Researchers often use a method called an experiment in order to study the causes of human and animal behavior. Design such an experiment based on a change in behavior you have observed in yourself or your roommates this past semester (e.g., eating or sleeping habits, exercise regime, game playing, etc.). Select a behavior that you are particularly interested in studying, and then design the experiment to investigate a possible cause of that behavior. Address the following questions.
- What is the hypothesis you will test in your experiment?
- What are the independent and dependent variables?
- Who will be the subjects or participants in your study?
- What are the experimental and control group conditions? Here, you may assume that you have the resources necessary to conduct your experiment and that you can control, or manipulate, the environment of your subjects as necessary. For example, suppose your hypothesis is as follows: Higher levels of stress from a heavy course workload increase eating activity. Assume that you have the ability to control the workload, etc., of your subjects.
- How will you assign your subjects to groups?
- What are the possible results of your study, and what might these results indicate about your hypothesis?
In a multi-paragraph essay, describe your experiment and explain how you will conduct this experiment to test your hypothesis. Be sure to propose your hypothesis, and then describe the independent and dependent variables, the experimental and control conditions, the subject or participant groups, and the conclusions you can draw based on the results of your experiment. Include information from class materials and readings to support your discussion.