Research Methods Exam Practice Questions 1 February 2012

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RESEARCH METHODS
PRACTICE EXAM QUESTIONS
February 2012
Question 1
 A researcher wants to sample from the population
such that gender and age groups are represented in
proportion to their numbers within the population.
His study would use:
A. Matched-subjects design
B. Random sample
C. Repeated measures design
D. Stratified sample
Question 1
Answer
 D
A stratified sample ensures that the subset derived
from the population represents relevant groups
and/or subject characteristics in proportion to their
numbers within the population.
Question 2
 The main purpose for using random sampling in an
experiment is to ensure that:
A. The participants chosen form a representative
subset of the population
B. All extraneous variables are removed from the
experimental design
C. The volunteers form a sample that is equal in
all relevant demographic characteristics
D. The participants are less likely to behave
according to the experimenter’s expectations
Question 2
Answer
 A
The main purpose for using random sampling in an
experiment is to ensure that the participants chosen
form a representative subset of the population.
Question 3
 The main role of the control group in an experiment is
that it
A. Is exposed to the IV such that there is no chance
of any interference from the experimenter.
B. Provides a basis for comparison against which
the behaviour of the experimental group can be
assessed.
C. Balances the overall sample to eliminate all
confounding variables.
D. Ensures that statistical analysis can confirm the
hypothesis
Question 3
Answer
 B
The main role of the control group in an experiment is
to provide a basis for comparison against which the
behaviour of the experimental group can be assessed.
Question 4
 In order to explore the effect of alcohol on visual perception,
an experiment was devised using two groups. The first group
performed a series of tasks when completely sober, while the
second group performed the tasks after consuming alcohol to
bring their BAC level up to at least 0.05%. The latter group in
this case was the:
A. Control group
B. Dependent group
C. Experimental group
D. Independent group
Question 4
Answer
 C
The group exposed to the independent variable, in this
case the alcohol condition, is the experimental group.
Question 5
 In order to perform an ERA to see if expectancy would alter
perception, a psychology class asked students at random
within the canteen queue whether they would consent to
being part of the experiment. Half of the students were
shown an ambiguous sketch (Bugelski and Alampay’s
Rat/Man) and asked to say what they saw whereas the other
half were shown the same picture but asked to say what
animal they perceived.
(i) Why did the experimenters choose to select the
participants at random?
(ii) What is the term that describes the first group (that
were given no instructions)? Briefly explain its
purpose within the experimental design.
2 marks
Question 5
Answer
(i) Random selection of participants is used to try to
control for subject variables in order to make the
sample representative of the population under
study.
(ii) The control group
…acts as a basis for comparison against the
experimental group (or to compare the effect of the IV
with the experimental group)
Question 6
 A psychology teacher wants to perform an ERA within
her school based on Loftus’ eyewitness studies to see if
perceptual set was a factor affecting the interpretation of
a “Crime Scene”picture. As her school had a broad
multicultural population, with different numbers of
students within each ethnic group, what method would
she have to apply in order to control for the subject
variable of cultural background and ethnicity? Briefly
explain what she would need to do.
2 marks
Question 6
Answer
 The method required to control for the subject
variable of cultural background and ethnicity would
be stratified sampling.
 While still employing random sampling, the teacher
would need to ensure that each culture/ethnic
group was represented within the sample in the
same proportions as they occur within the school
population.
Question 7
 Researchers wish to investigate the effect of caffeine levels on
sleep patterns. In order to do so, they obtain a random sample
of adults, controlling for age and gender proportions within
the general population. These participants were then split into
three groups keeping these same proportions, and made to
undergo each of the three experimental conditions. In random
order, these groups were:
(i)
Deprived of all caffeine for one week
(ii) Allowed to have what is considered a “normal” amount of
caffeine in their diet for one week
(iii) Given higher levels of caffeine than “normal” for one week
 The researchers in this case have employed:
A. An independent-groups design
B. A matched-participants design
C. A placebo group
D. A repeated measures design
Question 7
Answer
 D
The researchers in this case have employed a repeated
measures design as each group of participants was
exposed to all three experimental conditions.
Question 8
 The researchers above decide to subject the participants
to another experimental condition whereby they only
consume de-caffeinated beverages, but are under the
impression that they are having a “normal” amount of
caffeine. By including this condition, the researchers are:
A. Attempting to eliminate experimenter bias
B. Employing a double blind procedure
C. Trying to control for the placebo effect
D. Introducing too many variables for analysis
Question 8
Answer
 C
The participants’ believe that they are experiencing an
experimental condition, whereas in fact this condition
has a null effect in terms of the IV (caffeine level). This
condition has been introduced to counter any effect
that the participants’ expectations may have on their
sleep patterns. As it is only the participants who are
unaware that this is a fake condition, it is a single
blind, not a double blind procedure.
Question 9
 Psychologists must inform participants of the nature of
the research and that participants are free to participate n
or to decline to participate or to withdraw from the
research. These requirements are necessary to ensure:
A. Confidentiality
B. Debriefing
C. Informed consent
D. Research participation
Question 9
Answer
 C
Informing participants of the nature of the research
and that they are free to participate or to decline to
participa
Question 10
 Which of the following is not one of the primary ethical
considerations in research with humans?
A. The participants’ rights to privacy.
B. The use of deception within the research
design
C. The provision of details regarding the
experiment to the research participants
D. The participants’ right to continue even if they
are exhibiting signs of discomfort or distress.

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