Research Designs in Psychology

Research Designs in Psychology

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Topic: Research Designs in Psychology
For this Hand-in Assignment you compare two studies on feedback. One of the studies presented used an experimental design; the other used a quasi-experimental design.

In preparation for this assignment, read the following synopsis of the two studies and consider the strengths and weaknesses of each study:
Few concepts in psychology have been written about as uncritically as feedback. As Latham and Locke (1991) point out, feedback is merely information, which has no

necessary implications for task performance. Nevertheless, you might expect feedback to guide and motivate people’s performance under some circumstances. For example,

positive feedback can encourage people to set higher goals and even negative feedback can motivate people to perform at a higher level by reducing the discrepancies

between their observed and expected performance. The following two studies were conducted to examine whether feedback influences task performance.
In the first study, 72 students were asked to complete a moderately difficult cognitive task which involved reading a text passage and then answering comprehension

questions. This familiarised them with the nature of the task. They were then randomly assigned to one of two conditions: false positive feedback or false negative

feedback. Participants in the false positive feedback condition were informed that while the average student achieved 20% correct answers on the first trial, they had

managed to achieve 85%. Participants in the false negative feedback condition were informed that the average performance of students was 85%, whereas their own

performance was only 20%. All participants then completed a second cognitive task and the number of correct responses served as the dependent variable. Consistent with

their hypothesis, the researchers found that receiving false positive feedback resulted in significantly better performance than receiving false negative feedback.
A second study was conducted to examine the impact of feedback on task performance. Specifically, students submitted an essay for formative feedback. Prior to

submission, they were informed that they could choose to receive uniformly positive feedback or uniformly negative feedback. After receiving their annotated essays,

the students were then allowed to make any changes they felt were necessary and then resubmit their work for summative feedback. As expected, the researchers found

that participants in the negative feedback condition received significantly higher marks than those in the positive feedback condition.
Assignment question:
• Explain which study employs experimental design and which employs quasi-experimental design.
• Then, explain strengths and limitations of each study.
• Finally, explain which study design is the most appropriate for determining the impact of feedback on performance.
• Justify your response with examples from the two studies cited.
Support your Hand-in Assignment with specific scholarly references to all resources used in its preparation


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