research design exam 2

Research Methods

Directions: There are 7 questions to complete in this exam. Read the questions carefully. You can consult with others but DO NOT copy directly from each other or paraphrase. Trust yourself and THINK!!! There are many answers to each question and I will be looking for thought processes. Think this out carefully. If you have any questions about the exam, please feel free to text/call/visit me.

Have fun with this, don’t regard it as a chore, but rather, as a challenge. Remember, research is like a good mystery. Be a “Sherlock Holmes”. Think. Challenge yourself. Now go ahead, “the game is afoot….”

Please use the answer grid in the file

1. It is Ohio in February and a small child home from school because of the weather looks longingly out the kitchen window at the birdfeeder. There are many birds feeding and among them are woodpeckers, doves, nuthatches, and chickadees. He and his dad recently purchased woodpecker suet to attract woodpeckers to their feeder. But the boy believes that the woodpeckers will eat just about anything and that all of the birds, not just the woodpeckers, are eating everything. They decided to conduct an experiment. On one side of the feeder, they placed the woodpecker suet cake ($1.53 each), and on the other side of the feeder they placed standard suet cake (.99 each). They decided to count how many birds came to each side to eat the suet cakes, how many of each type of bird for each type of cake, and how quickly the suet cakes were eaten. They found that there were more woodpeckers at the woodpecker suet cake vs. the standard suet cake (t=5.33, p.=.03). More birds in general of all types (even woodpeckers) went to the standard suet cake (t=3.11, p=.05) vs. the woodpecker suet cake. The standard suet cake was eaten much faster (t=7.93, p.=.02). They concluded that they would see woodpeckers with the standard suet cake, and be able to save money, so they should switch to standard suet cakes vs. buying the special woodpecker cakes.

2. A 3rd grade 4-H group wishes to know which are the best feeding bowls for livestock in the heat of the summer months. They decide to use dogs as their animal model. The students wondered whether type of bowl, and location of bowl, would make a difference in terms of hydration. Students placed bowls of water (plastic bowls, metal bowls, rubber bowls—all the same size and thickness) in 4 different locations (on a wood feeding table, on the dirt ground,on cement, on grass; in 2 different same conditions (in direct sunlight, and in shade.) All water in the bowls started out at the same temperature. The students measured the change in temperature on a 90 degree day. The students found that the metal bowl stayed the coolest in the shade than all the others (t=87, p.=.001), followed by the rubber bowl, then the plastic bowl. In the heat, the metal bowl heated up the fastest, followed by the plastic bowl, then the rubber bowl (t=987, p.=.0001). Bowls that were placed on concrete heated up quickest, regardless of whether they were in sun or shade vs. the others (t=44, p.=.001), there was no difference between plastic and rubber in the cement (t=.43, p.=.06). Metal bowls on cement in the sun heated up the fastest (t=56.12, p.=.001) followed by the table, in the grass, then the dirt. The table heated the bowls much faster (t=23.1, p.=.002) vs. the other surfaces. Bowls on the dirt ground took the longest to heat up, (t=78.3, p.=.003). The students concluded that if they wanted to keep their animals well hydrated in the heat of a summer day, a metal bowl in the shade, on the dirt was their best bet. If the animal was in the sun, a rubber bowl would be best.


4. A graduate student interested in the death penalty wonders whether certain types of people favor the death penalty and certain types of people oppose it. She thinks that if people knew some basic facts about the death penalty, they’d be more opposed to it. She places an ad in one of America’s great newspapers, The Toledo Blade, and asks for volunteers for the study. She selects from those who answered her ad, a group of matched Ss, for race, age, and educational level. She is interested in the reactions of males v. females, 20-30 yr olds, 31-41 yrolds, 42-52 yr olds, and 53-63 yr olds. She is also wondering whether there is an ethnic and racial difference (Caucasians vs. African Americans), and Political Party (Democrats v. Republicans). She found that age was statistically related to DP attitudes w/53-63 yr olds favoring the DP most (F=3.33, p.=.01) vs. all other groups, and 20-30 yr olds opposing the DP more vs. all other groups (F=8.12, p.=.002). Females were more opposed to the DP vs. males (F=7.77, p=.003), Democrats were much more opposed to the DP vs. Republicans (F=10.11, p.=.001), and African Americans were much more opposed to the DP vs. Caucasians (F=1.22, p.=.04).

In a follow up study, she had all her Ss agree to hear a talk featuring Sr. Helen Prejean. All previously recorded scores shifted to a greater level of significance (less than .05) after hearing Sr. Helen. Also, Republicans became more opposed to the DP after hearing Sr. Helen (F=55.12, p.=.001), African Americans also became more opposed after hearing Sr. Helen (F=23.11, p.=.0002), and all age groups became more opposed to the DP (F=34.12, p.=.003). The biggest level of change was in the 53-63 yr old group (F=65.55, p.=.0001 after hearing Sr. Helen). The grad student concluded that there are big differences between groups on various measures, but after hearing a DP opponent speak, attitudes can shift.

5. A study was done to see whether or not children who are involved in many after school activities do better academically vs. children who are involved in fewer activities. The researchers examined children in “no”, a “few” (2-3), and “many” (4+) after school activities, boys and girls. The findings showed that girls overall had better grades vs. boys, F=3.17, p.=.02. Children with a few activities had the best grades, followed by children with no activities, F=4.11, p.=.03, and children with many activities had the worst of all grades F=3.11, p.=.02 (vs. few) and F=7.63, p.=.001 (vs. many). The researchers concluded that overscheduling children with after school activities wasn’t good for their academic performance, but that children with no after school activities would benefit from having some.


6. A researcher was interested in the number of work related accidents as a result of shift worked. She was also interested in how happy people on these various shifts reported being, and their levels of stress and fatigue. She was also interested in gender. She examined three types of workplaces: a car factory, the post office, and a police department. Male and female employees were given an Accident Report Form to track all types of major and minor accidents, a Happiness in Life Scale, a General Fatigue Scale, and a Stress in Life Scale.

The results indicated that overall males had more accidents than females (F=3.31, p.=.02), females had higher satisfaction in life (F=8.91, p.=.02), females reported more fatigue (F=32, p.=.001), and males reported more stress (F=2.1, p.=.043). First shift people, regardless of gender, had less accidents (F=34.2, p.=.001), were happier (F=21.1, p.=.01), had less fatigue (F=4.44, p.=.023), and less stress (F=5.3, p.=.02) vs. all other shifts. Third shift had the most accidents (F=8.4, p.=.01), less satisfaction in life (F=54.3, p.=.01), were more fatigued (F=9.87, p.=.001), and had more stress (F=4.56, p.=.01) than all other shifts. Post office workers and car factory workers had similar reports on all measures F=.05, p.=.91. Police department workers had a lesser rate of accidents vs. post office and factory workers (F=5.5, p.=.04), scored higher on happiness compared to factory and post office workers (F=43.2, p.=.002), and reported less fatigue (F=3.1, p.=.04), and less stress (F=3.44, p.=.04) then the other two occupations regardless of gender and shift. The researcher concluded that each shift and job has it’s own positives and negatives, and that it really didn’t matter what your job was or what shift you worked, as long as you were doing something that was important to you.

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