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Stimulus Materials – Experimental Paper – Summer 2013 – 10 PointsStudent Instructions:1). For your experimental study this summer, you are the researcher, and you will collect datafrom three participants (the participants must not have taken research methods in the Springsemester, 2013 or have taken research methods in the Fall semester, 2012). Each survey has threeparts. In Part I, they will provide demographic information. In Part II, they will solve anagrams(rearranging the letters in an old word to form a new word). In Part III, they will providefeedback regarding their perceptions of the anagram task.A). Your first task is to approach three different participants (not all at the same time!). Askthem if they are willing to participate in a short study for your psychology research methodsclass. Tell them the survey measures their ability to rearrange words in an anagram task, andthat they do not have to participate. They will receive no benefit from participating, but theywill help you earn points in your methods class. Get their informed consent verbally.B). Have them read the instructions for the study on the top of the first survey page. Answerany questions they may haveC). Have them complete Part One. For this portion of the survey, participants will providetheir demographic data. If they are uncomfortable giving some of this information, they donot have to provide it.D). Make sure they read the instructions at the bottom of the first page. It is important thatthey know that most participants complete the anagram task within 30 seconds. Let themknow that you will time them to see how long it takes them to solve the anagrams. Use awatch (or the stopwatch on your i-phone!) to measure their time in Part Two.E). The anagram task is in Part Two. One version of this task is very easy (It has the wordsLEMON, TAB, and CINERAMA, which can easily be rearranged to spell MELON, BAT,and AMERICAN. You will see the letter E at the bottom of the page, designating the easycondition). Another version of this task is moderately difficult (It has the letter M on thebottom of the page, and has the words LEMON, WHIRL, and CINERAMA. Both LEMONand CINERAMA can be rearranged, but WHIRL is impossible to rearrange). Finally, thehard version (denoted H) has the words WHIRL, ORANGE, and CINERAMA, and only thelast word can be rearranged. As you time participants, you may see those in the moderate andhard group having a hard time. Keep timing until they tell you they give up. For all threeconditions, write down how long it took them to complete the task on the bottom of the page.NOTE: This study has one independent variable (Task Difficulty) with three levels (easy,moderate, and hard). We may also look at gender as a second independent variable withtwo levels (male or female), which would make it a 3 X 2 design. Your dependentvariables are in Part Two is a). whether they complete the third word (CINERAMA)successfully, and b). their time to complete the task. Make sure to write down their time(in seconds).F). Finally, have them complete Part Three. Our remaining four dependent variables are inthis section (ease of the task personally, ease for others, frustration, and ideas about whetherit can be done in 30 seconds). Once they complete this part, debrief them on the study design.For this debriefing, tell them we are conducting a study on learned helplessness. Tell themthat the word CINERAMA appears on all versions of the survey, and can be turned intoAMERICAN, but that some people got words that cannot be rearranged (like WHIRL andORANGE). Most will probably find this experiment funny, but let them know that the studyin no way says anything about their intelligence level with regard to anagrams.Tell them your two hypotheses:First, we predict that people who are in the hard condition will be less likely to correctlyrearrange the word CINERAMA to spell AMERICAN. Those in the moderate groupshould be able to spell AMERICAN a little more frequently (but not always), whilealmost all of the people in the easy group should be able to spell AMERICAN. This isbecause those in the hard and moderate groups are impacted by learned helplessness –failure on previous words will make them give up on later words, even if those laterwords can be solved.Second, we predict that people in the hard condition will find the task hard personally,think most other people will find the task to be hard, will be most frustrated with the task,and will think almost no one will be able to complete it within 30 seconds. Those in theeasy condition should fall at the other extreme: find it easy personally, think others willfind it easy, will show little frustration, and will expect most people to complete the taskwithin 30 seconds. Those in the moderate group should fall between those two groups.2). Hold onto your surveys, as you will need them for your lab. You will enter data into SPSSand analyze it with your lab instructor. Each student is responsible for collecting data from threeparticipants (one participant for each level of Task Difficulty – easy, moderate, and hard).However, you will analyze data by combining your survey with the data from other students inyour lab, so your final sample will include roughly 144 participants.
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