Research Methods” 

NAME ____________________________ CLASS/TIME _________________ PSYC 154 — SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

RESEARCH METHODS ACTIVITY – (5 points maximum)

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Research Methods” 
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The following items will assess your understanding of research methods in Social Psychology. Indicate what you think is the BEST answer to each of the questions below. You will earn points based on your score: Score 8-10 (5 pts); Score 6-7 (4 pts); Score 4-5 (3 pts); Score 2-3 (2 pts) and Score 0-1 (1 pt).

1. Consider the following example:

A researcher wants to conduct a study to examine the effects of frustration on aggression. She predicts that people who are frustrated behave more aggressively than people who are not frustrated. To test this prediction, she gives half of her participants a task that is impossible to solve and the remaining half an easy task to solve. She then observes the participants’ verbal behavior to assess how aggressive they are towards a confederate after they work on each of the tasks.

a. What are the variable(s) or construct(s) of interest in this study? (1 pt) ___________________________ _________________________________________________

b. Describe how at least one of these constructs is being operationalized. Indicate the construct and then indicate the operational definition of this construct (1 pt)


  1. Provide another operational definition for the construct you described above. In other words, how could you operationalize this construct differently from the way the researcher did? (1 pt)


  1. Is the researcher using a non-experimental or experimental research design? (1 pt)


e. Is there a variable that has a number of levels associated with it? (1 pt) YES NO

  1. If you answered “yes”, which variable (construct) is it (don’t just say independent or dependent variable, be specific) and how many levels does it have? (1 pt)


Circle the letter of the item you feel is the best answer to the following questions.

2. Construct validity is the extent to which:

  1. the results of the research are generalizable to the general population
  2. the independent and dependent variables correspond to the relevant theoretical constructs
  3. cause and effect relations are evident in the relevant theoretical constructs
  4. the research is constructed on valid methodology
  5. Some variables cannot be manipulated and it would be unethical to manipulate others. Both are reasons that researchers might:
  1. decide against doing a correlational study
  2. rethink their research question
  3. do an experimental study
  4. choose nonexperimental over experimental methods
  5. Random assignment is used in experiments to help ensure:
  1. external validity
  2. demand characteristics
  3. construct validity
  4. internal validity
  5. In conducting their research, one primary goal social psychologists have is:
  1. to understand the causal principles underlying behavior
  2. to explain counterintuitive phenomena
  3. to describe “abnormal” behavior
  4. all of the above

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