Comprehensive exam questions
1. A researcher plans to do an experiment in the college setting concerning the effects of class size on attendance in a first year law course. He has four levels of size, namely, 15, 25, 40, and 60 students. Four colleges are involved in the study, each having eight first-year law classes, two of each class size. The researcher can assign students at random to a class within a college, but he cannot assign students randomly to a college. Two law professors are used in each college. All professors teach four classes; the dependent variable is grades measured after one semester. Discuss the problems of control in this situation. Consider possible uncontrolled variables and variables that are or might be controlled. Is there a possibility of confounding of variables in this research situation? State one or more hypotheses for this experiment.
2. List at least 4 threats to internal validity and explain what they mean.
3. What variable (or variables) might you use as a basis for your observations if you are interested in studying: a. The relationship between the crime rate and unemployment in a certain city
b. Overcrowding in mental institutions
c. The relationship between smoking and health
d. Attitudes of U.S. citizens toward government-supported loans for higher education
e. The effect of rehearsal on memorization of foreign language words
4. Put the following information into APA style references:
· Mary Ellen Smith, a professor at Dartmouth College, wrote a book entitled “The Understanding of Psychology.” It was published by the Fullcourt Press, 3500 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 on the 10th of March, 2003.· Andy P. Joker and Bruce A. Riddler wrote a book chapter called “Knowns and Unknowns of Anti-Social Behavior” in 1972. It was published that same year in the Handbook of Interpersonal Relations, which was edited by A.D. Penguin, on pages 719-740. The book was published in Boston by Big City Press.· In his article, “Revenge as Motivation”, Bruce Wayne provides a brief history of the role that anger has played in motivating pro-social behavior. It is found on pages 25-42 of volume 2 of the Gotham Journal of Psychology, which was published in 196
5. Consider the question: “What should be the objectives of civics instruction in the senior high school?” Discuss how this question can be formulated into a research problem. Develop a satisfactory statement of the research problem, or provide an argument for why this is not a researchable question.
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