Week Three Discussion Two 3.1

Threats and Eliminating Them
A psychologist believes that people are either “auditory learners” or “visual learners.” Specifically, she thinks some people remember information better when it is presented auditorily and others remember information better when it is presented visually. She tests her theory by asking undergraduate students to study and remember a list of words presented on a tape recorder (auditory) or on a sheet of paper (visual). To find out whether people are primarily auditory or visual learners, one week prior to the experiment a colleague asks students in a large introductory psychology class to fill out a long, involved questionnaire about attitudes, beliefs, etc. Buried in the questionnaire is a question about the student’s most preferred mode of learning, that is, visual or auditory. When students come later for the memory experiment, two different lists of 20 words are presented for study. Unknown to the students, the psychologist uses the information from the questionnaire to identify which mode of presentation is preferred by each student. Each student is tested first under his or her preferred mode of study and then under his or her non-preferred mode. Although the manner in which the words are presented changes for each student, everything else is held constant. That is, the same 20 words are always used for the preferred mode of presentation and for the non-preferred mode of presentation, the length of time the words are presented is the same, as is the retention interval, and so forth. The psychologist finds that the average recall in the preferred mode is significantly better than the average recall under the non-preferred mode. She believes the results support her hypothesis.
Identify the (a) independent variable and the (b) dependent variable in this experiment.
Identify two serious confounding in this experiment.
Describe how the experiment should be conducted, that is, state specifically how the confoundings could be eliminated.