Develop verbal and written communication skills

ResourcesRead/review the following resources for this activity:

  • Textbook: Chapter 1, 2
  • File: IRB Form and IRB Consent Form (in Course Document )
  • Link (video): How is research made safe?
  • Minimum of 3 outside resources

IntroductionThis assignment is meant to take you through the last step in your research project before you start collecting your data. For this project, you will be filling out an Institutional Review Board (IRB) form that we have. Most universities and colleges have a group of individuals that look over research before it is allowed to proceed. This helps to ensure that research is being done in an ethical manner. This form gives a lot of information to the IRB so they can make a decision about the research being conducted. Please note that your projects will NOT be reviewed by the IRB but by your instructor for the class. In class, work does not need to be review by the IRB but this step is still being done to ensure the efficacy and quality of your project.

Activity InstructionsThe first step in this assignment is to download the IRB forms from the Course Document . Next, take your time and fill out the information that the document requests. I have included a few prompts to help you with what is requested. Some of the questions will not pertain to what you are doing in your research but I have left them in so you can get a sense of what is usually asked when filling out the IRB form. Every project using human participants must also use a consent form. The template for the consent form should be downloaded from the Course Document  and everything that is highlighted should be replaced with information about your study. Once finished, upload the finished IRB forms with your name included in the file name.

Writing Requirements (APA format)

  • 4-5 pages (approx. 300 words per page), not including title page or references page
  • 1-inch margins
  • Double spaced
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Title page with topic and name of student
  • References page (minimum of 3 resources)

Grading and AssessmentThis assignment will be graded based on how well the topic follows the four key factors of good research topics. Also, grades will be based on how well the references in the literature review fit the topic.

Course Learning Outcome(s): 1, 3, 4, 5, 81.   Understand the language of research.3.   Understand and apply the scientific method to answering research questions.4.   Design, conduct, analyze, synthesize, prepare a well written APA style research paper and communicate results from a scientifically valid, original empirical research5.   Develop verbal and written communication skills8.   Be able to evaluate programming, therapies, policy, etc.

Directions: For this assignment complete the work sheet below. Please type out your answers on a separate Word document and then upload it. Don’t forget to number your answers so they can be matched up to the correct question.

  1. Instructors wanted to determine if technology could help students retain information better. One-half of the general psychology students complete computer simulations. The remaining half of the students spent an equal amount of time reviewing the text and their lecture notes. Both groups were then tested on the course information.
    1. What is the hypothesis? ___________________________________________
    2. What is the control group? ____________________________________________
    3. What is the experimental group? _______________________________________
    4. What is the independent variable? ______________________________________
    5. What is the dependent variable? _______________________________________
  1. One-half of a fraternity at NC State watched the television program, “The Day After”. The program was a dramatic presentation of a nuclear holocaust. The remaining members of the fraternity watched programs on one of the other major networks during the same time period. The fraternity members were then individually interviewed regarding their attitudes toward nuclear disarmament.
    1. What is the hypothesis? ___________________________________________
    2. What is the control group? ____________________________________________
    3. What is the experimental group? _______________________________________
    4. What is the independent variable? ______________________________________
    5. What is the dependent variable? _______________________________________
  1. A scientist wants to determine if hunger is motivating. Two groups of rats are run in a maze with a food reward. The time that it takes for each rat to reach the goal box is recorded. One group of rats is deprived of food for 24 hours before being run on the maze. The other group is fed on their regular schedule before the maze trials. All other conditions for the two groups are the same.
    1. What is the hypothesis? ___________________________________________
    2. What is the control group? ____________________________________________
    3. What is the experimental group? _______________________________________
    4. What is the independent variable? ______________________________________
    5. What is the dependent variable? _______________________________________

Operational Definitions:

  1. A group of scientists believe that women find men without earrings more attractive than men with earrings.
    1. What is the independent variable? _______________________________
    2. What is the dependent variable? _______________________________
    3. Propose an operational definition for the dependent variable. _______________________________
  1. A team of scientists is testing the hypothesis that young women look in the mirror more than older women.
    1. What is the independent variable? ____________________________
    2. What is the dependent variable? _______________________________
    3. Propose an operational definition for the dependent variable. ______________________________

Confounding Variables: For each selection, identify the one serious confounding factor that threatens the experiment’s validity. Then, suggest how the confounded factor could be controlled.

  1. Fred Rogers wanted to test a new sing-along method to teach math to fourth graders (e.g. “I Love to Multiply” to the tune of God Bless America). He used the sing-along method in his first period class. His sixth period students continued solving math problems with the old method. At the end of the term, Mr. Rogers found that the first period class scored significantly lower than the sixth period class on a mathematics achievement test. He concluded that his sing-along method was a total failure.

Name a confounding variable:

What is one method to unconfound the experiment?

  1. An airport administrator wanted to determine how many incoming flights the average controller could coordinate at the same time. Each randomly selected controller was tested without his or her knowledge by a computer program, which fed false flight information to a computer terminal. The controller first “received” information from one plane and by the end of the hour was coordinating the flight patterns of ten planes simultaneously. The administrator analyzed the errors collected by the computer program. The analysis revealed that six was the maximum number of planes a controller could handle without making potentially fatal errors. Also, no errors occurred when only one to three planes were incoming. He concluded that a controller should never coordinate more than six incoming flights.

Name a confounding variable:

What is one method to unconfound the experiment?

Practice: Write a hypothesis for each of the statements and identify the variables, control group, and experimental group.

8. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of lung cancer.

Hypothesis: If _______________________________, then _________________________

Independent Variable: ______________________ Dependent Variable: _______________

Control Group: ____________________________ Experimental Group: _______________

9. Eating breakfast increases performance in school.

Hypothesis: If _______________________________, then _________________________

Independent Variable: ______________________ Dependent Variable: _______________

Control Group: ____________________________ Experimental Group: _______________

10. Using computers to take notes in class decreases retention of information.

Hypothesis: If _______________________________, then _________________________

Independent Variable: ______________________ Dependent Variable: _______________

Control Group: ____________________________ Experimental Group: _______________

11. Runners have less stress.

Hypothesis: If _______________________________, then _________________________

Independent Variable: ______________________ Dependent Variable: _______________

Control Group: ____________________________ Experimental Group: _______________

Decoding and experiment: 

Dr. Antonio Ruane is a developmental psychologist who loves his work. It is a great profession except that he can never get away from work!   One area of interest for him is toilet training because parents always ask how to do it faster and neater. He was out at a restaurant sitting next to a table of boy toddlers and their parents.  (It wasn’t the best eating event for him.)  Dr. Ruane did become fascinated as the boys made targets out of everything. The boys even threw wads of napkins at his water glass – fortunately, their aim wasn’t that good. It got him to thinking, though, about boys and targets and whether he could use this for toilet training.

He decided to set up an experiment. Dr. Ruane enlisted 10 daycare centers that agreed to participate. He wrote letters to parents asking if they would allow their children to be subjects in his study. He only used boys in this study due to anatomical and maturational differences between the sexes.   A number of parents agreed to participate, and he randomly assigned their sons to different groups.  One group of day care providers and parents received instructions to throw Cheerios in the toilet for the boys to aim at.  The other group did not use targets and just followed the traditional toilet training.  Dr. Ruane charted the time it took to become accident free, i.e. toilet trained.

He was delighted to find that the ‘Cheerio boys’ trained in half the time, when compared to the traditional potty training boys. (As you might imagine, the makers of Cheerios were delighted!)

12. What was his hypothesis?

13. Independent variable? Why?

14. Dependent variable? Why?

15. Did he get a random assignment of subjects? Why or why not?

16. Did he prove his hypothesis? Are there any other confounding variables that may have impacted the boys?

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