Project #26005 - Phy 100


Suppose your friend announces that, for her senior honors research project, she is going to “conduct an experiment testing my theory that upper class men and women (i.e., juniors and seniors) do better academically (i.e., get better grades) than freshmen and sophomores because they take a more serious approach to their studies.” 

When you ask your friend to describe her method, she says, “I’m going to survey a random sample of seniors selected from my honors class.  I’ll ask them whether they agree or disagree with the statement: ‘As a senior, I take a more serious and mature approach to college than I did as a freshman.’”

After the data have been collected and analyzed, your roommate learns that over 90 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement.  She concludes that her study “proves that upper class men and women are, in fact, more serious students.

Note: When considering the questions below, it would be better (i.e., worth more points) if your answers are more informative than a mere “yes” or “no,” or a few sentences. Keep in mind that each essay is worth 5% of your course grade.  In other words, a response limited to just a couple of sentences is very unlikely to earn credit.  So think very carefully about the question that’s being asked, determine what information is needed to construct a good answer to that question, and then compose your answer in essay form.

IMPORTANT: You should pay very careful attention to the Stangor text’s description and explanation of how scientific research is carried put (chapter 2) and to the lecture material, posted under “Content," before attempting to answer these questions.

In your essay, answer all four (4) questions to the best of your ability.  Remember that this is an essay assignment.  Therefore, do not number your answers.

1. First, consider your friend’s hypothesis (i.e., her assertion, or statement, of the proposed relationship between the independent and dependent variables):

    - How well specified  is her hypothesis?  In other words, how clearly does she describe the exact relationship she claims exists between the independent and dependent variables?

    - Can you restate the hypothesis in more specific terms?

    - To what extent is her hypothesis testable by the study she has proposed?  In other words, how well did she translate her hypothesis into her study?  Be sure to consider these:

       - Are all the important concepts and terms used in the study adequately defined?

       - Did she use operational definitions?

       - Would you have defined the important terms, variables, etc., differently?  Be specific.

2. Second, consider the evidence (i.e., data) your friend collected in support of her hypothesis.

    - Is the evidence empirical?

    - Is it based on valid, trustworthy research?  Why or why not?  Be specific.

    - Does her evidence, in fact, support her assertion?


3. Third, evaluate your friend’s proposed explanation of her findings.

    - Does her explanation make sense, based on the evidence she collected?

    - Are there any alternative explanations that could adequately explain the evidence (and can you state such an alternative explanation)?

    - Has your friend’s study ruled out any of these alternative explanations?

    - How well would your alternative explanation be supported by the evidence gathered by your friend? 

4. Finally, please describe how you would design a study that would properly test your alternative explanation against the one proposed by your friend?

Subject Science
Due By (Pacific Time) 03/30/2014 12:22 pm
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