As with descriptive and correlational design, one of the most important things about learning experimental design is being able assess whether the appropriate design is being used. In the following activity, you determine what research design is most appropriate of a particular research question.
1. A researcher is interested in testing whether 30 min of free play before a math test improves 3rd graders performance. Is a simple experiment appropriate to test this? What should the researcher's experimental hypothesis be? What should her null hypothesis be?
2. A researcher observes that people who live in rural areas tend to hold more conservative political views that people who live in cities. What research design should this researcher use to test whether his observation is accurate?
3. A researcher is interested in what dosage of drug is best for people experiencing chronic pain. He sets up a simple experiment comparing a moderately high dosage of the drug to a control group. Will this design answer his question? Why or why not?
4. A researcher is interested in determining whether eating breakfast affects the number of calories people intake at lunch. Can this researcher set up a simple experiment to test this? What would be her experimental hypothesis? What would the null hypothesis be?