Assessment 1 (Autumn 2018)

Assessment 1 provides you with six research scenarios, each with associated data and two tasks to complete. For each scenario you are assuming the role of a researcher employed by an organisation with the purpose of helping them answer a question about their business.
Your role is to gather data related to the question, analyse this data, and write a “results section” providing an answer to the question (hence this assessment is a partial research report because it only requires an APA-style results section).
Each scenario consists of three tasks;

TASK 1: Analyse the data provided using the relevant statistical analysis in SPSS, and write a results section using these findings.
In the results you are expected to;
(a) Provide the hypothesis (include the units of measure for the dependent variable).
(b) Describe the overall number of participants, and the means and standard deviations of the age of these participants, grouped by sex.
(c) Test parametric assumptions
(d) Present the appropriate statistical finding
(e) Interpret the statistical findings and include post hoc analyses if necessary
(f) Calculate effect sizes where appropriate
(g) Include all relevant SPSS outputs in an appendix following your results write-up, e.g., a table of means, a table of normality tests, the statistical output table etc.
TASK 2: Describe your research findings using a single sentence.
Based on the statistical analysis you’ve performed, write a clear statement explaining whether the company’s hypothesis was supported or not supported. If the hypothesis does not involve a specific prediction, describe the research findings and the conclusion you would provide the company.

TASK 3: Identify a design flaw in the scenario.
Each scenario has a hidden experimental design flaw. Identify this design flaw and explain how it might affect your statistical finding, leading to an inaccurate or invalid conclusion.

Submission of Assessment 1 is through Turnitin. See vUWS and the Learning Guide for further information. The Turnitin Link will be in your Assessment Folder.

TYPE YOUR ANSWERS INTO THIS WORD DOCUMENT (Note: you might need to use more space than that which is currently provided under each task e.g., your results section might take up a full page if you include a table).
The Foolproof Guide will be valuable assistance in completing each of these six tasks. However be aware that the results section applicable to each of the six assessment scenarios will not necessarily match “word for word” the examples shown in the Foolproof guide. For instance, assumptions met in the Foolproof guide example might not be met in the corresponding Assessment 1 scenario, or vice versa. You will need to adapt your results sections accordingly. You will also need to include a breakdown of the participants’ sex and age as a sentence in the results, and this is not performed in the examples shown in the Foolproof Guide.

Scenario 1
A health-food company is planning to market a new one-month weight-loss “diet-shake” program to the public. The company executives believe the program will be effective in helping people lose weight, however they require scientific evidence of its success to use in a future advertising campaign.
To help them gather this evidence, you randomly recruit a group of 40 volunteer participants from the public who have been identified by medical professionals as clinically “obese” and measure their weight. You then immediately administer the diet program, which consists of a three “diet-shakes” and three very small meals a day, and a specialised exercise regime. Every participant starts on the same day, Monday of Week 1, and ends the program on the same day, Friday of Week 4. Throughout the month you monitor your participants and are please to find they are all taking the program seriously.
At the end of the one-month program you organise for your participants to take a second weight measurement, however many of the participants are taking summer holidays and are not available for you to weigh. Consequently, you decide to postpone the second weight measurement and wait an additional two months before re-weighing them (so that all 40 can participate).
Finally, three months after the beginning of the program you finally get your chance and collect new weight measurements from the 40 participants. You use the data from these participants to answer the company’s question – did the program result in a significant drop in weight?

Sample Solution