PSY550 Final Exam: Research Methods

Instructions: This is an open-book and open-notes exam. You have 2 hours to complete the exam. The test is worth 100 points; each item is worth 10 points.

1. Chuck Wagon is very excited about the within-subjects approach. “Now I’ll never need to run large numbers of subjects again,” he says. However, Chuck has forgotten that within-subjects designs may be a) useless, b) impossible, c) confounded by order effects, or d) impractical when excessive subject time spent in an experiment makes data inaccurate. Give an example of each of these four objections.


2. Explain the pros and cons of longitudinal, cross-sectional, and sequential designs.


3. After watching nursery-school children, Ken Garoo wants to test the hypothesis that some toys are more fun to play with than others. He decides to compare “fun” toys (blocks) with “unfun” toys (stuffed animals). He also wishes to see if there is a sex difference, as well, so sex is added as an independent variable. A) What kind of design is needed? B) Diagram it out. C) Assuming 20 subjects are needed per cell, how many subjects are needed for this study?





4. Define the term quasi-experiment and discuss the pros and cons of this research method.


5. Bill Board is “lording” his SAT score over his friend, Rhoda Dendron, who took the ACT. “You only got a 25 in math,” he chortled, “while I got a 300 in math.” Given that the SAT has a μ of 500 and a σ of 100, and the ACT has a μ of 20 and a σ of 5, what is wrong with Bill’s logic (give the answer in both z scores and percentile ranks).


6. For each of the following examples, explain whether the researcher has made a correct decision or has made a Type 1 or Type 2 error. Explain why.

a) Dr. G rejects the null hypothesis although the independent variable had no effect.

b) Dr. R rejects the null hypothesis when it is false.

c) Although the independent variable had an effect, Dr. E does not reject the null


Answer: (a)



7. A researcher has studied subjects’ ability to learn to translate words into Morse code. He has experimented with two treatment conditions: in one condition, the subjects are given massed practice; they spend 8 full hours on the task. In the other condition, subjects are given distributed practice; they also spend 8 hours, but their practice is spread over four days, practicing 2 hours at a time. After the practice, all subjects are given a test message to encode; the dependent variable is the number of errors made. The researcher has matched the subjects on intelligence. The results are in the following table. Decide which statistical test would be appropriate, carry out the test, and evaluate the outcome. Assume a significance level of .05 and that the direction of the outcome has not been predicted.

Massed PracticeDistributed Practice







8. Explain the value of reversal designs (ABA designs) in single-case research.


9. Explain how a one-way analysis of variance works. How do you use between- and within-group variability?


10. Describe a two-matched groups design. How is the matching done?


(The document is attached)