Basics Refresher Exercises
I. Identify the independent and dependent variables in the following research projects.
A. A study seeks to find out if listening to heavy metal music causes teenagers to become more violent than their peers who do not listen to heavy metal music.
B. Researchers are interested in examining the effects of long-term poverty. They do this by studying subjects’ physiological health and attachment to the workforce.
C. A study finds that self-esteem increases as a consequence of receiving good grades on examinations.
II. List TWO null and alternative hypotheses that address the research question.
A. What environmental conditions influence crime? Note: environmental factors are any factors outside of the individual (population density, social disorganization, unemployment, etc.
III. For each of the hypotheses you created in Section II., identify your independent, dependent, and any control variables.
IV. Answer the questions at the end of each passage.
A. Researchers have found a consistent relationship between schools and crime. More crime occurs in neighborhoods surrounding high schools and junior highs than in neighborhoods far away from schools. The researchers conclude that schools cause crime and believe that this relationship may have something to do with teachers not teaching students the appropriate lessons in the classroom. On the basis of these data, do you find this argument compelling? Why or why not? If not, what could explain this relationship?
B. The U.S. Department of Justice has found that of the children killed by their parents, 55% of the murders were preformed by the child’s mother and 45% of the murders were preformed by the child’s father. A researcher uses the data to support his contention that women are more violent than men. On the basis of these data, do you find this argument compelling? Why or why not? If not, what could explain this relationship?