Decision-Making Cases Choose only one of the decision-making cases below to answer questions in the “Ethical Decision-Making” assignment. The questions at the end of each case are intended for you….
ime sampling is not an effective method for sampling behavior that occurs infrequently. To observe behaviors in situations that occur infrequently, researchers choose ?
All questions are worth 4 points unless noted otherwise.
1. In psychological research, investigators sample individuals’ behavior at different times or in different situations. The goal of sampling behavior is to
A. obtain as many observations as possible. B. infer causes of people’s behavior. C. insure the highest possible interobserver reliability. D. obtain a representative sample of behavior.
2. When a researcher plays an active and significant role in the situation in which behavior is being recorded and when the researcher conceals the fact that observations are being made, the study represents
A. a disguised structured observation. B. a disguised participant observation. C. an undisguised naturalistic observation. D. an unobtrusive field experiment
3. A high school teacher conducted a test of a new approach to teaching math. Students were given a pretest when their
math class began and a posttest at the end of the semester. The students’ math performance improved. The teacher learned near the end of the semester, however, that in their science classes the students were using new computer software that included much of the math the teacher covered in his course. Which of the following threats to internal validity does the new computer software represent?
A. selection B. regression C. history D. testing
4. The remnants, fragments, and products of past behavior that provide unobtrusive measures of behavior are called
A. subtle traces. B. archival records. C. physical traces. D. anecdotal evidence.
5. A researcher trains observers to complete checklists while observing children’s behavior on the schoolyard during
recess. Over the course of the study, observers become more reliable in their observations. Any effect of a treatment in this study might be confounded with an ____________ threat to internal validity.
A. observation B. instrumentation C. additive D. expectancy effect
6. Time sampling is not an effective method for sampling behavior that occurs infrequently. To observe behaviors in
situations that occur infrequently, researchers choose
A. event sampling. B. defined sampling. C. random sampling. D. field sampling.
7. Students on two college campuses serve as treatment and control groups in a study investigating the effectiveness of
an alcohol-abuse prevention campaign. A well-known student on one of the campuses dies of alcohol intoxication in the course of the study; students on the other campus did not learn of the student’s death. The reaction of other students to the student’s death on their campus could represent a potential threat to the internal validity of the study called
A. history. B. selection. C. additive effects of selection and history. D. additive effects of selection and maturation.
8. Research studies have examined evidence of past human behavior including works of art, television shows, and
bumper stickers, to test various hypotheses. This source of unobtrusive evidence is called
A. human artifacts. B. use effects. C. cultural evidence. D. products.
9. A state’s education director received a report listing the school rankings in terms of high school students’ graduation
rates. Which scale of measurement is represented in this report?
A. nominal scale B. ordinal scale C. interval scale D. ratio scale
10. An intervention in an office setting leads employees to be pleased that the management is interested in their welfare.
If the employees’ performance improves in this situation, the researcher should be concerned about potential
A. novelty effects such as the Hawthorne effect. B. lack of discontinuity in the time series. C. Campbell effects. D. contamination effects.
11. One of the main ways that true experiments differ from quasi-experiments is that true experiments use
A. correlational methods. B. random selection from the population. C. random assignment to conditions. D. all of these
12. A student used a nonequivalent control group design to examine the effectiveness of a video application the library
uses to introduce first year students to the library’s resources. Which potential threat to internal validity would she examine by comparing the pretest scores for both groups?
A. a maturation threat B. a selection threat C. a regression threat D. an instrumentation threat
13. When many observations of the same children in a classroom are made it is possible to determine the frequency of
certain behaviors, such as how many times children speak in class. Which scale of measurement do these frequency data represent?
A. nominal B. ordinal C. interval D. ratio
14. Even when pretest scores are the same, on average, for treatment and comparison groups in a nonequivalent control
group design, the two groups may not be equivalent because
A. the pretest measure is unlikely to be relevant to the dependent variable. B. the posttest measure is unlikely to be the same as the pretest measure, and the two groups must be equivalent at the posttest. C. the fact that the two groups are equal on the pretest measure does not ensure that the groups are equivalent on other characteristics relevant to the study. D. the natural growth rates of two groups from different populations are likely to be the same, but the pretest estimate of equality may still be in error.
15. A psychologist tests the effect of an incentive program (i.e., positive reinforcement for desired behavior) in a
residential treatment facility for delinquent youth. He randomly assigns one building of the large facility to receive the treatment. Residents in a second building serve as a control group. During the course of the one-month study, an event happens in the treatment group that forces full lockdown of the building for one week. The threat to internal validity the psychologist must consider is
A. selection. B. history. C. additive effect of selection and history. D. contamination.
16. Students conducted a naturalistic observation to study whether people arriving at the library alone would be more likely to hold the door open for a person coming in immediately after them than would people who arrived in pairs. The students made their observations looking through the window of a classroom building across from the library. They chose this position for observation to avoid the potential problem of
A. demand characteristics. B. observer bias. C. nonrepresentative sampling. D. reactivity.
17. The effect of a treatment in a simple interrupted time-series design is best indicated by
A. an increasing trend in the dependent variable that is present both before and after the treatment. B. a decreasing trend in the dependent variable that is present both before and after the treatment. C. a clear discontinuity (abrupt increase or decrease) in the dependent variable at the point the treatment is administered. D. a gradual change in the dependent variable that begins just as the treatment is implemented.
18. A researcher measures participants’ speed to push a button on the computer when a stimulus is presented on the
computer screen. Which of the following measurement scales describes this reaction time measure?
A. nominal scale B. ordinal scale C. interval scale D. ratio scale
19. Among the following research designs, which allows researchers to rule out the most threats to internal validity?
A. one group pretest-posttest design B. nonequivalent control group design C. simple interrupted time series design D. times series design with nonequivalent control group
20. (8` points) Two observers observe a child in the classroom every 30 minutes to record whether he is behaving aggressively. They use two categories for their observations: yes (aggressive) or no (not aggressive). Using the data presented below, answer the following question.
Calculate and report the observers’ interobserver reliability.
Do you think the observers demonstrated acceptable interobserver reliability? Why or why not?
21. (5 points) A researcher was interested in determining whether more frequent breaks (i.e., “coffee breaks”) in a business setting would help employees to be more productive. With the cooperation of the management, employees on one floor of the corporate offices were allowed to take a 10-minute break each hour (at any time) between 8:00 and 11:00 A.M. (for a total of 30 minutes). The comparison group comprised employees on different floors who followed the usual corporate policy of taking a 30-minute break sometime during the morning (at any time). Measures of productivity were gathered for each employee according to his or her job (e.g., number of reports written, number of sales made, etc.). A time series analysis was applied to compare the productivity of both groups of employees for six months before and after the intervention (started in July). Quite surprisingly, the productivity of both groups increased following the onset of the intervention, suggesting to the researcher that the timing of breaks makes no difference.
What type of research design was used in this study?
Describe two ways in which contamination may have influenced the results of this study.
Describe one threat to internal validity that might be present in this study because the independent variable manipulation was implemented on different floors of the building.