Pause Problems – Chapter 7 (Smith and Davis)

PSY3211 – Research Methods and Data Analysis in Psychology

 

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Question 1

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What are the advantages AND the disadvantages of choosing participants using [first] precedent and [second] availability? As you respond, tell me how this applies to validity / reliability concerns.
Your Answer:

Precedent involves using the same participants as prior researchers. Though results may be valid, the nature of participants makes it difficult to generalize to other groups hence low reliability. Availability involves using participants because they are readily available. The results are valid and easy to reproduce hence reliable.

Question 2

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I first want you to tell me why having a homogenous sample is good but also why it is bad. That is, what are the advantages and disadvantages to having a homogenous sample? I then want you to do the same for a heterogeneous sample. What are the advantages and disadvantages here?
Your Answer:

A heterogeneous sample is one where every member has a different value for the characteristic the researcher is interested in. Heterogeneous samples allow for generalizability. The sample does not revel which variability is impacting the dependent variable. A homogenous sample is one where participants have similar or identical characteristics. Having similarities between participants creates less error in results, hence greater significance. The sample is limited in that it does not represent the whole population but only a select group.

Question 3

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I want you to first describe a study you could run that involves a double-blind approach. Then describe a study using a single-blind approach. Finally, tell me why that approach is NECESSARY for each study (that is, why other methods wouldn’t be as useful)
Your Answer:

One study that I could run using a double-blind approach would be one involving patients with Alzheimer’s. The researcher does not know which patients the real drug or the placebo is administered. The participants are also not told. A double-blind approach is needed in the study because, a researcher’s feeling or knowledge of the patient’s history may affect the way he administers the drug. To eliminate the researcher’s bias, she must be excluded from the process. A single-blind would not be the best option as the researcher may choose patients whom they feel the drug will have higher chances of success.

In a single-blind test, the participants are not told because they might behave as if the drug was working. By not telling them, the researcher eliminates their likelihood of behaving according to expected results. Double-blind is not needed because the researcher needs to know what to look for in his observation.

Question 4

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Make sure to give me a Pop Quiz question with the correct answer. I may not use it this semester, but it might turn up in the future for other students.
Your Answer:

Between homogenous and heterogeneous samples, which one is more valid and reliable?

Both yield valid results however homogenous results are collected from a limited group hence less generalizable. That is, a homogenous sample is can be hard to reproduce. A heterogeneous sample is therefore more valid and reliable.