Read and study the following experimental designs. For each:
a. Identify the number of factors and the number of levels within each of the factors. Identify whether each of the factors is between participants or repeated measures.
b. Indicate the format of the research design. How many conditions are in the design?
c. Identify the dependent variable.
d. Draw a schematic diagram of the experiment. Indicate the name of each of the factors, the levels of each of the factors, and the dependent variable.
e. State the research hypothesis or hypotheses in everyday language, and diagram the hypothesis using correlational operators (, =) in the schematic diagram.
• The principle of social facilitation states that people perform well-learned tasks faster when they work with others but perform difficult tasks better when they work alone. To test this idea, Markus (1978) brought 144 participants to a lab. Some of them were randomly assigned to work in a room by themselves. Others were randomly assigned to work in a room with other people. Each person performed two tasks: taking off his or her shoes and socks (an easy task) and putting on a lab coat that ties in the back (a difficult task). Results show that people working alone performed the difficult task faster than people working with others but performed the easy task slower than people working with others. The results thus support the social facilitation model.
• A study explores the hypothesis that attitude change will be more likely to occur on the basis of salient but actually very uninformative characteristics of the communicator when individuals listening to the message are distracted from carefully processing it. College students are randomly assigned to hear a persuasive message given either by an attractive or an unattractive person and to hear this message either when there is a lot of construction noise in the next room or when conditions are quiet. Results show that students who were exposed to the attractive communicator showed significantly more attitude change than the participants who saw the unattractive communicator, but that this difference occurred only in the distraction conditions.
• Kassin and Kiechel (1996) researched whether presenting false incriminating evidence leads people to accept guilt for a crime they did not commit. Participants began the experiment by typing letters on a computer keyboard while another person dictated. The letters were read at either a slow pace (43 letters per minute) or a fast pace (67 letters per minute). Before they began, the participants were warned not to press the "ALT" key positioned near the space bar, because doing so would cause the computer program to crash and data would be lost. After one minute of typing, the computer supposedly crashed, and the experimenter then accused the participant of having touched the "ALT" key. All of the participants were in fact innocent and initially denied the charge. The person who had been reading the letters (a confederate of the experimenter) then said that either he or she hadn't seen anything or that he or she had seen the participant hit the "ALT" key. The participant was then asked to sign a false confession stating: "I hit the ‘ALT' key and caused the program to crash. Data were lost." The predictions for the experiment were that more participants would sign the confession when they had been accused by a witness, and particularly when the letters had been read at a fast pace, leading the participant to believe the validity of the (false) accusation.