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Lets say If a doctor publishes a study which has been replicated, many times and using many students each time found that time spend doing homework strongly predicts college success.
What are the variables, and if the research was experimental how did this doctor collect the information and has a causal factor been identified? Please help - thanks


    Those are good questions to ask the doctor who published the study. In addition how much time was spent doing homework? How is college success measured? Was the amount of time spent doing homework correlated with the difficulty of the courses?


    Actually my teacher made up this doctor and I have to write a paper where she has given us 10 questions
    1- what are the variable in this question
    2 - what is meant by the relationship between the variables?
    3 - what is the relationship between variables on which the prediction in the title is based?
    4 - if the research was correlational and experimental how did this doctor collect the information?
    I am so confused/lost - I could use any feedback that can help
    I think the variables are time spend doing homework and college success but not sure how to answer the other questions - then she wants us to compare and contrast tbe advice based on the results if the research was correlational and experimental


    First of all, you did not designate that the study times were those of college students. You could be doing a longitudinal study with grade school or high school students. (Of course, this would take many years to complete.)

    Confounding/extraneous variables would include the major areas studied. For example, a physics major might need to study more to succeed than a liberal arts major.

    What criteria are you using to indicate "college success"? Grade point average (GPA)? Rank in graduating class? Something else?

    You could do a correlational study with reported study time and GPA, or you could get a group with low study time and a group with high study time and see if there was a significant different between the two groups in "college success." If you artificially manipulated the amount of study time, that would be an experiment.

    The hypothesis seems to be that increasing one variable would increase the other.

    In hopes of reducing your confusion, here is a summary of the experimental method:

    An independent variable is the potential stimulus or cause, usually directly manipulated by the experimenter, so it could also be called a manipulative variable.

    A dependent variable is the response or measure of results.

    Extraneous variables — other than the independent variable — potentially can affect the dependent variable, so they must be controlled. If possible, you try to keep them constant between the experimental and control group.

    The experimental group receives the independent variable.

    The control group is similar to experimental, except it does not receive the independent variable. Extraneous variables are balanced between experimental and control groups.

    Types of experiments

    1. Single blind gives the control group a placebo — a substance that is inert, it has no physical effect. Subjects don't know if they are in experimental or control group to reduce placebo effect, a change in behavior solely due to believing that you are getting the independent variable.

    2. Double blind keeps both subjects and experimenter ignorant of group setup. Distribution of the independent variable and placebo are controlled by third party. This controls for experimenter bias and self-fulfilling prophecy, which means that experimenters with particular expectations are likely to consciously or unconsciously to bias the experiment and influence it to conform to their expectations.

    As an example, suppose you want to find out if fluorides reduce dental cavities. You would find two groups, trying to control the extraneous variables. Extraneous variables are found by surveying previous research in the area. In this case, you would match the groups in terms of previous history of cavities, diet and dental hygiene habits including how and how often they brush their teeth.

    The experimental group would get toothpaste with the independent variable, the fluoride, while the control group would not have the fluoride in their toothpaste. The toothpaste without the fluoride would be the placebo.

    The dependent variable would be the number of cavities after participating in the experiment for a time. The dependent variable indicates the results, but it is not the results. At the end of the experiment, both groups could have no change in cavities or one of the groups could have a greater reduction in cavities. (Of course, if the fluoride increased cavities, you wouldn't want to use it.) All of these varied results would be indicated in terms of the dependent variable.

    If only the subjects do not know who is getting the fluoride, it is a single blind experiment. If both the subjects and experimenter do not know, it is a double blind.

    I hope this helps. Thanks for asking.


    Oh my gosh This is great thank you - do you know what a causal factor is? Is that a determining factor. meaning that homework can strongly predict college success but it's not the cause? My teacher made up this study she didn't indicated college or high school, she just said students and she also gave us 10 questions which I think i am struggling with but looking at the above maybe I am not doing that bad. thank you again for you help


    I'm glad you found my response helpful.

    A causal factor is one which seems to be responsible for a change. The research is trying to find out if the independent variable is a causal factor. (I view "causal" and "determining" as synonymous.)

    A correlation indicates a relationship, but does not necessarily indicate that one variable causes another. A could cause B, or B could cause A. Also a third factor could be causal. In more tropical climates, assume there is a correlation between the number of people fainting and the softness of the asphalt. Does that mean that people fainting hit the asphalt and soften it? Maybe soft asphalt release fumes that cause people to faint? A more likely causal/determining factor is the temperature, with high temperatures causing softer asphalt and more people collapsing from heat prostration.

    The time spent doing homework is probably not as causal as the effective use of the study time. For example, are the students using effective study methods within these time periods? Even though time spent on homework might correlate with college success, the level of correlation will be lower, if the use of effective methods is not included in the calculation.

    For either this assignment or your general use, here are some study hints:

    I hope this helps a little more. Thanks for asking.


    It does thank you so much. for some reason I am having a block up when it comes to this class. don't know why. can I ask one more question. I have to provide anecdotal evidence for the 2 variables time spent doing home and predicts college success. Would it be safe to say that when it comes to anecdotal evidence it's just an observations there is no real study to prove this? THank you again so very much

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