# Experiments For each hypothesis, consider how you could design a study that would test it, then in the experiment that’s given, identify the independent.

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Experiments For each hypothesis, consider how you could design a study that would test it, then in the experiment that’s given, identify the independent and dependent variables. For each of these experiments you may choose to push students a little further by asking them to identify the experimental and control conditions or by asking students to operationally define each independent and dependent variable.

Experiments Hypothesis: Taking tests in hot rooms decreases test scores. Students are randomly assigned to take a test in either a hot room or a comfortable room. Test scores will be compared to see if hot rooms negatively affect test-taking. What is the independent variable? Students Room temperature Test scores Tests What is the dependent variable? Students Hot room Comfortable room Test scores Students frequently try to make the participants in studies the independent or dependent variable.

Experiments Hypothesis: Newborns gaze longer at a drawing of a face-like image than at a bull’s-eye pattern. Newborns are shown, in random order, the stimuli: A face-like image, a bull’s-eye pattern, and a blank screen. Each newborn is timed to see how long they look at each. What is the independent variable? Random order Length of gaze The stimuli Newborns What is the dependent variable? Newborns Length of gaze Facelike image and bull’s-eye pattern All of the stimuli This hypothesis was taken from the chapter 5 fact or falsehood handout. For this experiment, ask students why the images need to be presented in random order.

Experiments Hypothesis: Without their sense of smell, it may be difficult to distinguish a cold cup of coffee from a glass of red wine. Participants are blindfolded and their noses are pinched closed. They are then presented with a cold cup of coffee, a cup of red wine, and a cup of water, in random order. Each is presented 3 times. Participants are asked to sip each one, guessing the contents of the cup. Next the participants, still blindfolded but with unpinched noses, taste the contents of each cup again, again guessing each cup’s contents. What is the independent variable? Being able to smell or not Participants The contents of each cup Identifying the contents of each cup What is the dependent variable? Being blindfolded Participants The contents of each cup Identifying the contents of each cup This hypothesis was taken from the chapter 6 fact or falsehood handout. For this experiment, ask students why the participants were blindfolded.

Experiments Hypothesis: Televised violence leads to aggressive behavior by teenagers who watch the programs. Teenagers ages are randomly assigned to watch either a violent movie or an equally engaging but non-violent movie. Afterwards while playing a game, they are given an opportunity to punish their competitor by blasting a loud sound in their competitor’s headphones. The teenage participants get to choose how long to administer the sound. What is the independent variable? The competitor Type of movie Length of the loud sound Teenage participants What is the dependent variable? Length of the loud sound Violent movie Teenage participants Game competitor This hypothesis was taken from the chapter 7 fact or falsehood handout. For this experiment discuss the role of deception. The study would be designed so that the teenagers thought they were participating in 2 separate studies. Following the movies, the participants may be given a bogus questionnaire so that they’d think the study was over and that they were moving on to a second study on competition, say. You may also want to discuss confounding variables here. Why did the control group movie need to be equally engaging?

Experiments Hypothesis: When people learn something while intoxicated, they recall it best when they are again intoxicated. Participants are given enough alcohol to become intoxicated, and then they watch a 30-minute instructional video. The next day the participants are randomly divided into two groups. One group is again given the same amount of alcohol as they had the previous day. The other group is given a glass of water with a little vodka around the rim. Both groups are given a test on the material covered in the video. What is the independent variable? Alcohol Intoxicated again or not Test scores Instructional video What is the dependent variable? Being intoxicated Vodka on the rim of the glass Participants Test scores This hypothesis was taken from the chapter 8 fact or falsehood handout. For this experiment you may want to discuss the role of placebos and the importance of controlling for placebo effects, in this case by making the non-alcohol group think they were getting alcohol.

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