Category Archives: Psychology

tell whether it would be best to examine the independent variable in a within-subjects or a between-subjects design.

In each of the following cases, tell whether it would be best to examine the independent variable in a within-subjects or a between-subjects design. Justify your answer in each case.

a. A social psychological study of helping, in which the researchers are interested in how group size affects whether or not an individual will help someone else in the group.

b. A study of the effect of varying loudness of a tone in measuring how quickly people can respond to the tone.

c. An experiment designed to answer the question of whether the color of a woman’s hair affects the likelihood that she will be asked out for dates.

d. A study in which three different training techniques are compared as to their effectiveness in teaching animals tricks.

what safeguards would you introduce into the experiment to ensure that the rats were not using sensory cues to solve the problem (assuming the rats again performed above chance)?

A researcher in the biology department of your university has just demonstrated extrasensory perception (ESP) in rats. The rats were placed in a maze, where they had to choose between two possible runways, one of which led to food. The rats could not see or smell the food at the place in the maze where they had to make their decision, and the runway in which the experimenter put the food varied randomly from trial to trial. Over a series of 50 trials, the researcher found that there were 2 rats out of 100 tested that seemed to perform better than would be expected on the basis of chance. One picked the correct runway 64 percent of the time; the other picked it 66 percent of the time….

Do you think replication should be more strongly encouraged? If so, how?

The reward system in science discourages replications of other people’s work. Researchers are re-warded much more for novel contributions than for “merely repeating” the work of others. Some have argued that this reward system tends to create fragmentation and disarray in many areas of psychology, because people are rewarded for going their own way and (sometimes) ignoring progress in other closely related areas. Thus, basic phenomena will often be unreplicated. Do you think replication should be more strongly encouraged? If so, how?

discuss the pros and cons of using verbal reports.

Verbal reports are likely to be more useful in some areas of psychology than in others. For each of the following topics, discuss the pros and cons of using verbal reports. For those cases in which you think verbal reports cannot be used, suggest better methods:

a. Studying strategies by which people remember their childhood experiences when asked to do so

b. Studying sexual behavior of college students

c. Studying people’s mental processes that occur when they decide to buy one product rather than another

d. Studying the reasons why one person likes another

e. Studying what factors affect visual illusions

determine whether a person has incurred long-term, negative effects from participating in an obedience study such as Milgram’s?

Milgram’s (1963) research on obedience to authority was harshly criticized by a number of psychologists. One of the most vocal critics, Baumrind (1964), argued that the long-term, psychological risk to participants outweighed any potential contribution to psychological science. Milgram conducted follow-up sessions (immediate and 1 year later) to determine whether participants had suffered any long-term, negative effects from their participation in his obedience experiments. This follow-up included self-report questionnaires and verbal reports to a psychiatrist. Given the dubious validity of verbal and self-reports, what would you do to determine whether a person has incurred long-term, negative effects from participating in an obedience study such as Milgram’s?

How could the research have been done better?

A psychotherapist is interested in evaluating the effectiveness of the new therapy she has invented. It is called pet therapy and involves convincing depressed people to keep a dog as a pet, with the hope that caring for a dog will cheer them up. To evaluate the therapy, the therapist gives each of her patients a dog from the Humane Society to care for. She measures depression using a written test(which has been shown to be reliable) a week before they get the pets and then again 2 months later. She discovers that patients are much less depressed when assessed the second time and thus concludes that pet therapy is a success. Discuss several things wrong with this piece of research and the conclusion drawn from it. How….

How would developmental psychologists classify this family?

The Waltons are a large family living together, consisting of a mother, a father, 4 boys and 3 girls, a grandmother and a grandfather. This family lives together and functions as family. For example, they all sit down together for a family meal together for dinner every night. Every member of this family is expected to be at that dinner. How would developmental psychologists classify this family?

a. As a traditional nuclear family

b. As a coparenting family

c. As an extended family

d. As an economically distressed family

Research examining children’s behavior after watching an episode of Power Rangers

Research examining children’s behavior after watching an episode of Power Rangers found

a. no differences in level of aggressiveness between children who did or did not watch Power Rangers.

b. differences in level of aggressiveness between children who did or did not watch Power Rangers, but only for children who were initially classified as highly aggressive.

c. differences in level of aggressiveness between children who did or did not watch Power Rangers, butonly for children who were initially classified as low in aggressiveness.

d. differences in level of aggressiveness between children who did or did not watch Power Rangers, for boys but not for girls.

What is the major scientific flaw in this argument?

Ferdie is spending too much time playing softball and not enough time studying, so he signs up for “sportaholic therapy” (ST). The therapist tells him the cure for his “addiction” is to quit softball cold turkey and tap his temples three times whenever he feels the urge to play. After a few months, Ferdie announces that ST isn’t helping and he’s going to stop coming. The therapist gives him testimonials of clients who swear by ST, adding that Ferdie’s doubts are actually a sign that the therapy is working. What is the major scientific flaw in this argument? (Bonus: What kind of therapy might help Ferdie manage his time better

Discuss three implications for professional practice that you derived from the theories and scientific data in this chapter.

 

1.    How might you tailor coaching strategies to individuals who are trying to deal with stress and

anxiety? Give an example.

 

2.  Discuss three implications for professional practice that you derived from the theories and scientific

data in this chapter.

 

3.  The chapter begins with the story of Jason coming to bat in a pressure situation. Given what you

have learned, what could Jason do to manage his anxiety and play well? How could you help him

view his anxiety as facilitative rather than debilitative?