Discussion 3: How to Read an Empirical Research Paper

PSY3211 – Research Methods and Data Analysis in Psychology


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Make a post in which you:

First , read this scenario:  A study that examined the relationship between age and accuracy of eye witness found that older adults, those 75  years or older were more likely to make inaccurate reports when they serve as eye witnesses.

  1. State whether you think there are any confounding variable (s) in this scenario?
  2. List confounding variable (s) you identified
  3. Explain why or why not this is confounding variable

Reply to a group member’s paragraph with the following information:

  1. Discuss one aspects of your peer’s post that could be improved. This could include something about their summary that is inaccurate, grammatical errors or mistakes, or ways that they could improve their writing. Be very specific here. Everything can always be improved! Even if it is very good, there is always something that could be changed.
  2. Do you agree with your group member’s assessment of the confounding variable(s)in the scenario? Why or why not?
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  • The authors of this experiment arranged 80 participants and performed several computer-based risk-taking measures to test how people perceive safety, and how this influences their active participation in risk-taking behavior, anxiety levels, and sensation feelings, respectively. The findings suggest that participants who wore a helmet demonstrated higher scores on both sensations seeking and risk-taking than those who wore a cap. Anxiety levels were not affected by these conditions. There were no findings on the relationship between gender and risk-taking, nor for bicycling and helmet interactions. Overall, the results suggest that people adapt their risk-taking behavior based on how they perceive safety.
  • Confounding variables are factors other than the independent variable that may cause a result. In this case, and just, for giving an example, I would think of a participants’ physical situation that may have affected the obtained results. The author didn’t take into consideration the participant’s health conditions when measuring risk-taking behavior, anxiety levels, and sensation feelings.