Research Methods

Factorial Designs


In the following research scenario, the two main characters are switched in different versions of the story. You can get an idea of how the story changes as the role of the wife is switched with the role of the husband. Some of the changes appear below to show you how the story alters.

In a second version of the story, the wife or husband travels into the city to meet a lover rather than to volunteer at a hospital. The same fate befalls the character in this version.

The Scenario:

A husband and wife were living in a small town that was a distance from their workplace, shopping, and entertainment. The husband/wife worked nights, taking their car and returning in the morning.

Each night, the wife/husband took a bus into town and volunteered at the local hospital. She/He always returned home before her husband/his wife. Her/His volunteer work was always for short periods and she/he sometimes left on short notice, angering the hospital workers.

One night, she/he let Nurse Smith know that she/he would not be returning. Nurse Smith asked her/him to leave immediately, and the wife/husband started back to catch the bus home. Unfortunately, the wife/husband had forgotten money for the trip home, so she/he reluctantly asked Nurse Smith to lend her/him the fare.

But Nurse Smith slammed the door in her/his face. The wife/husband remembered that Nurse Jones was also working that night. But Nurse Jones was angry from a previous incident and would not give the wife/husband any money, either.

Time was getting short, so she/he rushed down to the bus station and asked the bus driver, who recognized her/him as a regular rider, to let her/him ride without paying. She/He promised to repay him/her the next night. But the bus driver insisted that rules were rules and refused the request.

The woman/man decided to walk home even though it would take her/him several hours. Unfortunately, the road was dangerous, with frequent reports of crimes by thieves and muggers. Nonetheless, she/he had to get home, so she/he took the road.

On the way, a criminal stepped out of the bushes and demanded her/his money. The woman/man told the criminal that she/he had none. The criminal seized her/him. In the ensuing fight, the criminal stabbed the woman/man and she/he died.

There were six main characters in the story:
• Husband
• Wife
• Nurse Smith
• Nurse Jones
• Bus Driver
• Criminal

Suppose you can assign blame points to the character. Who is the most responsible for the woman’s death?

You have 25 points in total. If you give all 25 points to one person, you have none left. If you give 15 points to one person, you can assign another 10 points to whatever character or characters you wish. The only limitation is that the total points can add to only 25.

Points:
_____ Husband
_____ Wife
_____ Nurse Smith
_____ Nurse Jones
_____ Bus Driver
_____ Criminal


Here are the results:

Dependent Variable: Blame points for victim--These numbers reflect weighted means.
Victim
Type of Activity
Mean
Std. Dev.
N
Wife Sexual affair
7.0
7.30
28
  Volunteering
2.4
3.33
41
  Total
4.3
6.89
69
Husband Sexual affair
8.6
6.25
36
  Volunteering
9.5
5.00
26
  Total
5.2
6.14
64
Total Sexual affair
8.4
6.89
67
  Volunteering
3.5
4.16

73

  Total
5.9
6.54
150

 Tests of Between-Subjects Effects

 Dependent Variable: Blame points for victim

Source Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Partial Eta Squared
Sex of Victim 339.666 1 339.666 10.266 .002 .077
Activity 283.853 1 283.853 8.579 .004 .065
Participant Sex 15.059 1 15.059 0.455 .501 .004
Victim x Activity 0.110 1 0.110 0.003 .954 .000
Victim x Sex 172.784 1 172.784 5.222 .024 .041
Activity x Sex 210.637 1 210.637 6.366 .013 .049
Vic x Act x Sex 0.149 1 0.149 0.004 .947 .000
Error 33.087 123 33.087      
Total 10003.250 131        


Questions:

Are there significant main effects?

Is there a significant interaction?