Design of a Psychological Experiment

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Design of a Psychological Experiment

Psyc 100 (0110-0129) Fall,
1996 Dr. Sternheim
Report #1 (10 points)

Problem: Suppose you are a psychologist who is interested in the effects of caffeine on the eye-hand coordination of students enrolled at UMCP. Design an experiment to test the hypothesis that caffeine enhances a student's ability to hit a baseball. Describe your experiment by answering the following questions:

1) What are the independent and dependent variables? The independent variable would be the caffeine. The results of the students' hitting of the baseball would be the dependent variable.

2) What are the experimental conditions and what are the tasks for the experimenter, the participants in your experiment, and any other people you might ask to help? The experimental conditions would be the same for all participants, probably in an indoor stadium so the weather won't affect the students. The task for the experimenter would be to make sure to have a control group, to have a wide variety and different types of participants, to make sure all participants use the same equipment, and have controlled amounts of caffeine. The tasks for the participants would be to carefully follow the instructions of the experimenter, that is to hit the baseball.

3) Will you treat all the participants in the same way? No, I would not treat all the participants in the same way. The control group would not be given caffeine. However, I would treat all experimental groups the same because that will give more accurate results. If the participants were not treated the same I would not be able to accurately measure how much or how little the caffeine affected the students.

4) How will you select the participants of your study so that they are representative of the students enrolled at UMCP? I would randomly chose participants of different ethnic groups, ages, weights, and sexes.

5) What factors must be controlled when using the...