Case Study Details

A group of researchers looked at the effect of warmth or coldness on students’ ratings of an instructor’s teaching ability. The stimulus person was a confederate posing as a guest professor. Before the professor arrived, half of the subjects were told that he was a warm person and the other half were told that he was a cold person. In addition, the professor gave the same “neutral” lecture to both sets of participants.

The researchers were also interested in whether the status of the professor would affect the relationship between the perceived warmth or coldness of the instructor and the students’ ratings of the instructor’s teaching ability. As a manipulation of status, half of the students in each group were told that he was a professor of physical education and the other half were told he was a social psychology professor. In order to conceal the true purpose of the study, students were misled and told that it was a study of the impact of the classroom environment on student participation.

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Several of the subjects dropped out of the study, and it appeared from analyses that students assigned to the physical education instructor were more likely to drop out of the study than those who were assigned to the social psychology instructor. Results revealed that participants who were led to believe that the professor was warm rated him as a more effective teacher than the cold professor. Finally, the status of the professor did not have a direct or interaction effect on participants’ ratings of the professor.

35. Because the study was conducted in an instructional setting that is very similar to that found in the real word, this can lead to increase in :

A. placebo effect.

B. internal validity.

C. statistical validity.

D. external validity.

36. One of the major threats to validity in this study is:

A. attrition.

B. selection.

C. history.

D. testing.

37. Students were misled as to the purpose of the study in order to reduce:

A. experimenter expectancy effects.

B. participant bias.

C. selection threats to validity.

D. maturation threats to validity.

38. After reviewing the write-up of the findings by the researchers, the reviewers conclude that the researchers used the correct method of data analysis. This increases which type of validity?

A. construct

B. causal

C. statistical

D. generalizability

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