Observation experiment | Psychology homework help

In this week’s discussion, you will  visit a public place to make observations with your senses, document them,  formulate hypotheses, and begin to explore independent variables that may impact your variable of interest (THE DEPENDENT VARIABLE).  Please choose a public place where you feel comfortable and begin watching people around you. Please answer the questions below in complete sentences and please number your answers.

1) Who are you curious about? This will be your population.  Please SPECIFICALLY define a population you find interesting. For example, mothers at the supermarket who have crying children with them.

2) What are you curious about? This will be your variable. Please give your variable a name, such as crying behavior, and define it operationally. Operationally means define HOW it will be measured. For example, crying behavior can be measured by the length of time in minutes a child cries.

3) Make some observations of what you are curious about (your variable)  for 10 minutes. Write down your observations – what you see (visual), hear (auditory), smell (olfactory), feel (touch- somatosensory), or taste (gustatory).

4) Write one hypothesis (strong belief based on observations) that explains WHY your observed behavior is occurring. For example, let’s say you observe parents buying their children things they do not need. After observing this over time and giving this behavior the name, Parental Unnecessary Buying behavior, you form the following strong belief (HYPOTHESIS): Parental Unnecessary Buying behavior occurs  BECAUSE they feel that this will indicate that they are good parents. (HYPOTHESIS)

5) Develop ten alternate hypotheses (ten different potential explanations for the same behavior). For example, 1)  Parental Unnecessary Buying behavior occurs BECAUSE they believe this will increase the childrens’ self-esteem. 2) Parental Unnecessary Buying behavior occurs BECAUSE they want their children to have things they did not have. 3)Parental Unnecessary Buying behavior occurs BECAUSE they do not want the grandparents to have to feel obligated to buy those things………10)

You have just formulated 10 DIFFERENT potential explanations for a behavior. These are called alternate hypotheses. Every one of them can be tested with an experiment or controlled field observations.

6) Of the five steps of the scientific method, which steps of the scientific method (research) have you just completed in this discussion ?


7) Your variable of interest, the one you listed in #3 is your dependent variable. List ten INDEPENDENT variables that you believe may have an effect on your dependent variable.For example, the DEPENDENT variable is hyperactivity. Some of the INDEPENDENT variables that may affect it are 1) sugar intake 2) structure of the environment 3) monitoring by a caretaker ………10)

8) Choose one of your independent variables in # 7 and break it down into THREE levels. For example, low sugar, moderate sugar and high sugar.

9) Develop one hypothesis stating HOW you believe the INDEPENDENT variable affects (changes) the DEPENDENT variable. For example, An increase in sugar causes an increase in hyperactivity.

10) Identify ONE modulating factor that may be operating BETWEEN  the INDEPENDENT and the DEPENDENT variable. For example, Increases in sugar may cause adrenalin to increase which may cause hyperactivity to increase.

Post your discussion and label it with the name of the DEPENDENT variable you used.

Find a dependent variable of interest to you from your peers’ posts.

REPLY to  your peers by suggesting TWO more independent variables that may affect (change) the dependent variable and explain WHY they may affect the dependent variable and suggest one more modulating factor that may operate between  EACH of your two independent variables and the dependent variable.

“peers post to reply to : Phillip         

1) The population that I observed were drivers time spent at a stop sign for my community.  

2) The variable I am interested in is how long did they wait at the stop sign. This will be measured in seconds with running the stop being zero and then counting for how long they stop for.

3) As I sit at the shuttle stop watching the cars come senses are activated for the observation.

  • Visual- The cars passing, the stop sign, the gate past the stop sign to get into the community, and community houses.
  • Somatosensory- I can feel the heat of the Florida sun and heat coming off the pavement (this plays a role because the inside of their car can be hot and maybe it applies to their decision making)
  • Auditory- Cars tires being driven on the pavement, the brakes of cars, music from the cars, bushes rustling, etc.
  • Gustatory- N/A besides my water that I had next to me while observing
  • Olfactory- Only normal outside air , grass, slight exhaust from the cars.

4) Driver’s behavior at a mandatory stop sign CHANGES because of the lack of fear of another car hitting them/they see no one coming from the gate.


  1. Driver’s behavior at a mandatory stop sign CHANGES because they never stop at stop signs.
  2. Driver’s behavior at a mandatory stop sign CHANGES because they are hungry and want to get home to eat.
  3. Driver’s behavior at a mandatory stop sign CHANGES because there are no cops around.
  4. Driver’s behavior at a mandatory stop sign CHANGES because they do not see the stop sign.
  5. Driver’s behavior at a mandatory stop sign CHANGES because they do not understand traffic laws.
  6. Driver’s behavior at a mandatory stop sign CHANGES because they were on their phone.
  7. Driver’s behavior at a mandatory stop sign CHANGES because they are running late/forgot something 
  8. Driver’s behavior at a mandatory stop sign CHANGES because they have to use the restroom.
  9. Driver’s behavior at a mandatory stop sign CHANGES because the brakes failed.
  10. Driver’s behavior at a mandatory stop sign CHANGES because they think a rolling stop is enough of a stop. 

6) Of the scientific method, I have made an observation, asked myself a question, and from that formed a hypothesis and alternative hypotheses. Also I created a variable to study in “drivers of my community.”

7) Independent variables that could change their behavior would be:

  1. Time constraints
  2. How well of a driver the person is
  3. Lack of fear (of cops or other drivers)
  4. Lack of vision
  5. Attention deficit (not paying attention to road)
  6. Cellphone in hand
  7. Expectation of no cars coming out gate
  8. Speed limit
  9. Problems outside affecting individuals cares
  10. How long the individual has spent driving.

8) If we take the variable of expectations of a car coming out the gate before the stop sign we can use a 1-5 scale for the driver (1 being the lowest expectation and 5 being the highest).

9) If the person rates lower on the 1-5 scale of expectation they are more likely to run the stop sign.

10) A modulating factor in this scenario would be no repercussions if you run the stop sign because there is no cop therefore low expectation and this will make it more likely that the individual will run the stop sign.

My dependent variable would be the likelihood of a person running a stop sign.

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