04. Psychologist’s Toolbox: Sampling, Measurement, Reliability, & Validity

Examples of Sampling Bias and Demand Characteristics through a Daily Show Clip

A clip (5:30) from the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart that demonstrates how sampling bias and demand characteristics can lead to misleading conclusions. “Poll Bearers: Cable news polls might not reflect public opinion so much as the ability of viewers to repeat the ideas they just heard.” View the episode here.

Video: Random Sampling

A brief (2:25) video from Pew Research Center in which, “The first video in Pew Research Center’s Methods 101 series helps explain random sampling – a concept that lies at the heart of all probability-based survey research – and why it’s important.”

Practice: Measuring Dependent Variables: Types and Scales of Measurement

This is a brief in-class practice activity (created by Raechel Soicher) to help students review different types of measurement for dependent variables as well as identify scales of measurement. Raechel recommends teaching about the different ways to measure a dependent variable before giving students the opportunity to review using this brief worksheet. She provides definitions …

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Practice: Having Fun with Operational Definitions

One of the challenges instructors face when discussing conceptual and operational definitions of variables is helping students to understand that the operational definition of a variable involves measuring the variable in a concrete, quantitative manner. The practice activity asks students to identify the relevant variables of interest and then suggest ways that these variables can …

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Lecture Slides: Measuring Dependent Variables

This  lecture introduces students to several different ways of measuring   behavior as the dependent variable.  Several types of behavioral measures are shown, including: behavioral trace, behavioral observation, and behavioral choice. The goal of this lecture is to get students to see other types of measuring DVs, aside from self-report. This starts with a quick overview …

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Lecture Slides: Manipulating Independent Variables

This  lecture introduces students to several different ways of manipulating independent variables. Some techniques covered include: mock Facebook profiles, priming, having participants count money, and viewing cute pictures. The goal of this lecture is to get students to see a variety of ways that researchers can manipulate IVs. Each example provides the citation for the …

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Design & Data: How Do Parents Respond to Their Child’s Public Tantrums? (Observational Research/Descriptive Statistics)

Key Topics and Links to Files Data Analysis Guide The Many Forms of Discipline in Parents’ Bag of Tricks Analyses Included: Descriptive Statistics (Frequencies; Central Tendency); Inter-observer Reliability (Cohen’s Kappa); Inter-observer Reliability (Pearson’s r); Creating a Mean; Creating a Median Split; Selecting Cases Dataset Syntax Output BONUS: Dyads at Diners (How often and how much …

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Open Stats Lab: Identifying Questionnable Research Practices

Students read “Measuring the Prevalence of Questionable Research Practices With Incentives for Truth Telling“ Student respond to a series of questions asking them to define questionable research practices, how they relate to Type 1 Error, consequences, and remedies. A lab summary includes: learning objectives, background, article citation, and the response questions. You can follow Open …

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Open Stats Lab: Additional Activities

Activities focus on the following topics: (RELIABILITY ANALYSIS) Do People Feel Immoral After Behaving Inauthentically? Here students get to compute new variable, calculate descriptive statistics, find Cronbach’s alpha, and create a table. (CHI-SQUARE TEST OF INDEPENDENCE) Why do People Fail to Follow Through on Their Good Intentions? Here students get to conduct a t-test for …

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Lecture Slides: Samples Representing the Population with the Use of M&Ms

This PowerPoint leads students through an activity that stresses the need to have a relatively large sample when trying to accurately represent the population.Instructors will need to supply students with fun size bags of plain M&Ms®. Students first estimate the population frequency of each color of candy using their small sample (fun size bag). Then …

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Online Activity: Simulation of Sampling Distributions

This Java applet (created by Dr. David Lane) estimates and plots the sampling distributions of various statistics based upon the user’s specified population distribution, sample size, and statistic. The simulation and its associated questions can be used as either homework assignment or as an in-class activity for those classes with access to computers with Internet …

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Activity: Threats to Internal Validity: Smarties vs. Dum Dums

This activity helps students remember potential sources of threats to internal validity, through an in-class activity where students engage in an “experiment” with several intentional threats to internal validity. Students identify the threats and get candy. Easily one of our students favorite activities. Please click here for the file.