What is an operational definition of a variable?

March Week 2 A

Week Two Homework Exercise

Answer the following questions covering material from Ch. 1–5 of Methods in Behavioral Research:

1. A researcher is interested in studying the effects of different levels of distraction—none, low, and high—on scores on a test of visual memory. Participants are randomly assigned to one of three conditions: no distraction, low distraction, or high distraction. All participants engage in a test of visual memory. What is the independent variable? What is the dependent variable? What is the purpose of random assignment to groups? What is the purpose of random assignment to groups? (6 points)

2. What is an operational definition of a variable? How might the variable sense of humor be defined operationally? (2 points)

3. Define reliability as it relates to measurement of behavior. (2 points)

4. Define and describe scales of measurement. (2 points)

5. What is the difference between construct validity, internal validity, and external validity? (3 points)

6. What is the difference between correlation and causation? (2 points)

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