Homework Assignment #1

Operational definitions and variables


For this homework assignment you will make and record observations similar to the ones you made in class (you can even make the same type of observation). Which observations you make will be up to you. However, your observations will need to conform to the following characteristics:

For your observational study, do the following:

  1. Provide a hypothesis for how you think the two variables you are observing are related to each other (e.g., How differences in gender are presumed to be associated with differences in how the cell phone is used to communicate)

  2. Provide operational definitions for each of the variables you observed (e.g., operational definitions for male/female and for texting/talking). Remember, your operational definitions should allow you (and anyone else) to observe and to measure your variables of interest.

  3. Identify which variable is the independent variable (IV).

  4. Identify the levels of your independent variable.

  5. Identify which variable is the dependent variable (DV).

  6. Identify at least three extraneous variables that could cause observed differences in the DV.

  7. Explain how the extraneous variables could cause changes in the DV.

Go to a location and make 20 observations of your variable of interest (in the example, I only recorded ten) and record them in the following format (in the example female gender is coded as 1; male gender is coded as 2, texting is coded as 1; talking is coded as 2):


Var. 1- Gender
Var. 2 - Phone

Var. 1 Gender
Var. 2 - Phone
P1 1
2
S11

P2 1
2
P12

P3 2
1
P13

P4 1
2
P14

P5 2
1
P15

P6 2
2
P16

P7 2
2
P17

P8 1
2
P18

P9 1
1
P19

P10 2
1
P20

Group your findings by variable in a Table, similar to the example below:

Gender
Type of Phone Use
Male
Female
Text
1
3
Talk
4
2

Turn in this assignment as a MS Word document and upload it to Moodle. Be sure to include


Creative Commons License
This work by Cynthia Sifonis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

(The overall idea and layout of this homework assignment was based on a homework assignment created by Dr. Christine Hanson of Oakland University)