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MCAT Psychology – Experimental Design

  • by Kerry Goldstein
  • Mar 04, 2015
  • MCAT Blog, MCAT Psychology, MCAT Question of the Day

A psychologist conducts an experiment in which subjects are asked to learn a series of “facts” which are actually statements that have been fabricated by the research team. The subjects consist of undergraduate students at the university where the experiment is being conducted. The subjects are randomly assigned to groups that are compensated either $10 or $20 for their participation, are given either 15 minutes or 30 minutes to learn the facts, and are asked to recall the facts either in the same room in which they learned the facts or in a very different, unfamiliar setting. Which of the following are dependent variables in this experiment?

I. The amount the subjects were compensated.
II. The room in which the subjects were asked to recall facts.
III. The number of facts the subjects can recall.
IV. The time the subjects were given to learn the facts.

A) II only
B) III only
C) I and IV only
D) I, III, and IV only

 

Explanation
A psychologist conducts an experiment in which subjects are asked to learn a series of “facts” which are actually statements that have been fabricated by the research team. The subjects consist of undergraduate students at the university where the experiment is being conducted. The subjects are randomly assigned to groups that are compensated either $10 or $20 for their participation, are given either 15 minutes or 30 minutes to learn the facts, and are asked to recall the facts either in the same room in which they learned the facts or in a very different, unfamiliar setting. Which of the following are dependent variables in this experiment?

I. The amount the subjects were compensated.
II. The room in which the subjects were asked to recall facts.
III. The number of facts the subjects can recall.
IV. The time the subjects were given to learn the facts.

A) II only
B) III only
C) I and IV only
D) I, III, and IV only

In experimental design, the dependent variable is the variable being tested as a possible effect or output, whereas the independent variables are those that are controlled by the experimenters and tested as possible causes.

Here, the experimenters controlled the compensation amount, the time to learn, and the room in which the subjects were asked to recall the information. Thus, I, II, and IV are independent variables. The dependent variable here is III, the measured recall rate of the facts.
is the only function not associated with the pancreas.

 

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