# Identify the independent variable(s)

Lab Assignment 2 Please Note: The page limit for this assignment is 3-4 pages. Part I. Understanding What Makes an Experiment

1) Please identify the 3 vital components of an experiment. After identifying each component, write at least one sentence elaborating on/explaining each component (10 points)

2) Based on the information you generated in question 1, write a paragraph in which you

design a true experiment investigating the extent to which neighborhood factors lead to voting behaviors. You can feel free to further specify the independent and dependent variables as you elaborate on your experimental design. Be sure to explain how your true experiment incorporated the vital components you describe above. (15 points)

Part II. Application to Hypothetical Experiments (75 points) Answer the following five questions for each of the experiments described below.

1. Identify the independent variable(s). (2 points)

2. Identify the dependent variable(s). (2 points)

3. Identify whether there are any confounding variable(s) and what they are. (5 points)

4. Identify two possible sources of error variance (or “noise”). (6 points)

5. Propose a method to “unconfound” the experiment. (10 points) Experiment 1: (25 points)

Billy Rae Thompson wanted to test a new “singalong” method to teach math to sixth graders (e.g., “All the integers, are natural nuuuuuumbers” to the tune of “Call me Maybe”). He used the singalong method in his first period class. His sixth period students continued solving math problems with the old method. At the end of the term, Mr. Thompson found that the first period class scored significantly lower than the sixth period class on a mathematics achievement test. He concluded that the singalong method was a total failure.

Experiment 2: (25 points)

The drug company, HappyPills®, developed a new medication to control the manic phase of people with manic-depression disorder. The firm hired a hospital psychiatrist to test the effectiveness of the drug. He identified a group of manic-depressive patients and randomly assigned them to a drug or placebo group. Nurse Ratched was told to administer the drug and Nurse Nightingale was told to administer the placebo. Each nurse made daily observations of her patients during treatment. A month later the observations were compared. In general, patients in the drug group had behaved more “normally” than patients in the placebo group. HappyPills® publicized its product’s effectiveness.

Experiment 3: (25 points)

An airport administrator investigated the attention spans of air traffic controllers to determine how many incoming flights the average controller can coordinate at the same time. Each randomly selected controller was tested, without his or her knowledge, by a computer program that fed false flight information to a computer terminal. The controller first “received” information from one plane, and then two planes, and so on. By the end of an hour the controller was coordinating 10 planes simultaneously. The administrator analyzed the errors collected by the computer program. The analysis revealed that the maximum number of planes a controller could handle without making potentially fatal errors was six planes. Also, no errors occurred when only one to three planes were incoming. He concluded that a controller should never coordinate more than six incoming flights.