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Chapter 16: Causal-Comparative Research

Activity 16.1: Causal-Comparative Research Questions Activity 16.2: Experiment or Causal-Comparative Study Activity 16.3: Causal-Comparative Versus Experimental Hypotheses Activity 16.4: Analyze Some Causal-Comparative Data

Activity 16.1: Causal-Comparative Research Questions Which of the following questions would lend themselves well to causal-comparative research? 1. How many students were enrolled in Psych 101 this semester? 2. Which subjects do high school students like least? 3. How do elementary school teachers teach phonics? 4. Are two-year-old girls more aggressive than two-year-old boys? 5. Do C students do better in athletics than A and B students? 6. How might Jimmy Thomas be helped to read? 7. Is teacher enthusiasm related to student success in academic classes? 8. What is the best way to teach arithmetic?

Activity 16.2: Experiment or Causal-Comparative Study In this activity, you will work with a partner to identify different types of statistical studies. 1. For each of the following studies, decide whether it is an experiment, a casualcomparative study, or neither. a. A Stanford University study of starting salaries for college graduates found that computer science majors had the highest salaries ($42,500), while communications majors had the lowest ($25,600). b. A European study of 1,500 men and women with exceptionally high levels of the amino acid homocysteine found that these individuals had double the risk of heart disease. However, the risk was substantially lower for those in the study who were given vitamin B supplements. c. Researchers at Columbia University found that the genetic modification of corn known as Bt corn increases the secretion of insecticide through plant roots into the soil. d. A New Zealand study found no relationship between years of education and income. e. A researcher found that playing soccer did not help swimmers increase their time in competitive races. f. A breast cancer study questioned 20,000 women about how they spend their leisure time. The health of these women was tracked over the next ten years. Those women who said they exercised regularly were found to have a lower incidence of breast cancer. 2. If it is an experiment or casual-comparative study, describe the group or groups studied.

Activity 16.3: Causal-Comparative Versus Experimental Hypotheses Listed below are a number of hypotheses. Which could be studied best as an experiment and which could be carried out best as a casual-comparative study? 1. Hypothesis #1: Deaf high school students in residential settings who receive instruction in English through a combination of signed English and American Sign Language (ASL) will demonstrate higher levels of written English than those taught using only signed English. Experimental study____________ Casual-comparative study____________ 2. Hypothesis #2: Adult homosexual males have had greater exposure to sexual abuse in childhood than adult heterosexual males. Experimental study____________ Casual-comparative study____________ 3. Hypothesis #3: Male high school students who participate in a four-week simulation of pregnancy will subsequently demonstrate more responsible attitudes toward parenthood than similar students not participating in the simulation. Experimental study____________ Casual-comparative study____________

Activity 16.4: Analyze Some Causal-Comparative Data Just prior to the commencement of the fall semester at a large Midwestern university, Professor Judith Brown, an ardent feminist who has a Ph.D in statistics, gets into a discussion with one of her male colleagues about who are better statistics students, males or females. She hypothesizes that the females in her classes, on average, will outperform the males. Listed in Table 16.1 are the scores on the final examination earned by each of the 24 students (12 females and 12 males) in her introductory class. Calculate the mean (the average) score for both the male and the female students in Dr. Browns class. Is there a difference? If there is a difference, can Dr. Brown argue that gender is the cause of this apparent difference in ability (indeed, that her hypothesis is correct)? Explain your conclusion in the space provided under the table. Table 16.1: Scores on a Final Examination Females 70 75 93 84 65 87 90 95 88 78 86 84 Total = Female mean = Males 90 68 91 80 77 80 91 76 75 62 77 87 Total = Male mean =

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