Example and Hints

Psych3k Chapter 2, Assignment 2


The purpose of this experiment is to determine the effect of anxiety on student performance on an exam.

I will create two groups of subjects.  For one group (the experimental group), I will create a condition that leads to an unusually high level of anxiety in my subjects.  For the other group (the control group) I will try to create a condition that produces only the normal level of anxiety that students might experience in taking a test.

I will begin with a sample of 100 students, randomly selected from the population of students at this school.  Each student will be randomly assigned to either the experimental group or the control group.

I will present the same information to both groups.  After giving the students 15 minutes to study their notes on the material, I will administer a 25 question multiple-choice test over the material.

I will compute the mean scores on the exam for each group, and determine the difference in performance of the two groups.  I will determine whether or not the difference between the two groups is statistically different, by using the appropriate inferential statistic.

This experiment should help me understand what effect anxiety has on test-taking performance.

1.  Independent Variable Anxiety
2.  Dependent Variable Exam performance
3.  Experimental Group The group that tests in the high anxiety condition.
4.  Control Group The group that tests in the normal anxiety condition.
5.  Extraneous Variables:
    Age Allow random variation.
    Intelligence Allow random variation.
    Difficulty of material Hold constant (The same information will be presented to both groups.)
    Instructor Characteristics Hold constant (The same instructor will present to both groups.)
    Method of testing Hold constant (The same test will be used for both groups.)


Briefly describe (in narrative format) the experiment.

Define and specify:
1.  Independent Variable(s)
2.  Dependent Variable(s)
3.  Experimental Group(s)
4.  Control Group(s)
5.  Extraneous Variables (at least 5), and how you would control them.