[url removed, login to view] habituation effect of a drug on motor activity
This data set is taken from Howell [Howell, D.C. (2013). Statistical Methods for Psychology,
8th Edition, Cengage Learning: USA]. King and colleagues (King, Bouton, & Musty, 1987)
investigated motor activity in rats following injection of a drug called midazolam. The first
time that this drug is injected, it typically leads to a distinct decrease in motor activity. Like
morphine, however, a tolerance for midazolam develops rapidly. King examined whether that
acquired tolerance could be explained on the basis of a conditioned tolerance related to the
physical context in which the drug was administered. He used three groups, collecting the
crucial data on only the last day, which was the test day. During pretesting, two groups of
animals were repeatedly injected with midazolam over several days, whereas the Control
group was injected with physiological saline. On the test day, one group—the “Same”
group—was injected with midazolam in the same environment in which it had earlier been
injected. The “Different” group was also injected with midazolam, but in a different
environment. Finally, the “Control” group was injected with midazolam for the first time.
This “Control” group should thus show the typical initial response to the drug (decreased
ambulatory behaviour), whereas the “Same” group should show the normal tolerance effect—
that is, they should decrease their activity little or not at all in response to the drug on the last
trial. If King is correct, however, the “Different” group should respond similarly to the
“Control” group, because although they have had several exposures to the drug, they are
receiving it in a novel context and any conditioned tolerance that might have developed will
not have the necessary cues required for its elicitation. The dependent variable is a measure of
ambulatory behaviour, in arbitrary units. Because the drug is known to be metabolized over a
period of approximately 1 hour, King recorded his data in 5-minute blocks, or Intervals. But
for this data set, we only consider the first six blocks. We would expect to see the effect of the
drug increase for the first few intervals and then slowly taper off.
You will need to write a 3000-word laboratory report (including title, abstract, text body,
reference list). Because this is a research methods unit, the purpose of this laboratory report is
to emphasize the procedure and methods and of conducting research, as well as the statistical
This laboratory report is slightly different from the one you are used to doing in other units. In this report, you will choose a data set from three data sets we have provided and choose the appropriate statistical test to test a research question, run the analysis, and write the report.
What is important is that you demonstrate the understanding of the common problems scientists face when conducting research. You will also need to demonstrate that you understand how to interpret the findings and apply them in real life, not just report p-values.
- After checking normality of your data (you also need to make comments based on your SPSS outputs for normality:
a. Run an appropriate statistical analysis
b. Write the result and discussion sections based on your statistical results
c. For discussion, you are required to discuss the sample size of the study in comparison to an estimated a priori sample size. For this, you will need to run a power analysis using G*Power. You can download G*Power for free: [url removed, login to view]
d. Discuss pros and cons of the research design the study you chose in the discussion
It is imperative that you include:
- The appropriate effect size (for example, if you choose Cohen’s d, make sure it is the appropriate one).
- An interpretation of the results in light of effect size and confidence interval NOT ONLY on the p-value.
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