psychology midterm

1) Put your document into Microsoft Word, .txt, or pdf.  Do not turn in a file directly from Apple’s Pages.

2) Double space the document.

3) When full sentences or essays are asked for, you can lose points for poor writing.

4) The test is out of 100 points.

1) From the attached article “Sociability and Susceptibility to the Common Cold” please do the following: (40 points total)

Note 2 pt answers do not have to be full sentences.  4 pt answers should be.

  • Cite the article as you would in a reference section in APA style  – 2 pts
  • What was the main predictor or independent variable of the study? – 2pts
  • What was the main criterion or dependent variable of the study? – 2 pts
  • How did they operationalize the main predictor/independent variable? 4 pts
  • Evaluate the construct validity of the main predictor/independent variable.  4 pts
  • How did they operationalize the main criterion/dependent variable? 4 pts
  • Evaluate the construct validity of the main predictor/dependent variable 4 pts
  • Was this a correlational or an experimental study?  Justify your answer. 2 pts
  • Evaluate the internal validity of the study. 4 pts
  • Evaluate the external validity of this study to a typical person catching a cold.  Evaluate in terms of structural, functional, and conceptual components? 4 pts
  • What was the main finding to the study? 2 pts
  • What is the “big picture” conclusion of this study? 2 pts
  • Evaluate the ethics of the study. 4 pts

2) Name one advantage and one disadvantage for each of the following: (2 pts each, 16 points total)

Note: Answers do not have to be in full sentences

  • Conducting a laboratory study
  • Conducting an experiment
  • Conducting applied research
  • Conducting a qualitative study
  • Conducting a longitudinal study
  • Using a behavioral measure
  • Using a self-report measure
  • Using college students as participants

3) Define and give an example hypothesis illustrating each of the following.  Specifically point out the variable in the hypothesis.  You may use the same or different hypotheses for each item.  These do not have to be in full sentences. (2 pts each, 8 points total)

  • independent variable
  • dependent variable
  • mediating variable
  • moderating variable

4) Answer 6 of the following 8 questions.  Each answer is worth 6 points for a total of 36 points.  If you answer more than 6, I will grade the first six.  Answers likely will take a few sentences to a paragraph to complete.  None should take more than one page. 

  • Find a description of a study in an academic source or the media.  Copy the description into your paper.  From that description describe a potential confound and how that affects the interpretation of the study.
  • Why is psychological research often considered a set of trade-offs?  Provide at least one example of a trade-off.
  • What are the ways that the scientific method can break down due to unethical behavior of scientists?  To answer this question, describe the scientific method, what unethical behavior could occur at each step, and what consequences that has.
  • Go the following website and evaluate the external validity of their polling.  Do you think the results would generalize to either people who will vote in the Presidential election or to the general United States population?  What conclusions can be made from their data?  Defend your answer.
  • I want to do an experiment examining how a professor is viewed based on a class that they teach called “The Psychology of Diversity”.  I suspect participants may have stereotypes of instructors who teach this course.  I provide participants with a syllabus with that title from the instructor.  Because I am doing an experiment, I need a control condition.  To avoid confounds I want the basics of the syllabus to be the same except for the title.  Which title should I pick? Rank order the following possibilities from best to worst and defend your order.
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • The Psychology of Religion
  • What We All Have in Common: A Psychology Course
  • Many people believe that psychology is not a science.  How would you argue that it is a science?
  • Describe a pop-psychology hypothesis that cannot be falsified.  Describe why it cannot be falsified.
  • How would you respond to somebody stating that psychology is not worth anything because psychology can never create a perfect study….that all studies have weaknesses or errors.
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