AIMS AND HYPOTHESES. Year 12 preparation tasks: Psychology. Your research:


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1 Year 12 preparation tasks: Psychology Your research: You and your friend have been chatting about ways that you can remember more information when revising for your exams. Your friend tells you that when she is revising she always has a bar of chocolate because she thinks it gives her energy which helps her remember more. You have heard of people drinking energy drinks like lucozade to give you energy but have not heard that chocolate can help you remember more. Chocolate has caffeine in it and therefore you understand why it could give you energy. Previous research by other Psychologists has suggested that caffeine affects the way people respond to different things; research has focussed on memory recall and suggests that taking caffeine makes people remember more as they are more awake and alert. You will be investigating the affect that chocolate has on memory recall. AIMS AND HYPOTHESES Aim: To investigate whether consuming chocolate will affect memory recall. Hypothesis: Participants who eat will remember more words on a memory test than those who do not eat. 1
2 Task: Match up the term to the correct definition. Directional hypothesis Aim Nondirectional hypothesis: Hypothesis: A statement that predicts the outcome of the study. This should be based on previous research. This states that there will be a difference/ relationship between two variables, but it says exactly what the difference/relationship will be. Also called a onetailed hypothesis. For example: More ice creams will be sold on a hot day than on a cold day. A general statement that describes the purpo a research study. This only states that there will be a difference/ relationship between two variables; it does not say exactly what that difference/relationship is. Also called a twotailed hypothesis. For example: There will be a difference in the amount of ice creams sold on a hot day, compared to a cold day. Is your study using a directional hypothesis or a nondirectional hypothesis and why? VARIABLES A variable is any aspect of the situation that you may manipulate, control or measure. Independent Variable: The aspect of the situation that is manipulated by the researcher. Also known as the cause. Dependent Variable: The aspect of the situation that is measured by the researcher. Also known as the effect. 2
3 Extraneous variables: Other things within the situation which may have an effect upon the outcome. Your Piece of research: IV: DV: Possible EVs: Experimental Method There are 3 types of experiments that you can do in psychology, they are called a lab experiment, a natural experiment and a field experiment. You will learn about these in September. For this study you are going to do a lab experiment. Fill in the blanks below so that you have a complete definition of a lab experiment. Lab experiment: This type of experiment is carried out under conditions. There is a clear IV which we manipulate, and we can measure its effect on the. As this is carried out in such controlled and artificial conditions we are able to identify possible and control them to make sure they do not have an effect upon the DV. Words: Controlled DV Experiment EV s Your piece of research You are now ready to test you hypothesis that chocolate will help you remember more words on a list. 3
4 Task: Your teacher will give you a number either 1 or 2 and this will form two big groups. Group 1 You need to eat 1 piece of chocolate. Group 2 You don t eat anything (don t worry you can have a piece at the end). You will now all watch the PPT with 20 words that you need to try and remember. You will then be asked to count backwards in 3 s from 300 for 3 minutes and then you need to write down as many word as you remember from the list. Words I can remember.. The number of words I correctly remembered form the list are Experimental Design In psychology when you do an experiment, there are 3 types of experimental design that you can use. Task: See if you can work out what design you used in your research. 1. Independent Groups Design One group of participants does one condition (having chocolate) and a whole other group of participants (different people) does the other condition (no chocolate). 2. Matched Pairs Design One group of participants does one condition (chocolate), and different group of people does the second condition (no chocolate). However, participants each group are matched on a characteristic, for example gender. 3. Repeated Measures Design All participants (everybody in the class) do both conditions (both chocolate and no chocolate). 4
5 Your piece of research The experimental design is Results Put the classes results into the table below by recording the number of words that each participant recalled correctly after counting back from 3 s. Number of words correctly recalled by participants who consumed chocolate Number of words correctly recalled by participants who consumed NO chocolate In psychology researchers analyse the result in 2 ways. Descriptive statistics This is where researchers describe what the results seem to be showing by working out the mean (average), the median (middle value when the data is put in order) and the mode (most commonly occurring score). They also look at the range and standard deviation. You will learn about these in your AS year but for now we are just going to look at one measure, which is the median. You could also produce a graph to visually show what the results seem to be showing. Inferential statistics This is when the researcher carries out a statistical test to see if the results of their study are significant. You will learn how to do this in your A2 year. 5
6 Extension question Why would it not be appropriate to calculate the mean (average) number of words remembered? Homework For your first lesson back in September you are required to hand in the following piece of homework. You need to write up your study as a mini report making sure you follow the structure below. Method Aim Experimental hypothesis Is you hypothesis directional or non and why? Design Your experimental method and what this is (Lab experiment) Your experimental design and why you chose it (Independent groups, repeated measures or matched pairs?) The IV and an explanation of it The DV and an explanation of it Participants Who your participants were, how many you have used, where they are from and why you have used these. Materials A bullet pointed list of all the materials you have used, giving as much detail as possible, e.g. how much chocolate, what type etc? Procedure A step by step list of everything you have done during the study. This needs to be very detailed so that if you gave to someone else they could carry out your experiment.  You should write this as a step by step list, e.g. Step 1. Step 2. 6
7 Results Median number of words correctly recalled by participants who consumed chocolate Median number of words correctly recalled by participants who consumed NO chocolate For the purposes of this study you can calculate the median and describe what the data appears to be showing. To calculate the median you need to 1. Put all the participants scores from the first condition (those who consumed chocolate) in order form the smallest to the largest, e.g. 1, 5, 7 etc. Then you need to select the middle value. 2. Now do the same for the second condition (those who did not consume chocolate) and put the median values in the table above. Discussion questions 1. Describe what your results seem to suggest about the difference in the number of words remembered form participants who had consumed chocolate compared to those who had not? 2. At this stage you cannot be sure whether you have supported your hypothesis or not as you have not done a statistical test. However, based on what the descriptive data (median) shows you can comment on whether it appears to support the hypothesis and why? 3. Is there anything in this experiment that could have affected the DV (the number of words participants could remember) other than the IV (chocolate or no chocolate)? 4. If you were to do this experiment again in the future, would you do anything different and why? 7
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