IB Psychology SL : Introduction to experimental research methodology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for IB Psychology SL

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Simple Experimental Study

What is the main difference between laboratory experiments and field experiments?

Possible Answers:

Laboratory experiments are more realistic

Field experiments are more easily controlled

Laboratory experiments are conducted in the real world and field experiments are conducted in the lab

Laboratory experiments are conducted in the lab and field experiments are conducted in the real world

Laboratory and field experiments differ based on the number of subjects

Correct answer:

Laboratory experiments are conducted in the lab and field experiments are conducted in the real world

Explanation:

The difference between laboratory experiments and field experiments is not the number of subjects, but the place where they are conducted—the lab or the outside world. Lab experiments are more easily controlled, whereas field experiments are more realistic.

Example Question #2 : Simple Experimental Study

A researcher is curious about how temperature relates to aggression and predicts that as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well. What is the experimental design term for "temperature" in this scenario?

Possible Answers:

Hypothesis

None of these

Theory

Independent variable

Dependent variable

Correct answer:

Independent variable

Explanation:

A variable is described something that varies between people or objects—in this case, temperature and aggression are the variables. The “independent variable” (IV) is the variable that is manipulated by the researcher (temperature) and the “dependent variable” (DV) is the variable that changes as a result of a change in the IV (aggression). A “hypothesis” describes the relationship between variables and is generally what the researcher predicts will happen (i.e. “as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well”). Last, a “theory” is a principle or set of principles that explains a phenomenon.

Example Question #3 : Simple Experimental Study

A researcher is curious about how temperature relates to aggression and predicts that as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well. What is the experimental design term for "temperature" in this scenario?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Dependent variable

Theory

Hypothesis

Independent variable

Correct answer:

Independent variable

Explanation:

A variable is described something that varies between people or objects—in this case, temperature and aggression are the variables. The “independent variable” (IV) is the variable that is manipulated by the researcher (temperature) and the “dependent variable” (DV) is the variable that changes as a result of a change in the IV (aggression). A “hypothesis” describes the relationship between variables and is generally what the researcher predicts will happen (i.e. “as the temperature in a room increases, a measure of the subject's aggression will increase as well”). Last, a “theory” is a principle or set of principles that explains a phenomenon.

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