How would you respond if you knew that people might stereotype you negatively? That's what one study recently asked. They wondered how people would approach a social situation if they were worried about the stereotypes the other person might have about them.
The studies in question can provide you with some handy practice on factorial designs.
Scientific American wrote about the study by Rebecca Neel and her fellow researchers. They explain that they recruited 75 college students, some of whom were overweight and some of whom were not.
In the first study, the participants answered questions about obese people and other stereotyped groups. Scientific American continues:
The students also were asked to envision meeting someone new and then to choose how they'd make a good impression from options such as arriving on time, wearing clean clothes, smiling and looking relaxed. Some students answered the group [stereotype] questions first so they'd have group-related stereotypes in mind when they got to the first-impressions' questions. Others completed the study the other way around.
The results showed that thinking about stereotyping changed people's behavior. Overweight students who'd first answered questions about obese people were more likely than other participants to rank "wearing clean clothes" as a very important way to make a good first impression. Normal-weight students and overweight students who hadn't been primed to think of stereotypes were more likely to prioritize arriving on time.
a) For the study above, the dependent variable could be described as the degree to which participants prioritized wearing clean clothes (over arriving on time). In addition to this DV, there is an independent variable and a participant variable in this factorial design. What are they?
b) How many levels are there in each of the IV's/PV's? Are these variables independent groups or within-groups? What kind of design is it (use this format: ___ x ___)?
c) Sketch a graph of what the results are, as they are described in the paragraph above. What main effects and interactions are present in the graph that you sketched?
The second study reported is also a factorial design. It is more difficult to find the IV's in this description, but give it a shot:
In a second study, researchers repeated the test with overweight men and black men. When prompted to think of stereotypes, overweight men ranked wearing clean clothes as the most important step toward making a good first impression. Black men, who are often stereotyped as violent and anti-social, prioritized smiling.
d) What are the IV's/PV's in this study? What is the dependent variable? (There seem to be two key dependent variables in this version of the study.)
e) Make two graphs of the 2x2 design above. One graph is for the first DV, and another graph should have the same IV's/PV's as the first graph, but will have the second DV on its y-axis.