# ATAR Notes: Forum

## VCE Stuff => VCE Science => VCE Mathematics/Science/Technology => VCE Subjects + Help => VCE Psychology => Topic started by: catpacksnapback on March 12, 2019, 03:12:19 pm

Title: (Solved!) Operationalized hypothesis problems?
Post by: catpacksnapback on March 12, 2019, 03:12:19 pm
Hi guys! Just wondering, but I feel like I'm missing something MAJOR in my Psychology work. I'm in Unit 1 but I have a feeling that this is going to be pretty important in 3/4.

We're being given a study, information as to the testing, and asked to formulate an operationalized hypothesis based upon it. But twice, now, we've been given studies that don't feel as if they have a cause and effect relationship. Here are some examples:

In a study, 2 groups (one of participants under the age of 50, one of participants aged 50-60) are subjected to memory tests in order to test the hypothesis that age contributes to memory loss. I assumed that the "operationalized Dependent Variable" was the average of the scores of each group of participants/overall performance, but couldn't figure out what the "operationalized Independent Variable" was. I guessed that it was the age of the participants, but they keep insisting in the coursework that the independent variable must be manipulated by the experimenter (whereas age was only "chosen" by the experimenter, not manipulated). This was never marked wrong or right by my learning advisor, I was just told to read the material more.

In another study, one participant, who suffers epileptic seizures, is told to lift his left foot when a blue light is flashed, and his right when a yellow light is flashed. We weren't given a hypothesis for this one. I assumed the researcher's hypothesis was that the seizures were affecting contra-lateral function and/or processing, but I feel like my own brain falls apart every time I try to figure this out.

In both cases, nothing is being actively manipulated (as they keep stressing in the coursework), so I'm just left confused. What part of the equation am I missing here? Thanks so much :)

(Bonus question: Is it operationalized or operationalised? I have no idea. They keep using both.)
Title: Re: Operationalized hypothesis problems?
Post by: vox nihili on March 12, 2019, 03:18:15 pm
Hi guys! Just wondering, but I feel like I'm missing something MAJOR in my Psychology work. I'm in Unit 1 but I have a feeling that this is going to be pretty important in 3/4.

We're being given a study, information as to the testing, and asked to formulate an operationalized hypothesis based upon it. But twice, now, we've been given studies that don't feel as if they have a cause and effect relationship. Here are some examples:

In a study, 2 groups (one of participants under the age of 50, one of participants aged 50-60) are subjected to memory tests in order to test the hypothesis that age contributes to memory loss. I assumed that the "operationalized Dependent Variable" was the average of the scores of each group of participants/overall performance, but couldn't figure out what the "operationalized Independent Variable" was. I guessed that it was the age of the participants, but they keep insisting in the coursework that the independent variable must be manipulated by the experimenter (whereas age was only "chosen" by the experimenter, not manipulated). This was never marked wrong or right by my learning advisor, I was just told to read the material more.

In another study, one participant, who suffers epileptic seizures, is told to lift his left foot when a blue light is flashed, and his right when a yellow light is flashed. We weren't given a hypothesis for this one. I assumed the researcher's hypothesis was that the seizures were affecting contra-lateral function and/or processing, but I feel like my own brain falls apart every time I try to figure this out.

In both cases, nothing is being actively manipulated (as they keep stressing in the coursework), so I'm just left confused. What part of the equation am I missing here? Thanks so much :)

(Bonus question: Is it operationalized or operationalised? I have no idea. They keep using both.)

First one: age is the IV. IV doesn't necessarily mean it has to be manipulated, it's just the thing that changes to cause the effect. Another way of thinking about it is the IV is the variable that is deliberately not kept constant.

Second one: the absence of a hypothesis makes it pretty well impossible to know what the IV and the DV are. You can't really tell what the experimenter is thinking because it hasn't been given to you. In your case I'd just google some of the words from the study and see whether it's been done before. In terms of answerability though, it's not a fair question so you're right not to know the answer.

Operationalise ("z" is an American spelling!).

Excellent questions. I really appreciate that you've clearly had a crack at them yourself and have worked us through your thinking on all of your questions. This means you'll actually leave this having learnt something, rather than just having information spat at you by us. Awesome work :D
Title: Re: Operationalized hypothesis problems?
Post by: catpacksnapback on March 12, 2019, 03:23:31 pm
First one: age is the IV. IV doesn't necessarily mean it has to be manipulated, it's just the thing that changes to cause the effect. Another way of thinking about it is the IV is the variable that is deliberately not kept constant.

Second one: the absence of a hypothesis makes it pretty well impossible to know what the IV and the DV are. You can't really tell what the experimenter is thinking because it hasn't been given to you. In your case I'd just google some of the words from the study and see whether it's been done before. In terms of answerability though, it's not a fair question so you're right not to know the answer.

Operationalise ("z" is an American spelling!).

Excellent questions. I really appreciate that you've clearly had a crack at them yourself and have worked us through your thinking on all of your questions. This means you'll actually leave this having learnt something, rather than just having information spat at you by us. Awesome work :D

Absolute legend! Thanks so much for the response. Extremely relieving to have some reassurance here and insight too! (Though a little frustrating to know my coursework has been putting us through the wringer there!)
Your appreciation is much appreciated :) - though now it's time to relearn the word "operationalised"!  :-X