This is a group project designed for an AP Psychology class, but it can be used in any class studying the difference between an experiment and a correlation. Each group is assigned one of ten scenarios. They will read the scenario and decide whether it is an example of an experiment or of a correlation. They then analyze the scenario together to answer accompanying high-level questions. Finally, the group creates a poster and presents it to the class.
This 25 page file includes:
- 10 scenarios with questions
- Answer key for closed ended questions (open ended questions left up to teacher discretion to grade)
- Rubric to use when grading the presentations and posters.
I gave my students a 90 minute period to answer the questions and create the poster, and then we used another 90 minute period to complete the posters and present to the class.
The objectives covered include:
- Define the qualities of an experiment and a correlation.
- Explain when you can and cannot suppose a causal relationship
- Identify the independent and dependent variables in an experiment
- Analyze an experiment to explain its weaknesses (answers would include not operationally defining variables, lack of repetition, and low sample size among others)
- Assess an experiment and explain how the researcher increased the validity of the results
- Analyze a correlation to determine other possible factors contributing to the relationship
- Determine whether a correlation is positive or negative
- Revise a correlational study into an experiment
- Clearly compose their answers and present them to their classmates in a well thought-out manner.
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Differentiating Experiments from Correlations
by Kimberly Yandell
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