Review the kansas city gun experiment

Assignment: Experimental Designs

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1. The Kansas City Gun Experiment by Lawrence W. Sherman, James W. Shaw, and Dennis P. Rogan


You may work in pairs for this exercise, or alone if you prefer. Bring ONE complete copy of all materials to hand in at the beginning of the lab.

1. Choose ONE of the following theoretical claims (the variables are in italics):

a. The greater an individual's identification with a target of injustice, the greater her/his negative reactions to that injustice.

b. Individuals are more likely to agree with others who are higher status than they are than with others who are lower status than they are.

c. The greater the similarity between self and other, the more favorable self's evaluation of that other.

d. The more attractive an individual, the more positive sentiment individuals wil express towards them.

2. Design an experiment to test the argument you have chosen that can be conducted during the class period on 10/28. Specifically complete and describe each of the following steps in your typed report:

a. Identify and provide an abstract, connotative definition for the independent and dependent variables in the conclusion you have chosen.

b. Describe how you will operationalize (i.e., manipulate or measure) each variable.

i. For the independent variable, you should plan to have only 2 (i.e., or three at most, including an experimental group(s) and perhaps one control group) each of which receive a different value of the independent variable.

1. The different "conditions" should be identical except for the manipulation of the independent variable they receive.

2. Construct the manipulations of the independent variable so that they can be implemented in the class within a maximum of 10 minutes (vignettes are easiest, but not the only way to go).

ii. For the dependent variable, clearly define how you will measure the outcome so that you can clearly observe the outcome at the conclusion of the experiment (HINT: 1-3 survey questions is most efficient, asking participants to react to the scenario in terms of their anticipated behaviors, actual attitudes, or actual emotions on a numerical scale).

c. Propose a hypothesis based on the conclusion you chose by substituting your operational definitions into the conlcusion. This should be a statement that clearly predicts the expected differences between the groups in terms of your operationalization of the dependent variable.

d. If, after you conduct your experiment, you find support for your hypothesis, can you conclude that the theory is correct/sound? Why or why not? (HINT: Address all three criteria of causality).

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