Give an example from personal experience of how you or someone you know have benefited from the results of scientific research.
Find and discuss a research project that in your opinion has ethical concerns. Explain why you find these concerns to be troubling.
Indicate your personal feelings about the use of animals in research. When should and should not animals be used? What principles have you used to come to these conclusions?
There is a negative correlation between the row that a student sits in in a large class (when the rows are numbered from front to back) and his or her final grade in the class. Do you think this represents a causal relationship or a spurious relationship, and why?
Think of two variables (other than those mentioned in this book) that are likely to be correlated, but in which the correlation is probably spurious. What is the likely common-causal variable that is producing the relationship?
Imagine a researcher wants to test the hypothesis that participating in psychotherapy will cause a decrease in reported anxiety. Describe the type of research design the investigator might use to draw this conclusion. What would be the independent and dependent variables in the research?
The Pepsi Cola Corporation, now PepsiCo Inc., conducted the “Pepsi Challenge” by randomly assigning individuals to taste either a Pepsi or a Coke. The researchers labeled the glasses with only an “M” (for Pepsi) or a “Q” (for Coke) and asked the participants to rate how much they liked the beverage. The research showed that subjects overwhelmingly preferred glass “M” over glass “Q,” and the researchers concluded that Pepsi was preferred to Coke. Can you tell what confounding variable is present in this research design? How would you redesign the research to eliminate the confound?
Locate a research report of a meta-analysis. Determine the criteria that were used to select the studies and report on the findings of the research.
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