To prepare for this activity, please read Chapter 1 of your textbook and review the Instructor Guidance and relevant Announcements. In this activity, you will consider research methods by describing a simple experiment that utilizes elements of the scientific method, applying ethical considerations. See The Experiment for a detailed explanation of the experimental method.
Psychology is the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Psychologists utilize the scientific method to test their ideas. There are many different types of research studies. In this interactive learning activity, your original post will explain the basic precepts of scientific approaches to the study of psychology; your responses will focus on descriptive and correlational methods. Be sure to use your own academic voice and apply in-text citations appropriately throughout your post.
- Select a hypothesis from the following list:
- Students who sit in the front row earn higher grades.
- Attractive people are more likely to be asked on a date.
- People drive more aggressively when behind the wheel of a sports car.
- Diet is more effective than exercise in a weight loss program.
- Reading to a child will result in a larger vocabulary.
- Insert your own idea: __________________________________________
- Briefly summarize a perspective (e.g., behaviorism, psychodynamic theory, cognitivism, humanism, sociocultural perspectives, biological/physiological/psychological) that you might apply to your study of this topic. Explain how it may be relevant to your understanding of this topic.
- Describe a simple experiment that you might conduct to test the hypothesis you have chosen. In your description, include the following:
- Identify the independent and dependent variables, clearly operationalizing each.
- Explain how you would implement your manipulation and measure responses.
- Predict any potential confounds and how to best control these factors.
- Discuss steps a researcher could take to prevent bias (experimenter, subject, and/or sampling bias).
- Apply your knowledge of ethics to your experimental design by explaining why bias is an important consideration in the process.
- Remember to use your own academic voice and apply in-text citations appropriately throughout your post
Post your initial response of 250 words or more by Day 6 (Sunday). Respond to at least two of your peers by Day 7 (Monday). You are encouraged to post your original response and one or more of your required replies earlier to stimulate more meaningful and interactive discourse in the discussion forum. In addition, strive to provide a response to classmates who replied to your initial post and/or the Instructor (if applicable). Peer responses may vary in length but should be carefully crafted and insightful. Below are some suggestions to assist your thinking.
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Guided Response: Reply to at least one peer who chose a hypothesis other than the one you selected and two or more peers overall. The goal of this interactive learning activity is to foster creative and critical thinking. Consider the following questions in your responses:
- What ethical or methodological considerations may have been overlooked by your peer?
- Suggest an alternate descriptive method (e.g., case study, survey, naturalistic observation) to test the same idea.
Continue to monitor this discussion board through 5 PM (Mountain Time) on Day 7 of the week. Peer responses may vary in length but should be detailed and thought provoking. You are expected to respond to any question posed to you by the instructor, and you are encouraged to reply to your classmates’ questions as well. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses to your classmates and your instructor.