Quantitative Research Methods

Part I – Text: Please answer the following 7 questions according to the text below. (42 points, 6 points per question):   The calming effect of a new wearable device during the anticipation of public speech Azevedo, Bennett, Bilicki, Hooper, Markopoulou, and Tsakiris * The original text was edited   Abstract We tested whether the Doppel, a wearable device that aims to reduce anxiety, would have a calming effect on physiological arousal and subjective reports of anxiety during a stressful situation. To test the Doppel, we assigned participants to one of two groups (Doppel powered on versus Doppel powered off) and measured their responses to a stressful situation. Method Participants. A total of 52 (20 male; mean age = 26.4, sd= 5.7) people responded to social media advertisements for the study and agreed to participate. Twenty-five participants (16 female; mean age = 25.9, sd = 5.2) were randomly assigned to the active group (Doppel powered on condition) and 27 participants (16 female; mean age = 26.8, s.d. = 6.1) to the control group (Doppel powered off condition).  Measures and procedures. When participants came to the lab, they were asked to complete a baseline assessment of their subjective ratings of anxiety on a 20-item questionnaire. Their answers were given on a scale of 1 (not at all) to 5 (always). Afterward, they were hooked up to physiological devices which measured their physiological arousal. For the purpose of this study, physiological arousal was measured as the number of spikes in the electrical activity of their skin. The more spikes in skin electricity, the higher their physiological arousal. The participants were then instructed to sit quietly for 5 minutes so the researchers could collect a baseline measure of their physiological arousal. Following the baseline measurement, the participants were fitted with a Doppel wristband. A research assistant told them that they were turning the Doppel device on and that that the Doppel device was measuring their blood pressure (in order to conceal the real purpose of the study). The participants were also told they may feel some vibrations from the device while it was on. Participants were randomly assigned in a single-blind manner to one of two conditions (doppelpowered off condition and Doppel powered on condition).  Next, participants were told they would have 5 minutes to prepare a speech about animal research, explaining both the pros and cons on the subject, and would then have to present it in front of a panel of expert judges in the next room. This task served as a stressful situation manipulation and physiological arousal was measured continuously throughout the task. After the participants prepared their speeches, they were asked to fill out their subjective ratings of anxiety again. In addition, they reported on a scale of 1 (not at all) to 7 (extremely) the extent to which they found the speech preparation stressful.  Once they completed this final task, the research assistant removed the physiological equipment and the Doppel device from the participant. At the end of the study, participants were debriefed and thanked for their participation. Results At the beginning of the experiment, the two groups displayed comparable levels of physiological arousal (as measured by the number of spikes in skin electricity) and comparable levels of anxiety on the “subjective ratings of state anxiety” questionnaire. However, at the end of their stressful speech preparation, participants in the Doppel powered on condition showed a significantly smaller increase in physiological arousal compared to the control group. Similarly, at the end of their stressful speech preparation participants in the Doppel powered on condition reported a significantly smaller increase in their subjective anxiety ratings compared to the control group. Finally, participants in the Doppel powered on condition found the task significantly less stressful than participants in the control condition. Overall, we found that the group with a powered-on Doppel (compared to the control group) felt more relaxed, had lower physiological arousal, and lower subjective anxiety ratings during the stressful situation. General Discussion We tested the efficacy of a new wearable device on calmness during a task that typically induces high anxiety. In the present study, we hypothesized that a slow vibration from the Doppel, as opposed to the absence of any vibration (i.e., the control group), would enable participants to be calm during a stressful scenario. To that end, we told participants that the Doppel was a blood pressure monitoring device, and only for one of the two groups, we turned on the Doppel to deliver its vibrations during the stressful scenario. The results highlight that the use of the Doppel had a clear and significant calming effect in both a physiological measure of arousal and a subjective report of anxiety during a task that is effective in inducing stress, suggesting that the Doppel enabled participants to stay calmer and less anxious, as compared with the condition where the device was worn but was not performing its intended function. The results of the study support the effectiveness of the Doppel device.   1.     Describe the variables (these answers should be at maximum a few words): a.     State the study’s IV (1 pt). Answer: b.     State the Scale of Measurement of the IV (1 pt). Answer: c.     State the theoretical definition of the study’s DV (2 pts). Answer: d.     State the operational definition of the study’s DV (2 pts). Answer:   2.      State the study design (this answer should be at maximum a few words). Answer:   3.     The authors state “The participants were told that the Doppel device was measuring their blood pressure to conceal the real purpose of the study”. Why was it important for the authors to mislead the participants? (Maximum 1 line) Answer:   4.     What is an appropriate test of reliability for the “Subjective ratings of anxiety” questionnaire in the study? (this answer should be at maximum a few words). Answer:   5.     If the scores on the “Subjective ratings of anxiety” questionnaire are positively related to scores on the valid physiological arousal assessment, what type of validity does that refer to? (this answer should be at maximum a few words). Answer:   6.      How would the study design change if the researchers had given all participants a powered on doppel and looked at how their initial anxiety scores related to their subsequent anxiety scores after the study instead of randomly assigning participants to different groups? (Maximum 1 line) Answer:   7.     What sampling method did the researchers use to collect their sample? (this answer should be at maximum a few words). Answer:   Part II – Fill in the blank: Fill in the blank for each of the following statements. these answers should be at maximum a few words. (7 questions; total of 28 points, 4 points per question)    1.     A __________ variable is a variable that explains the relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable. Answer:   2.      A list of individuals or clusters of individuals in a population who might actually be selected for inclusion in the sample is referred to as __________. Answer:   3.     When a researcher is concerned that situational factors caused participants to score lower on a measure of IQ than they normally would have, the researcher should assess reliability via __________. Answer:   4.     A researcher was interested in people’s barbequing habits. To that end, the researcher asked participants “whether or not they enjoy hot dogs and hamburgers”. This is an example of a __________ question, and therefore the researcher should remove it from the survey. Answer:   5.     __________ is a potential solution for dealing with problems raised by order effects. Answer:   6.     A __________ serves as an alternative explanation for the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Answer:   7.     A testable answer to a research question which provides a specific prediction about the expected results of a study is known as a(n) ___________. Answer:                   Part III – Design your own study: (5 questions; a total of 30 points, 6 points per question)    Designing your own study:   In this section, you will suggest your own research design using the two variables: social media usage and depressive symptoms.   Your answers will be graded on how well you are able to implement the theories we learned in class. Additionally, your answers must be expressed in your own words and cannot be copied from one another. No answer should exceed one line.   Description of your IV What is the IV? (2pts) Answer: How would you operationalize the IV? (2pts) Answer: What scale of measurement is the IV measured on? (2pts) Answer:   Description of your DV What is the DV? (2pts) Answer: How would you operationalize the DV? (2pts) Answer: What is the appropriate test of reliability for your DV? (2pts) Answer:   Moderator What is a potential moderator for this study? (2pts) Answer:  How would you measure it? (2pts) Answer: In 1 sentence, describe the hypothetical relationship between the moderator and the IV and DV. (2pts) Answer:   Description of your design Design type you used: (2pts) Answer: Advantage of this design: (2pts) Answer: Disadvantage of this design: (2pts) Answer:   Expected results, results, and explanation What is the hypothesis of your study? (2pts) Answer: Assuming you found a significant result, state an alternative explanation. (2pts) Answer: How would you rule out this alternative explanation? (2pts) Answer:

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