Langston, Research Methods, Sample Exam 1 Answered


These items were selected from exams used in previous semesters.  Study first, use the sample exam as a check on comprehension.  Some material not on this exam may be covered on the actual exam.

Answer the following.  Do not write more than you can fit.  Do not write on the back of the page.  Explain your answers as appropriate.

1.  Why might I argue that the idea of a paradigm undermines the notion of scientific objectivity?

Because some aspects of the paradigm are not objectively determined, and they influence aspects like choice of topics to study (see here)

2.  Here is my hypothesis:

H:  If you skip class (p), then you will fail (q). (see here)

For each statement below, tell me if it’s based on valid logic.  Also, what kind of logic is being used?  (4 points each)
a.  I came to class (not p), so I should pass.

Not p = Denying the antecedent, invalid 

b.  I failed (q), so I mustn’t have come to class.
 
q = Affirming the consequent, invalid

The valid ones would be "I skipped class" (p, ponens) and "I did not fail" (not q, tollens)

3.  My hypothesis is:  If a parent spanks a child then the child will be well-behaved.  I’ve conducted four tests of the hypothesis.  For each, write supported, not supported, or unaffected, based on your assessment.  (10 points)
a.  I have parents spank their children (p) and the children are well-behaved (q). (see here)
 
 Supported (ponens)

b.  I gather some well-behaved children (q) and find that their parents don’t spank them.
 
Unaffected (ATC)

c.  I make parents not spank their children (not p) and the children are not well-behaved.
 
Unaffected (DTA)

d.  I get some children who aren’t well-behaved (not q) and find that their parents don’t spank them (not p)

 Supported (tollens)

4.  I want to know if people’s vision is affected by stress.  I make two students come to the front of the room and have the class insult them until they cry.  Then I give them a vision test.  I have the class copy down the results of their tests.  (4 points each)
List two ethical violations in my experiment.  How could I fix them (and still do the experiment)? (see here)
1)  Problem: 

Harm. 

Solution: 

Come up with a new stressor that isn't so extreme or don't manipulate it, but measure it in a natural situation.

2)  Problem: 

Anonymity/Confidentiality

Solution: 

Present de-identified data, and conduct the research in private

5.  What kind of numbers would each of the following designs produce?  (3 points each) (see here)
a.  I record your order of arrival to class to see if early arrivers get better grades.

Ordinal (the word "order" is the clue)

b.  I ask people if they live on campus (I assign these a 1), off campus but in Murfreesboro (I assign these a 2), or off campus somewhere else (I assign these a 3).

Nominal (the numbers are labels; you could make a case for order in the sense that the distance gets larger as the numbers go up; note the importance of explaining your answer)

c.  I measure people’s daily calorie intake to see if people who consume more calories get better grades.

Ratio (calorie count is interval with a true zero)

d.  I have people complete a Likert scale measuring their attitude towards research methods.

Interval (we defined Likert as interval)

6.  Here’s a hypothesis:  (14 points) (see here)

H:  If a person has an eating disorder, then that person is repressing a memory of childhood sexual abuse.

Evaluate my hypothesis in terms of the ideal hypothesis.

Testable?  Get people with eating disorder and look for repressed memory.

Falsifiable?  If they don't have repressed memories.

Simple?  This is tough, because there's a lot of room in "repressing a memory" to build in assumptions.


Research Methods Sample Exam 1 Answered
Will Langston

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