Unit 09

Unit 9:
How to Evaluate Alternative Hypotheses
Unit 9: Assignment #1 (due before 11:59 pm Central on THU JUL 19):

  1. In the last Unit, you learned about reliability and validity as applied to research. In this Unit, you’re going to learn about threats to internal validity, which can also be considered candidates for alternative hypotheses.
  2. To learn nine candidates for alternative hypotheses:
    1. Watch Professor Gernsbacher’s (2017) lecture video “How to Evaluate Alternative Hypotheses.” (A transcript of the lecture video is here.)
    2. While watching this video, take notes, as well as stop the video and play it back, whenever you’re not sure if you’re understanding something.
    3. For each of the nine candidates for alternative hypotheses mentioned in the lecture video, write down in your notes:
      • the name of the alternative hypothesis;
      • a definition, in your own words, of that alternative hypothesis; and
      • at least one of the examples of that alternative hypothesis that was given in the lecture video.
  3. Now, for each of the nine candidates for alternative hypotheses:
    1. Think of and write down one more example of that alternative hypothesis.
    2. Your example must not be one that was mentioned in the lecture video.
  4. Go to the Unit 9: Assignment #1 Discussion Board and make a new post in which you list for each of the nine candidates for alternative hypotheses:
    1. the name of the alternative hypothesis;
    2. a definition, in your own words, of that alternative hypothesis;
    3. at least one of the examples of that alternative hypothesis that was given in the lecture video; and
    4. your own example of that alternative hypothesis.
  5. NOTE:
    1. You won’t be able to see other students’ posts on the Unit 9: Assignment #1 Discussion Board until after you submit your own post.
    2. It would be a good idea to begin working on Unit 9: Assignment #2 because there’s a substantial amount to read for that Assignment.

Unit 9: Assignment #2 (due before 11:59 pm Central on THU JUL 19):

  1. To apply your knowledge of alternative hypotheses to actual research studies, read the excerpt from Huck and Sandler’s (1979) book, Rival Hypotheses: Alternative Interpretations of Data Based Conclusions  (Part One).
  2. NOTE: This is a password-protected PDF. You’ll need to type in a password to read the PDF.
    1. The password is the email subject heading you’re supposed to use in this course when you email a question.
    2. Capitalization, punctuation, and spacing matter for this password.
    3. If you’re initially unable to open the PDF, and you’re sure you’re inputting the correct password:
      • Try a different browser. Some browsers are set to a default level of security that interferes with opening password-protected files. Using a different browser (which is a good go-to solution for a lot of Internet-related problems) should help.
      • Save the PDF onto your own computer, and open the PDF there (using Adobe Reader, Preview, or another PDF reader), rather than trying to open the PDF in your browser.
  3. ALSO NOTE: Huck and Sandler’s book is specifically written with the researchers and their studies as the topics. Huck and Sandler’s book is not “synthesized” psychological science; rather, it is “analytical” psychological science. Make sure you appreciate the difference.
  4. For each of the 18 studies presented in the excerpt from Huck and Sandler’s (1979) book, identify how the alternative hypothesis that is listed after each study’s title (e.g., “A Painful Look at Hunger: Correlation Isn’t Causation”) can explain the study’s results.
  5. Go to the Unit 9: Assignment #2 Discussion Board and make a new post. For each of the 18 studies in the Huck and Sandler’s (1979) book excerpt,
    1. list the title of the study and its alternative hypothesis (e.g., “A Painful Look at Hunger: Correlation Isn’t Causation”); and
    2. explain, in at least 50 words, how the alternative hypothesis can explain the study’s results.
  6. NOTE: You won’t be able to see other students’ posts on the Unit 9: Assignment #2 Discussion Board until after you submit your own post.

Unit 9: Assignment #3 (due before 11:59 pm Central on FRI JUL 20):

  1. Now it’s time to apply what you’ve learned in the first two assignments about how to evaluate alternative hypotheses when you’re reading scientific articles that are reported in the popular press.
  2. Find five popular press articles that report the results of a scientific study AND for which at least one of the nine alternative hypotheses you’ve learned, excluding Correlation Isn’t Causation, could explain the results.
  3. Go to the Unit 9: Assignment #3 and #5 Discussion Board and make a new post in which you list (in a numbered list) the five popular press articles you have found. For each of the five popular press articles:
    1. Provide a link to the popular press article (use the name of the popular press article for the text that you embed as a link, e.g., Why you shouldn’t eat late at night, according to science).
    2. Identify the alternative hypothesis that could explain the study’s results.
    3. Explain, in at least 50 words, how the alternative hypothesis can explain the study’s results.
    4. Remember that you can’t use the alternative hypothesis Correlation Isn’t Causation for this Assignment (because you analyzed popular press articles for that alternative hypothesis in Unit 4).

Unit 9: Assignment #4 (due before 11:59 pm Central on FRI JUL 20):

  1. Select your favorite three alternative hypotheses, and teach all three to three separate people.
    • You can teach each person via email, phone, text, Facebook, Skype, in person, or any other communication medium.
    • But you must teach all three of your favorite alternative hypotheses to three separate people at three separate times.
    • AND you cannot teach Correlation Isn’t Causation, because you already taught people that alternative hypothesis (in Unit 4).
  2. When you’re teaching your favorite three alternative hypotheses to three different people, be sure to provide examples of each of the three alternative hypotheses.
  3. To make sure each of the three people learn your favorite three alternative hypotheses, ask each person to tell you another example (one that you did not tell them) of each of the three alternative hypotheses.
  4. Go to the Unit 9: Assignment #4 Discussion Board and make a new Discussion Board post of at least 200 words. Describe
    1. which three alternative hypotheses you taught the three people;
    2. why you chose those three alternative hypotheses;
    3. how you taught the three persons the three alternative hypotheses (i.e., what words did you use to explain each hypothesis and what example or examples did you use?); and
    4. for each of the three people you taught,
      • state each of the three persons’ initials (e.g., MG)
      • state each person’s approximate age; and
      • state the examples each person provided of the three alternative hypotheses.

Unit 9: Assignment #5 (due before 11:59 pm Central on SUN JUL 22):

  1. To cement your learning about alternative hypotheses, go to the Unit 9: Assignment #3 and #5 Discussion Board and read the posts made by the other members (or member) of your Chat Group.
    1. If you’re in a Chat Group with two other members, choose one of the studies that each of your two Chat Group members found and posted (for a total of two studies).
    2. If you’re in a Chat Group with only one other member, choose two of the studies that one other member of your Chat Group found and posted.
  2. Now, pretend that instead of your Chat Group Member(s) finding and posting these two studies on our class Discussion Board as examples of studies with alternative hypotheses, two relatives or acquaintances of yours posted the two studies on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media as recommendations to their friends and followers.
  3. Still pretending that instead of your Chat Group Member(s) posting these two studies, your relatives or acquaintances did, write a response to your relatives or acquaintances explaining to them why the two studies they posted have alternative hypotheses.
    1. You must write two separate Discussion Board responses (you must make two separate reply posts, even if you’re responding to the same Chat Group member).
    2. Each of your two Discussion Board responses must be at least 200 words.
    3. You must explain the alternative hypotheses in terms that your relatives or acquaintances will understand.
    4. It might be best if you address your two responses not to your Chat Group Member(s) but instead to fictitious people, such as “Dear Aunt Bessie” or “Hey, Freshman Roommate.”
  4. If you’re in a Chat Group with two other members, and one of the two other Chat Group members hasn’t yet posted their Unit 9: Assignment #3 — and the due date for Unit 9: Assignment #3 has passed — you can respond to two of the studies posted by the Chat Group member who has already posted their Unit 9: Assignment #3.
  5. If you’re in a Chat Group with only one other member, and that other Chat Group member hasn’t yet posted their Unit 9: Assignment #3 — and the due date for Unit 9: Assignment #3 has passed — you can respond to two studies posted by a student who is not in your Chat Group.

Unit 9: Assignment #6 (due before 11:59 pm Central on SUN JUL 22):

  1. Read a second excerpt from Huck and Sandler’s (1979) book, Rival Hypotheses: Alternative Interpretations of Data Based Conclusions (Part Two).
    1. NOTE: This is a different PDF than the PDF you read in Unit 9: Assignment #1; however, this PDF is also password protected. Therefore, you’ll again need to type in a password to read the file. The password is again the email subject heading that you are supposed to use in this course when you email a question. (Capitalization, punctuation, and spacing again matter for this password.)
    2. NOTE AGAIN: Huck and Sandler’s book is specifically written with the researchers and their studies as the topics (i.e., Huck and Sandler’s book is not “synthesized” psychological science; rather, it is “analytical” psychological science). Make sure you again appreciate the difference between synthesizing psychological science and analyzing it (as Huck and Sandler have done).
  2. This excerpt presents nine additional studies analyzed by from Huck and Sandler (1979).
    1. Unlike the Part One excerpt you read for Unit 9: Assignment #1, the studies presented in this Part Two excerpt are not labeled with alternative hypotheses that could explain each study’s results.
    2. Identifying which alternative hypothesis (or hypotheses, plural) can explain each study’s results will be your Chat Group’s task.
  3. Meet online with your (“new”) Chat Group at the time your Chat Group arranged for your one-hour text-based Chat.
    1. Begin your hour-long Chat by introducing yourselves, including the name mnemonic that each Chat Group member provided in Unit 1: Assignment #2.
    2. Then, during your hour-long Chat, identify as a group, which alternative hypothesis (or hypotheses) can explain each study’s results.
    3. For each study, in addition to identifying which which alternative hypothesis (or hypotheses) can explain the study’s results, draft — as a group — at least 50 words explaining how each  alternative hypothesis (or hypotheses) can explain the study’s results.
    4. NOTE: None of the studies in this excerpt (Part Two) can be explained by Correlation Isn’t Causation, and some of the studies can be explained by more than one alternative hypothesis.
  4. At the end of your one-hour Chat:
    1. Nominate one member of your Chat Group (who participated in the Chat) to make a post on the Unit 9: Assignment #6 Discussion Board that
      1. lists the title of the study and its alternative hypothesis or hypotheses (if more than one alternative hypothesis can explain the study’s results); and
      2. explains, in at least 50 words, how the alternative hypothesis can explain the study’s results.
      3. Remember that none of the studies in this excerpt can be explained by the alternative hypothesis, Correlation Isn’t Causality.
    2. Nominate another member of your Chat Group (who also participated in the Chat) to save the Chat transcript as a webpage; to make a post on the Unit 9: Assignment #6 Discussion Board; and to attach the Chat transcript, saved as a webpage (i.e., .html), to that Discussion Board post.
    3. Nominate another member of your Chat Group (who also participated in the Chat) to make another post on the Unit 9: Assignment #6 Discussion Board that states the name of your Chat Group, the names of the Chat Group members who participated in the Chat, the date of your Chat, and the start and stop time of your Chat.
    4. If only two persons participated in the Chat, then one of those two persons needs to do two of the above three tasks.
    5. NOTE: You won’t be able to see other Chat Groups’ posts on the Unit 9: Assignment #6 Discussion Board until after your Chat Group submits your Chat Group’s posts.
    6. Before ending the Group Chat, your Chat Group might want to arrange the time for the Group Chat you will need to hold during the next Unit (Unit 10: Assignment #6).
  5. All members of the Chat Group must record a typical Unit entry in your own Course Journal for Unit 9.

Congratulations, you have finished Unit 9! Onward to Unit 10!