Design Of A Psychological Experiment Essay Research

Design Of A Psychological Experiment Essay, Research Paper

Design of a Psychological Experiment

Psyc 100 (0110-0129) Fall,

1996 Dr. Sternheim

Report #1 (10 points)

Problem: Suppose you are a psychologist who is interested in the effects of

caffeine on the eye-hand coordination of students enrolled at UMCP. Design an

experiment to test the hypothesis that caffeine enhances a student’s ability to

hit a baseball. Describe your experiment by answering the following questions:

1) What are the independent and dependent variables? The independent variable

would be the caffeine. The results of the students’ hitting of the baseball

would be the dependent variable.

2) What are the experimental conditions and what are the tasks for the

experimenter, the participants in your experiment, and any other people you

might ask to help? The experimental conditions would be the same for all

participants, probably in an indoor stadium so the weather won’t affect the

students. The task for the experimenter would be to make sure to have a control

group, to have a wide variety and different types of participants, to make sure

all participants use the same equipment, and have controlled amounts of caffeine.

The tasks for the participants would be to carefully follow the instructions of

the experimenter, that is to hit the baseball.

3) Will you treat all the participants in the same way? No, I would not treat

all the participants in the same way. The control group would not be given

caffeine. However, I would treat all experimental groups the same because that

will give more accurate results. If the participants were not treated the same

I would not be able to accurately measure how much or how little the caffeine

affected the students.

4) How will you select the participants of your study so that they are

representative of the students enrolled at UMCP? I would randomly chose

participants of different ethnic groups, ages, weights, and sexes.

5) What factors must be controlled when using the experimental method in this

manner? The factors that must be controlled in this experiment would be the

amount of caffeine consumed, the equipment used (must have same bat and

baseball), and the environment in which they will perform their assigned task.

The environment should be indoors so that weather will not affect the results.

6) Suppose your experiment provided evidence that caffeine enhances eye-hand

coordination. Would it be reasonable to expect, based on your results, that a

pilot would be better able to land an airplane if given caffeine? No, since

landing a plane and hitting a baseball are two very different skills. Landing a

plane requires more skill and the side effects of caffeine which are not evident

in the above experiment might show up in a pilot. Caffeine may cause some

people to become nervous and shake and that would not help a pilot land a plane.

The only way to find out would be to setup and experiment about the effects of

caffeine on pilot landing planes.


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