design an experiment to test this claim? What would the variables be? Would each be manipulated or measured? Would your experiment fulfill the three criteria for supporting a causal statement? What limitations might it have? Learning Actively (In text) The following Learning Actively questions appear at the end of Chapter 3. They are presented here for your convenience in planning. Answers are printed in the back of the student textbook. 1. For each variable below, indicate the variable’s levels, whether it is measured or manipulated, and how you might describe the study at a conceptual and operational level. Variable Conceptual variable A questionnaire study Participant’s asks for various sex demographic information, including participants’ gender. A questionnaire study asks about selfesteem, measured on a 10-item Rosenberg self-esteem scale. A study of readability gives people a passage of text. The passage to be read is printed in one of three colors of text (black, red, or Research Methods in Psychology, 2e By Beth Morling Levels of this variable Measured or manipulated Operational definition of the variable Male Female Measured Asking participants to circle “male” or “female” on a form © W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. blue). A study of school achievement requests each participant to report her SAT score as a measure of college readiness. A researcher studying self-control and blood glucose levels asks participants to come to an experiment at 1:00 P.M. Some of the students are asked not to eat anything before the experiment; others are told to eat lunch before arriving. A professor who wants to know more about study habits among his students asks students to report the number of minutes they studied for the midterm exam. In a study on selfesteem’s association with self-control, the researchers give a group of students a self-esteem inventory. Then they invite participants who score in the top 10% and the bottom 10% of the self-esteem scale to participate in the next step. 2. Imagine you encounter each of the following headlines. First, classify each headline as a frequency, association, or causal claim. Second, what questions would Research Methods in Psychology, 2e By Beth Morling © W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. you ask if you wanted to understand more about the quality of the study behind the headline? For each of your questions, indicate which of the four validities your question is addressing. Follow the model in Table 3.7. i. Chewing gum can improve your mood and focus. ii. Obese kids less sensitive to tastes iii. 45% of you shake your booty to Zumba. 3. Imagine you wanted to test the causal claim that “chewing gum can improve your mood and focus.” How could you design an experiment to test this claim? What would the variables be? Would each be manipulated or measured? What results would you expect? Sketch a graph of the outcomes you would predict. Would your experiment fulfill the three criteria for supporting a causal statement? Note: Learning Actively 3 mentions a study on chewing gum and focus. For further details on this study, have students read and analyze the original: Smith, A. (2010). Effects of chewing gum on cognitive function, mood, and physiology in stressed and non-stressed volunteers. Nutritional Neuroscience, 13. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20132649 Research Methods in Psychology, 2e By Beth Morling © W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.