Guide to using the learning objectives


Learning Objectives for Chapter Five – Measuring and Manipulating Variables:  Reliability and Validity


Pages 98-111


1.    Define1 operational definition. Explain2 how operational definitions allow psychology to be a science.

2.    Discuss2 thedifference(s) between bias and random error. Then, discuss2 the differences between observer bias and random observer error.

3.    Provide3 a list of methods that can be used to minimize or reduce observer bias. 

4.    For each item you listed in response to the above objective, defend4 the use of that method for reducing observer bias.

5.    Explain2 how random observer error can be reduced.

6.    Compare and contrast4subject bias with random error due to the participant.

a.     How are they similar?

b.    How are they different?

7.    Define1 social desirability bias and provide3 at least two examples.

8.    Define1 subject bias.

9.    Discuss2 at least two methods for reducing subject bias.

10.                       Explain2what is meant by demand characteristics.


Pages 111-124



11.                       Define1reliability. Then, explain2 how you would measure reliability.

12.                       Explain2 why reliability is a prerequisite to validity.

13.                       Describe2 how you would determine whether a measure was sufficiently reliable.

14.                       A measure’s reliability is too low. Describe2 the steps you could take to determine the cause of the measure’s low reliability.

15.                       Distinguish4between interobserver reliability and test-retest reliability.

16.                       Explain2why psychologists attempt to increase interobserver reliability.

17.                       Define1internal consistency, explain2 why low internal consistency is a problem, describe2 two strategies used to increase internal consistency2, and list1 three measures of internal consistency.





Pages 124-131


18.                       Define1construct validity. Distinguish4 between reliability and construct validity.

19.                       List1three strategies researchers can use to make the case for a measure’s construct validity.

20.                       Distinguish4between convergent and discriminant validity.

21.                       Design5at least three studies that would provide evidence that an aggression test had construct validity. Rank6 your studies in order of importance andjustify6 your rankings.




Pages 131-136



22.                       List1four factors that can threaten both the validity of a measure and the validity of a manipulation.

23.                       Explain2how using a placebo treatment and blind procedures can improve the validity of a manipulation.

24.                       Explain2why researchers often used manipulation checks.

25.                       Compare4and contrast4 instructional manipulations, environmental manipulations, and stooge manipulations. Be sure to address the advantages and disadvantages of these three types of manipulations.

26.                       Propose5a method of manipulating participants’ moods. Identify1 the type of manipulation (instructional, environmental, or stooge) you proposed and justify6 your use of that manipulation.

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