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BE 447/547 Homework 2
Due Monday, 12 Feb 2018 in or before class
1. List the advantages and disadvantages of using a correlational research study
design. (2 points)
2. For the following brief description of a research study, indicate the independent
variable(s) (including the levels of the independent variable) and the dependent
variable(s). (2 points)
Is defensive behavior displayed by many animal species related to the
organism?s internal motivational state? Davis, Hazelrigg, Moore, and PettyZirnstein (1981) investigated factors that affect ?defensive burying? behavior of
rats. When a rat is exposed to an aversive stimulus (for example, a flash from a
flashbulb), the rat will attempt to bury the source of the aversive stimulus. Davis
et al. randomly assigned male rats to a food-deprivation, water-deprivation, or
no-deprivation condition. Subjects were placed in an experimental chamber and
exposed to an aversive stimulus (a bright flash of light from a flashbulb). The
amount of time each subject spent in defensive burying behavior and the height
of accumulated bedding material (used for burying) were recorded. Results
showed that subjects on food or water deprivation engaged in less defensive
burying behavior than did nondeprived subjects.
3. For the following research description, identify any potential confounding
variables. Indicate (1) what the confounding is, (2) how it clouds a causal
relationship, and (3) offer some tentative solutions to eliminate the confounding.
Wexley and Thornton (1972) conducted an experiment to test the hypothesis that
providing students with verbal feedback about test results would facilitate
learning. During the school term, 169 undergraduate students were given four
quizzes. After each quiz, participants were reshown 18 of the 35 multiple-choice
items. The instructor read each of these 18 items, and gave the correct answer
and a brief explanation of the correct answer. The instructor indicated that time
did not permit going over all 35 items; therefore, participants did not see or
receive feedback on 17 items per quiz. The final exam in the course consisted of
38 of the feedback questions and 38 of the nonfeedback questions. Wexley and
Thornton found that, in general, students did better on items for which feedback
was given than those for which feedback was not given. Wexley and Thornton
concluded that ?the results confirm the assumption that post-test verbal feedback
does facilitate learning?.
4. For each item in the following list, indicate whether completion of the action listed
would increase internal validity or external validity in a study design and
describe why you chose your answer. (3 points)
a. A researcher plans to recruit a sample of patients by handing flyers and
distributing brochures in numerous clinical and community settings.
b. A researcher randomly selects doctors from a physician directory in her
city to conduct a survey about external interferences with patient care.
c. A researcher trains clinicians to provide a behavioral intervention rather
than hire a clinician to implement study protocols.
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