Activities and Demonstrations

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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Activity: Orange You Glad for Descriptive Statistics?

This is a lab or classroom activity “Oranges Are the New Statistics“(created by Kathrine Frey Frøslie) that has students peel oranges and collect data from various aspects of the experience (e.g., number of wedges, speed of peeling, weight of oranges, etc.) Students then use this data to calculate descriptive statistics such as central tendency, and …

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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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Link: FiveThirtyEight.com’s Hack Your Way to Scientific Glory

This website lets you take the wheel and play with several different parameters during data analysis. By defining who you’re sample is, how you measure economic performance, an what other variables you factor in, you’ll get to see how it impacts results. Sure enough, after a few tries you’re virtually sure to get “publishable” findings. …

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Online Activity: Factorial Design Concepts Review

This interactive application (created by Dr. Marcie Desrochers and Dr. Sara Margolin) provides supplemental instruction on factorial research designs that students enrolled in a Statistics or Research Methods course in psychology can complete as homework or on their own. It consists of 10 pages of definitions, examples, and images, and 11 quiz questions that help …

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Exemplar Study: Smells Like Clean Spirit (Two-group Design/Simple Experiment)

In three studies, the authors examined unconscious influence of smell on behavior. Study 3 used a two-group design to examine the direct effect of citrus scent (exposed vs. nonexposed) on cleaning-related behaviors. The judges recorded the frequency of participants’ crumb removal while eating. Holland, R. W., Hendriks, M., & Aarts, H. (2005). Smells like clean …

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Activity: That’s So Meta…Student Generated Course Evaluations

In this activity (created by Dr. Jacquelyn Omelian) students practice designing survey questions by creating courseevaluations. Students alternately serve as both researchers and participants, andthe results from the activity allow instructors to assess the pedagogical classroomenvironment while illustrating survey methodology. Please click here for the file.

Activity: The Alien Ethnographer

This activity provides students with the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the role that qualitative research, more specifically ethnographic field research, has when studying human behavior. This activity is best assigned as a small project which students can work on either individually or in small groups. Having students conducting this activity in small …

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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.

Activity: Ethics in Psychological Research

This in-class activity (created by Dr. Jamie S. Hughes) may be used with upper level undergraduates or new graduate students in research methods courses. It is designed for use with small collaborative groups and requires about 50 minutes of class time. Students will apply their knowledge about Belmont principles, APA ethical guidelines, and IRB review. …

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Activity: Research Idea Diary

This activity takes students(individually or as part of a group) through a series of steps to generate research ideas from their daily experiences. Next, students have the opportunity to select a research design that can test their idea. Please click here for the file.