PYB110 Psychological Research Methods: Psychology and Counselling

PYB110 Psychological Research Methods

Questions:

Section A:  Variable Recognition and Hypothesis Development (5 marks in total)
For each of the five research scenarios listed below:
a.    Identify the key independent variable (IV) and dependent variable (DV) in each scenario.  (0.5 mark)
b.    Construct a directional hypothesis of the relationship between these variables for each of your scenarios.  (0.5 mark)

(1 mark per scenario)
Example Research Scenarios
1.    Example:  A researcher is interested in exploring how dietary saturated fat intake increases risk of coronary heart disease. The researcher            records the average daily saturated fat intake of a group of participants, and administers a heart disease risk measure, which records risk as       a  percentage.

IV: Average daily saturated fat intake
    DV: Percentage risk of coronary heart disease
    Hypothesis: An increase in the average daily saturated fat consumption is associated with an increase in the percentage risk of coronary heart disease.
          
2.    Example:  A researcher conducts a study to see if the number of friends a person has is associated with the person’s level of self-confidence. The research is based on a  theory that having friends is a cause of self-confidence. 

    IV: Number of Friends
    DV: Level of self-confidence

Hypothesis: An increase in number of friends is associated with a positive increase in self-confidence. 
Research Scenarios 
Scenario 1
An industrial psychologist is interested in whether the number of employees in a shared office space directly impacts their workplace stress level. The psychologist collected a random sample of 100 different employees and measured how many colleagues each of them shares their office with and used a psychometric survey to measure each employee’s stress. The psychologist predicted that more employees in a shared office space would be associated with higher levels of their stress levels.  

IV:
DV:
Hypothesis:

Scenario 2
A sports psychologist was interested in how daily sugar intake (g) impacts motivation to lose weight. The psychologist asked 150 adults who signed up for a weight loss boot camp to complete a food diary (that estimated daily consumption of sugar) and a psychometric instrument designed to measure motivation to lose weight. The sports psychologist predicted that higher levels of sugar intake would be associated with lower levels of motivation.  

IV:
DV:
Hypothesis:

Scenario 3
An educational psychologist was interested in how on campus university attendance impacts student social connectedness with their peers.  At the end of a teaching semester, the psychologist asked 500 first year university students to estimate their weekly attendance on campus (in hours) and had them complete a survey tool which measured social connectedness. The educational psychologist predicted that higher levels of attendance would be associated with higher levels of peer social connectedness.   

IV:
DV:
Hypothesis:

Scenario 4 
A social media researcher wants to explore what directly increases Instagram followers.  The researcher specifically wants to explore how many weekly posts an Instagram user makes and how many new weekly followers the user attracts. To undertake this research, 1000 random Instagram users are sampled over 1 week, and the number of posts and the number of new followers are recorded at the end of the week. The researcher predicted that the more posts an Instagram user makes, the greater number of new followers that will be gained.   

IV:
DV:
Hypothesis:

Scenario 5
A sleep specialist was interested in exploring how sleep impacts resting blood pressure. The specialist recruited 200 participants and had each of them sleep over night at an observational clinic. The specialist recorded hours of sleep and the blood pressure of each participant upon waking up. It was predicted that longer hours of sleep would be associated with lower resting blood pressure.  

IV:
DV:
Hypothesis:

Section B:  Central Tendency, Spread and Bivariate Relationships (10 marks in total)
In this Section of your assignment, you will be analysing data from a mock survey of PYB110 students. In Blackboard, you will find data to analyse that has been randomly generated and matched specifically to YOU. (Section_B_data.jpg). Your task is to perform a range of descriptive statistical tasks on this data. You must use only the data that has been specifically provided. You DO NOT need to collect your own data. 
The survey asked students two questions:
Approximately how would you rate your time management skills, on a scale from 1-20 ? (Please provide a single whole number as your answer)

(1 being not good at all; 20 being very good)

 Approximately how would you rate your motivation to study, on a scale from 1-100? (Please provide a single whole number as your answer)

(1 being the lowest and 100 being the highest)
You are to investigate how self-rated time-management skills are associated with motivation levels. You can choose which variable is your IV and DV – however your hypothesis (below) must match/reflect this. 

You do not need to show your workings, but please ensure you check all your workings very carefully as an error in an earlier question may lead to an error in subsequent questions.
1.     For your chosen two variables:
a)    Construct a directional hypothesis about the relationship you expect to find between these 2 variables.  (0.5 mark)

b)    Identify which variable is your independent variable (IV) and which is your dependent variable (DV). (0.5 mark)

IV:
DV:

2.     For each of your two variables:
a)    Please list the raw scores on each variable paired for every participant in the table below. Your data must match the data file specifically provided to YOU in Blackboard. Make sure you record and check all scores exactly as they appear in your individual data file before progressing further in Section B. 
b)    Create frequency tables for your variables (one for each of your variables) (0.5 mark)

If you can insert computer-generated tables here, you are welcome to do so. If you prefer to draw the tables by hand, insert an image of your hand-drawn tables here (see assignment guidelines for detailed instructions).

c)    Create histograms for your variables (one for each of your variables) (0.5 mark)

If you can insert computer-generated histograms here, you are welcome to do so. If you prefer to draw the tables by hand, insert an image of your hand-drawn tables here (see assignment guidelines for detailed instructions).

3.     For each of your two variables, calculate the following:
a)    Mode (0.5 mark) 

b)    Median (0.5 mark)

c)    Minimum and maximum score (0.5 mark)

Minimum:
Maximum:

d)    Range (0.5 mark)

e)    Mean (1 mark)

f)    Standard deviation (1 marks)

4.     Based on visual inspections of your histograms as well as the central tendency statistics you have calculated, determine whether the distributions of your two variables are symmetrical or skewed and explain your decision. (1 marks)
5.       From the data you have been provided, use your IV and DV to:
a)    Construct a correctly formatted and labelled scatterplot. (1 mark)

If you can insert a computer-generated scatterplot here, you are welcome to do so.
If you prefer to draw this scatterplot by hand, insert an image of your hand-drawn scatterplot here (see assignment guidelines for detailed instructions).

b)    Based on a visual inspection of the scatterplot, give an estimate (in words, not numbers) of the strength and direction of the relationship between your variables. Then explain how this estimate relates to your hypothesis about the relationship you expected to find between these two variables.  (2 marks)

Section C:  Correlation (10 marks in total)
Theory suggests that biological measures of the human brain directly impact memory. A neuroscientist was interested in exploring different brain measures and how they relate to real world applications of memory. To narrow down the research focus, the neuroscientist decided to explore two specific measures: hippocampal volume and memory of a map. To investigate this theory, the neuroscientist recruited 10 participants and used medical imaging to measure each person’s hippocampal volume. The participants also completed a computer-based task in which they drew maps of the city they resided in using their memory. The computer calculated how accurate the maps were (measured as percentage out of 100). The neuroscientist hypothesised that higher hippocampal volume would be associated with greater map accuracy. 
1.    Based on this study and data:
a)    Give a directional hypothesis explaining the nature of the hypothesised relationship clearly indicating what is the predictor and the criterion variables. (1 mark)

b)    Construct a correctly formatted and labelled scatterplot of the data. (1 mark)

If you can insert a computer-generated scatterplot here, you are welcome to do so.
If you prefer to draw this scatterplot by hand, insert an image of your hand-drawn scatterplot here (see assignment guidelines for detailed instructions).

c)    Based on a visual inspection of the scatterplot, give an estimate (in words, not numbers) of the strength and direction of the relationship between the variables (e.g., no relationship; strong positive relationship). (1 mark)

2.    Please calculate the following statistics (a and b). For each statistic, give its value and the formula you have used for computing it. Then explain the meaning of the value of the statistic in terms of the relationship between the variables (c). Hint: start by filling in the table above.

If you can insert a computer-generated formula in the appropriate section of each question below (a and b), you are welcome to do so.
If you prefer to write these formulas by hand, insert an image of your hand-written formula below (see assignment guidelines for detailed instructions).
You do not need to show your workings, but please ensure you check all your workings very carefully as an error in an earlier question may lead to an error in subsequent questions.

a)    Calculate the Correlation Coefficient (2 marks)

Value of statistic: 

Formula used: 

b)    Calculate the Coefficient of Determination/proportionate reduction in error (0.5 mark)

Value of statistic: 

Formula used: 

c)    Construct a statement about the theorised relationship between the variables using these statistics to support your statement (2 marks) 

3.    Another researcher conducted a different study on hippocampal volume and memory, however rather than using map accuracy as a measure of memory, they designed a different task.  To measure memory, participants were asked to read a passage of text, and then were asked 10 specific questions about the text 1 hour after.  Memory was measured as the number of correct responses about the text. The researcher predicted that higher hippocampal volume (cm3) would be associated with higher correct responses (range 1-10). The researcher collected data from 20 participants and obtained the following statistics: r = 0.40, r2 = 0.16
a)    Explain the strength and direction of the relationship between these two variables (1 mark)

b)    How much variation in correct responses can be explained by hippocampal volume? (0.5 mark)

c)    Suppose that r = 0.20, rather than 0.40. By how much would the percentage of variance in correct responses explained by hippocampal volume, decrease? (1 mark)

Section D:  Relative Standing and Probability (15 marks in total)
The table below presents the means and standard deviations of Year 3 students on a standardised maths test in a single primary school, as well as all Year 3 students in Queensland primary schools and all Year 3 students in Australian primary schools.  Scores on this test can range from 0 to 35 marks.  (Note: to answer some of these questions you will need to refer to Normal Curve Table A-1 in the appendix of your text)
1.    Please answer the following questions about Yusef who is a Year 3 student at Green Hills primary school.  He scored 25 out of 35 on the maths test.  
a)    Calculate his Z score in relation to the other Year 3 students at his school and explain what this Z score tells you about his relative standing among his peers at school. (2 marks) Z = What this Z score tells you:

b)    Calculate his Z score in relation to other Year 3 students across Queensland and explain what this Z score tells you about his relative standing among his peers across the state. (2 marks) Z = What this Z score tells you:

c)    Calculate his Z score in relation to other Year 3 students across Australia and explain what this Z score tells you about his relative standing among his peers across the country.  (2 marks) Z = What this Z score tells you:

d)    Is Yusef’s position better within his school, state or country-wide cohort? Explain your reasoning. (1 marks)

2.    Please answer the following questions about Maria who is a Year 3 student at Blue Lake Primary School.  Her teacher is very proud of her as she obtained a Z score of 2.5 when compared to the other Year 3 students at her school.  
a)    Where would Maria be placed within the school cohort if she were a student at Green Hills Primary School? Explain your reasoning. (2 marks) 

b)    What would Maria’s raw score for the maths test be if she was placed at the 90th percentile of Year 3 students in all Australian Primary Schools? (2 marks)

3.    Please use the normal curve table to answer the following questions based on the information given in the table above. 
a)    Between what scores on the maths test did the middle 50% of Year 3 Queensland Primary School students score? (2 marks)

b)    What is the probability of scoring above 25 on the maths tests for a student at Green Hills Primary School (1 mark)

c)    What is the probability of scoring above 25 on the maths tests for a student at Blue Lake Primary School (1 mark)

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