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Psychology 2115A/B
Stephen Lupker

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Lecture: 3 September-26-11 2:59 PM Confounded variables  A variable that varies concomitantly with the independent variable Becomes necessary to ask the question can we use these methods? One early study that was done by Howes and solomon (1951) – simply experiment that calculated threshold of a bunch of varying words, found that threshold was directly related to the frequency of the word, shows that macguinny had a confound that really mattered Just cause there is a counfound doesn’t mean that it does anything, or the independent variable and the counfound work together, or the counfound is solely responsible for your results. Solomon and postman (1952) – thought that the previous test had had another counfound that we did not account for. They were not looking at length of the words. So the question is, is it frequency that is responsible for the threshold or is it length. So they decide to not use real words. The made up a vocabulary of nonwords that were all the same length, then for different groups of people they would get them to study some words more than others (they create a frequency). The got rid of the potential confounds example length just studied frequency. They still found a strong relationship between frequency and threshold The question was answered when you designed a good experiment that got rid of all confounds then you can use the original measures of threshold to study many things. Like thresholds for words. (method of limits appears to work) In 1958 a paper came out of by Goldiamond and Hawkins (1958) they wanted to show that the results of the experiments were not necessarily due to frequency but due to the failures of people to report. Did an experiment with nonwords again let people to study them for different lengths of time, replicate the pprevious study (3 letters vs 7 letters) experiment then says i’m going to start showing you words and increase duration until you get it right. They say we are increasing duration until the subject starts responding.
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