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Unit I Case Study
Throughout this unit, you have learned about various research methods that are used by psychologists. For this
assignment, you must choose three of the six scenarios listed below.
1. Elena is a psychologist interested in understanding the impact of a sense of control on stress in humans. She brings
in students from around campus and gives them a number of choices (increasing sense of control) before exposing
them to a very difficult math test. She brings in another group of students and does not give them any choices before
giving them the math test. She uses the scores earned by the two groups to see if those students given choices
before the test do better than the students who did not get choices.
2. Maxim is working with Joaquin in a counseling situation. Joaquin is a resident of the local jail, having been found
stealing pastries from a bake shop. When caught, Joaquin claimed that the devil told him to do it and that he had done
far worse things in the past. Maxim visits with him and makes notes about what he learns about Joaquin each time
they are together.
3. Glynnis is interested in understanding how people handle confrontation. She hangs out in a store near the customer
service counter unobtrusively watching the agents at the desk. She records if they respond with passive
aggressiveness, kindness, or anger.
4. Gigi is a student in the marketing department. She wants to understand more about what attracts people to certain
products. She creates a document with pictures of cereal boxes and asks people to rate which box they would be
most attracted to when searching for a cereal. She then gathers information about their age, income, profession, and
5. Breck is interested in studying personal space and relationships. He gathers a number of students who are strangers,
acquaintances, close friends, or in romantic relationships. He brings them into a classroom and asks them to begin a
conversation with each other. He records the distance between the individuals having the conversation.
6. Lucretia works at a children’s hospital. Her responsibility is to ask children who are coming to the hospital for the first
time to respond to a number of questionnaires that may help determine their anxiety, depression, and pain levels.
After choosing three of the above scenarios, answer the following questions for each of your three scenarios.
Which research method was used (case history, survey, naturalistic observation, psychological tests, laboratory