PSYC1090 Research Methods in Psychology | Assignment

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1PSYC1090 Introductory Research Methods in PsychologyAssignment 1 – Test of Difference: The ‘watching eyes’ effectAssignment 1 aims to provide an introduction to the research process and anopportunity for you to take part in the process of analysing data. A simulateddataset has been provided for you on Blackboard (see the ‘Assignment 1 – Testof difference’ folder under ‘Assessment’).You are required to write up the study in the form of a research report. Thereport should be formatted according to the reporting style guidelines outlinedin the separate booklet entitled ‘Guidelines for Writing Practical Reports andProjects’ which is availableon Blackboard (see ‘Module Documents’).The report should beuploaded to Turnitinno later than 12.00 mid-day onWednesday 14thDecember 2016.The report,excludingreferences andappendices, should beno longer than 1500 words.Failure to submit theassignment will result in penalties being applied. Please see the studentregulations and the module handbook for more information.BackgroundThe ‘watching eyes’ effect refers to the finding that individuals behave in moresocially desirable ways when they are being ‘watched’ by pictures of eyes. Forexample, participants were found to make greater contributions to an honestybox (Bateson, Nettle, & Roberts, 2006), and bike thefts were found to bereduced (Nettle, Nott, & Bateson, 2012), when participants were in the presenceof ‘watching eyes’, despite the fact that these eyes were only pictures and couldnot actually ‘watch’. These findings have a number of theoretical and appliedimplications, ranging from social-cognitive evolutionary adaptations tostrategies for preventing crime. In the current study, we investigated the effectof ‘watching eyes’ on cheating.Summary of the StudyIn the current study, participants were asked to complete a general-knowledgemultiple-choice (MCQ) test in both of two conditions: in the first (Flowerscondition), they were seated in front of a picture of flowers; in the second (Eyescondition), they were seated in front of a picture of eyes. The MCQ test was
2designed to allow participants to cheat, based on prior research by Mazar, Amir,and Ariely (2008). In Mazar et al.’s study, participants were promised a smallpayment for every correct response they made. However, participants wereasked to mark their own tests, thus allowing them to control how much theywould be paid. Mazar et al. found that on average participants reported(slightly) elevated numbers of correct responses (e.g., compared to a separatecase in which the researchers marked each test), which they attributed tocheating.In the current study, participants first completed an MCQ test in the Flowerscondition, followed by an MCQ test in the Eyes condition. The number of correctresponses reported by participants in the two conditions was compared. TwoMCQ tests were created with 50 questions each (Tests A and B). The tests werebased on theLife in the UK Test(Great Britain Home Office, 2013). Thequestions addressed the United Kingdom’s traditions, culture, events andpeople, and no questions were repeated. Half of the participants were randomlyassigned to complete Test A in the Flowers condition followed by Test B in theEyes condition (AB), while the other half were randomly assigned to completeTest B in the Flowers condition followed by Test A in the Eyes condition (BA).First, participants completed the Flowers condition. Participants were invited tosit at a desk in a research cubicle and to complete one of the MCQ tests. On thewall facing participants was a 150 x 35 mm banner with a picture of flowers. Forevery correct response, participants were promised £0.05. After 15 minutes,participants were provided with an answer key and they were asked to tabulatethe number of correct responses and to report this to the experimenter. The testwas not collected or marked by the experimenter.Second, participants completed the Eyes condition. Participants were invited tosit at a desk in a different research cubicle and to complete the other MCQ test.On the wall facing participants was a 150 x 35 mm banner with a picture ofeyes. The condition was otherwise identical to the Flowers condition (e.g.,participants again tabulated the number of correct responses and reported thisto the experimenter).Finally, participants were debriefed and they were thanked for theirparticipation. They were also given 45 minutes of RPS and a payment reflectingtheir correct responses (up to £5).Overview of the DatasetAgain, the current study aimed to investigate the effect of “watching eyes” oncheating by comparing participants’ reported numbers of correct responses onan MCQ test in two conditions: with pictures of flowers vs. eyes.Excerpted
3materials have been provided for you on Blackboard(see the ‘Assignment 1 –Test of difference’ folder under ‘Assessment’).You will need to download the simulated dataset and input the data into SPSS.The dataset includes the following variables:Participant: Participant number (1-40)Age: Age in years (18-30)Gender: Gender (F = Female; M = Male)Ethnicity: Ethnicity (BME = Black and Minority Ethnic; W = White)Recruitment: Source of recruitment (RPS = Research participation scheme)Order: Test order (AB = Test A followed by B; BA = Test B followed by A)Flowers: Reported number of correct responses in the Flowers condition (0-50)Eyes: Reported number of correct responses in the Eyes condition (0-50)You will be asked to generate descriptive statistics and conduct and report theappropriate statistical tests to examine the difference between the Flowers andEyes condition.Recommended ReadingTo help you to understand the method and statistics that you are going to beconducting, it might help to consult the following texts:Field, A. (2013).Discovering statistics using SPSS(4th ed.). London: Sage.Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2014).Introduction to research methods in psychology(4thed.).Harlow: Pearson.Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2014).Introduction to statistics in psychology(6thed.).Harlow: Pearson.Howitt, D., & Cramer, D. (2014).Introduction to SPSS statistics in psychology(6thed.). Harlow: Pearson.Pallant, J. (2016).SPSS survival manual: A step by step guide to data analysisusing IBM SPSS(6thed.). Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.Starter reading listTwo relevant and useful articles have also been provided for you on Blackboardin the ‘Assignment 1 – Test of difference’ folder.The following referencesconstitute your reading ‘starter pack’. Remember you should supplement thislist withat least two more relevant journal articles, usingPsycInfo,Scopus,Web of KnowledgeorGoogle Scholar.Bateson, M., Nettle, D., & Roberts, G. (2006). Cues of being watched enhancecooperation in a real-world setting.Biology letters, 2(3), 412-414.Nettle, D., Nott, K., & Bateson, M. (2012). ‘Cycle thieves, we are watching you’:
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