1. For each of the following operational definitions, decide whether you consider it to be a valid measure. Explain why or why not. Decide whether you consider it to be a reliable measure. Explain why or why not.
a. A researcher defines social anxiety in terms of the number of minutes before a child begins to interact with adults other than his or her parents.
b. A professor classifies students as either introverted or extroverted based on the number of questions each individual asks during one week of class.
c. A sports psychologist measures physical fitness by measuring how high each person can jump.
d. Reasoning that bigger brains require bigger heads, a researcher measures intelligence by measuring the circumference of each person’s head (just above the ears).
2. Suppose you are planning a research study in which you intend to manipulate the participants moods; that is, you plan to create a group of happy people and a group of sad people. For example, one group will spend the first 10 minutes of the experiment listening to upbeat, happy music, and the other group will listen to funeral dirges.
a. Do you consider the manipulation of people’s moods to be an ethical violation of the principle of no harm? Explain why or why not?
b. Would you tell your participants about the mood manipulation as part of the informed consent process before they begin the study? Explain why or why not?
c. Assuming that you decided to use deception and not to tell your participants that their moods are being manipulated, how would you justify this procedure to an IRB? What could you do to minimize the negative effects of manipulating people’s moods (especially the negative mood group)?
Then on a separate page or separate paragraphs from those questions:
Some groups have a history of being exploited by medical researchers; others (e.g., women) of being left out; some of both. To what extent should research take into account differences among human beings? For instance, should they assume people are basically alike, and not actively seek out differences? Should they assume from the beginning that race and sex may be biologically relevant? Is this a scientific question, an ethical question, both?