Psychology - Experiment on Stress

Topics: Hypothesis, Scientific method, Null hypothesis Pages: 5 (1442 words) Published: November 5, 2012
I. Introduction

In this experiment we are going to describe stress and prove how can a prolonged exposition to it have a negative impact on memory. The definition of stress used in this experiment is: difficulty one suffers that causes worry, emotional tension or loss of concentration. The reason why this topic has been chosen is because stress is a part of nowadays, hectic society and it has a very noticeable effect on people’s performance, in either work or daily life. The outcome of this experiment could be used in several fields, such as education; to help reduce the amount of stress students deal with, so their grades could be improved. The results could also be used to enhance and boost employer’s efficiency, in the workplace field. The hypothesis is to test how short-term stressful situations can lead to memory dysfunction. The null hypothesis, on the other hand, is that stress has no impact on memory whatsoever.

The aim of this experiment is to prove how stress produces memory issues.

II. Design
The most efficient and easiest way to carry out this experiment would be using repeated measures, using the same sample of participants in both sets of conditions, deceiving participants to avoid any internal validity issue. Allowing a long time gap between conditions or changing the mentioned conditions would avoid participants from finding out the aim of the experiment, or biasing it.

Single blind is the best method that can be used in this experiment, opposed to double-blind, which would be meaningless, because if participants are told the aim they might do better than they would do in a normal life situation, and the study would lose it’s reliability. Since it’s a short-term based experiment and the same sample of participants is used for both conditions, the experimental group would perform a series of memory-challenging activities, and later on, the control group would perform the same tasks but under the influence of some source of stress, in this case, loud music. There are no ethical concerns involved because no participant would leave with any kind of stress or anger, and they wouldn't be exposed to loud music for a long time. They would also be debriefed at the end of the study.

The Independent Variable (IV) is the amount of stress received by any mean, and the Dependent Variable (DV) is memory performance. Other variables that shall be identified, since they are thought to have an impact on the results are the following: previous level of stress of participants, temperature of the room where the experiment is being held, room’ walls color, participant’s previous fatigue or mood, amongst others, which could be easily avoided by performing yoga classes and controlling the room were the experiment is being carried out.

III. Participants
Since the target population is people living in Spain from the age of 16 to people aged 66, both male and female, it includes a very large number of people in which the outcomes of this study are going to be focused on, and therefore, a huge target population to choose from in order to get participants for the study. Therefore, the best sampling technique that could be used would be quota sampling, as it allows the researcher to split the target population up into various sub-groups, which in this case would solely be age and gender, because no other variables can affect/bias the outcomes of this experiment. Then, from this preset sub-groups, the researcher would deliberately pick out how many people is needed and what characteristics this people must have. There would be 5 sub-groups based on age and gender (each group ranging 10 years), each group adding up the total number of 25 people (5 per group ). Participants would be asked for consent after using them as the sample.

IV. Materials
Materials needed for this experiment are basically...
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