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Scientific Methods


For each item


1)     Select the best scientific method(s) to study the problem. Justify your choice.

2)     Discuss some of the limitations in interpreting the results of the study.



1)     Case study

2)     Survey

3)     Observation

i)        Naturalistic or laboratory

ii)      Overt or covert

4)     Correlation

5)     Experimental



  1. A researcher stands near the cafeteria cash register and records what percentage of students include a vegetable item for lunch.


  1. Employee records are used to determine whether income at 25 years old is associated with a college degree.


  1. A video monitor is used to record how teenagers tend to behave on dates at the Metreon.


  1. A researcher interviews and administers tests to determine why Shirley, a promising student, dropped out of medical school and became a recluse.


  1. After the quiz, the professor asks students whether they had reviewed their lecture notes. She wants to measure if there is a relationship to their quiz scores.


  1. A researcher has children play either a violent or an educational spelling computer game. She later measures whether the violent game increased aggressive behavior in the playground.


  1. A biopsychologist wants to discover what brain waves (EEG) are present when participants are watching a boring video on house painting.


  1. A questionnaire asks students whether they regularly eat breakfast before coming to school.


  1. An educator believes that students need good role models on their physics textbook, and designs book covers that depict either a female scientist or a male scientist. At the end of the semester, she asks female and male students 1) if they would consider a career in science  and  2) who is on the cover of the textbook.