Help! Gimme ideas for a Psychology experiment!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by amnesiac, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. amnesiac

    amnesiac Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1999
    Messages:
    15,781
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have to propose, design, and perform a psych experiment by semester's end. My proposal is due soon, and I'm having trouble thinking of a good experiment. I want it to be interesting, but it must be 1) easy to set up, 2) easy to find research subjects, and 3) ethical.

    I was thinking about something based on left-handedness (I'm a lefty) such as handedness vs. balancing ability. Either that or researching correlation between computer usage and social / personality disorders.

    Any ideas? If I pick yours, I'll see if I can do something to reward you :D

    *edit*
    I'm getting a lot of suggestions for "clever pranks" ... I need somethign that can be TESTED. This is an upper level college research methods course.

    So I need to find a QUESTION and make an EXPERIMENT and report my FINDINGS.
    E.g., effect of social factors on stopping for stop signs / effect of tetris playing on shape recognition tests / etc..


    Like I said, if I choose your idea (bonus if you can provide existing research articles), I'll paypal you a reward or something. I don't need someone to do my homework for me, I just need an IDEA.
     
  2. iamwiz82

    iamwiz82 Lifer

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2001
    Messages:
    30,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    an interesting one was done by some people i know. They went to a place that had a design on its floor(carpetting actually) The carpet was all blue except a gray strip of carpet down the middle than meandered around about 2 feet either way, "s" shaped. They watched how many people unknowingly followed the gray "road" instead of walking straight across the room.
     
  3. Martin

    Martin Lifer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2000
    Messages:
    29,180
    Likes Received:
    0
    sorry man, can't help ya.

     
  4. Tsaico

    Tsaico Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2000
    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    0
    here was one that I was going to do when I was in school. Go around the mall or even just campus and start talking to random people in school. Don't tell them you are doing an experiment. Just talk to them as if you known them for a while. See if there is a correlation between the color shirts they are wearing and how comfortable they are talking to a complete stranger. After a few minutes or when they tell you to go away or they themselves are walkinga way, tell them what you are doing. If you want, you may exand it out and then ask them more detailed questions if they are willing.
     
  5. amnesiac

    amnesiac Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1999
    Messages:
    15,781
    Likes Received:
    0
    any others?
     
  6. gopunk

    gopunk Lifer

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    Messages:
    29,240
    Likes Received:
    0
    you could kidnap a child, then give it a shock every time it saw something cute and furry....

    oh wait...
     
  7. Aceman

    Aceman Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 1999
    Messages:
    3,159
    Likes Received:
    0
    You say it has to be ethical, but does it have to be moral?
     
  8. Sluggo

    Sluggo Lifer

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2000
    Messages:
    15,494
    Likes Received:
    3
    Someting along the lines of procrastination. What it takes to pull someone away from a good book, compared to a bad book.

    Something about why some people must yell repost.

    Find a group of chicks and see what is the minimum required height or height to weight ratio of a man for these different activities: Dating/Sex/LTR/ Marriage
     
  9. yellowperil

    yellowperil Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2000
    Messages:
    4,598
    Likes Received:
    0
    You should make the experiment test as specific as possible, while retaining some generality. The first one you mentioned sounds do-able, the second might have too many confounding variables. Confounds and causation problems suck because it lowers the credibility of the research and makes the paper longer (by having to discuss all the limitations).
     
  10. Moonbeam

    Moonbeam Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 1999
    Messages:
    59,134
    Likes Received:
    390
    I would do a poll on an internet forum asking for advise on psychology experiments to do for a class. The purpose of the experiment will be to see how many true genuises you can find that will realize your intention by suggesting that as your project.
     
  11. Greyd

    Greyd Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2001
    Messages:
    2,119
    Likes Received:
    0
    Get a dog and check how much it salivates when you ring a bell when you bring in food........I'm a GENUIS!
     
  12. Dragoon42

    Dragoon42 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2000
    Messages:
    2,078
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is this for high-school or is this meant to be something serious? Anyways friends of mine set up an experiment where one person walks into a ice-cream shop holding some kind of plant. When the worker asks for the order, the person gives their order and then asks the plant what it wants also. The 2nd part of the experiment is your partner (if you have one) is already in the shop or just walks in, and he records the reaction of the people before/after you leave.

    Another one is to go to the mall and sit by people real close. I can't remember who came up with it but there's the idea that people want an xxx amt of space between them and the other person they're talking to. The space becomes smaller when they are closer with the people. So just go to the mall and sit practically next to the guy/girl sitting on the bench, or next time you talk to aquintance stand in front (has to be in front of their face) really close, and you'll see in both cases that most people will move farther away (well they should)
     
  13. CrazyDe1

    CrazyDe1 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2001
    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have video tape of this...go into a gas station count hte pennies in the take a penny holder...fill up that many pennies worth of gas...go in and pay right out of the take a penny container...and leave
     
  14. amnesiac

    amnesiac Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1999
    Messages:
    15,781
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm getting a lot of suggestions for "clever pranks" ... I need somethign that can be TESTED. This is an upper level college research methods course.

    So I need to find a QUESTION and make an EXPERIMENT and report my FINDINGS.
    E.g., effect of social factors on stopping for stop signs / effect of tetris playing on shape recognition tests / etc..

     
  15. rubix

    rubix Golden Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    0
    how about abducting and sticking seven strangers of various talents in a giant multi-leveled cube with a moving exit and thousands of rooms and putting deadly booby-traps in all rooms that are not labeled as a prime number?
     
  16. amnesiac

    amnesiac Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1999
    Messages:
    15,781
    Likes Received:
    0
    Where am I going to find a retard at this short hour?
    Plus I think this falls into problems with the "ethics" category.
     
  17. kranky

    kranky Elite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 1999
    Messages:
    20,882
    Likes Received:
    22
    My understanding is that they purposely do not tell the subjects what the experiment is designed to study, in case it might skew the results. Could you test that?

    I was thinking about some experiment/test (something like one of these) where one group is tested for no obvious reason, and another group gets the same test but is told that certain results will cause something good to happen for somebody. A questionnaire given before the testing is discreetly designed to find out whether the subject is very interested in helping others, averse to helping others, or indifferent.

    Then for the people who are told what the test is for, you say for example, "We're testing people's ability to (perform X). If it turns out that people in (your age group | your area | whatever) are below the national average, we will be eligible for federal grant money to set up a program in the lower-income areas to help develop (skill in X)."

    Then look for a correlation between how people feel about helping others and how poorly they performed on the test (which they would think would bring in the grant money) and compare to the control group.

     
  18. C'DaleRider

    C'DaleRider Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2000
    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's the old elevator and people stuff. You know people on elevators won't look at one another......but will they follow somone's lead and stand opposite to what is convention in order to not be different? That is, if you stand with your back to the door, will oncoming passangers do the same in an attempt to follow the crowd, or will they "dare to be different" and face the doors (like normal) despite being the only one to do that this time?
     
  19. BeefJurky

    BeefJurky Senior member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2001
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    0
    ever heard of the stanford prison experiment?

    linky
     
  20. amnesiac

    amnesiac Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1999
    Messages:
    15,781
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kranky's idea is a good one. I'll have to figure out the logistics of that if i pick it.
     
  21. Azraele

    Azraele Elite Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2000
    Messages:
    16,443
    Likes Received:
    1
    Map out the personality types of people who play certain video games. Or of people who drink coffee. Or something..
     
  22. bmacd

    bmacd Lifer

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2001
    Messages:
    10,869
    Likes Received:
    0
    this is pretty good.

    -=bmacd=-
     
  23. amnesiac

    amnesiac Lifer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1999
    Messages:
    15,781
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have an idea!

    I could do an experiment to see what percentage of people pick up change on the ground based on its denomination. I.e. how many people will stop to pick up a penny versus a quarter.
     
  24. Lola

    Lola Guest

    I was just talking about how i would like to do a study about a corrilation between rain on a wedding day and the amount of people that get divorced. I wonder if it has any merrit in the thought that they are starting off the marriage on a "soggy" note.
    Thats JUST my opinion.:eek:
     
  25. pinoy

    pinoy Golden Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2000
    Messages:
    1,440
    Likes Received:
    0
    why don't you make a study of teenagers not interested (or less interested) on newspapers! I bet the answer is: BORING!!!