Activity 2: Design Your Own Experiment
You can choose from the following design problems or make up new ones. Answer the following questions to best determine how to design your experiment.
- A professor believes that students who have the opportunity to write their essays on word processors will produce better essays than those who write them by hand. Design an experiment that tests this idea.
- A new drug has been developed that claims to prevent seasickness completely! Design an experiment that would determine how effective it is.
- A fellow student insists that smoking marijuana does not interfere with his ability to do well in school. Design an in lab experiment that would test for this.
- A teacher claims that wearing red during an exam boosts morale and “energizes” the brain, whereas wearing blue during an exam has the opposite effect. Design an experiment that would test the idea.
- Your dog bounces off the wall after playing fetch, so you think all dogs must bounce off the wall after playing fetch. Your sister doesn’t agree with you, and states that it’s only you the dog gets excited to play with. Design an experiment that would test this.
- Do you need to define any terms for your experiment (operationally define)? If so, define them here.
- What is your independent variable?
- What is your dependent variable?
- Who are your subjects/participants?
- How will you select and assign your subjects/participants to a group?
- What treatment will the experimental group be given?
- What treatment will the control group be given?
- What controls will you use in your experiment? Be sure to avoid experimenter bias!
- Is there anything you think you should control for, but aren’t sure how?
- What purpose would this line of research serve (and which subgroup do you think this experiment would most closely relate with)?