Research article critique Essay

Questions 1-6 pertain to Study 1

1. For Study 1, what were the hypotheses in this study?

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In the first study conducted by the researchers, they hypothesized that products are evaluated and perceived by consumers to be favorable relative to their packaging. Furthermore, they hypothesized that as a product’s packaging, assuming that product quality held at constant high self-monitors, becomes more and more attractive and unique, it also becomes more favorable product as a whole. In addition Study 1 and as well as the second study aims to show that the packaging and physical appearance of a product influences how consumers ultimately perceive a range of consumer products.

2. How did the researchers operationally define “self-monitoring?”

According to the extensive literature, “Self-monitoring was defined as the individual variable which differentiates consumers according to how important the product’s image is to the evaluation of such a product. Related variable also emphasized how consumers varies with regards to self-monitoring as some are more  influenced by a product  appearance while some are less influenced by such an image variable. Consequently the researched defines “self-monitoring” using the proportionality between self-monitoring propensity and product evaluations. According to the researchers’ studies, self-monitoring is further broken down into two groups, high-self monitors and low self-monitors. High self-monitors tend to rely more on the image-enhancing  potential of a product as opposed to low self monitors who generally take more into account the products performance.

3. (A) which of the four types of measurement scales (nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio) was used to measure the personality variable of self-monitoring in this research?

In this research study, the researchers used n ordinal measurement scale in order to measure the self-monitoring variable of the participants. In the first study, the researcher implicitly defined the method of data collection and its interpretation as an ordinal measurement scale as it asked individual participants to rank quality, likelihood of use , taste and overall preference of the product accordingly. The researcher made use of an ordinal scale of preference to determine individual variables of self-monitoring.(Brown, 1988)

(b) Which scale of measurement was used to measure product type? The article never states this information explicitly, so explain why you chose the measurement scale that you did.

To measure the product type the researcher used an interval measurement scale as it makes use of mean product evaluations. In the methodology of the first study, the researchers illustrated that “For each product,   a score of 4 was given if  a participant  chooses the  sample with the most  attractive  package/container, a score of 3  if they chose the product associated with the second most attractive package/container,  a 2 if they chose the third most attractive package/container,  and a 1  if they chose  the product with the least attractive  package/container.” Using this information, it could thereof be inferred that the researcher made use of such median ratings to determine the product’s attractiveness.

4. (A) what were the independent variables in this experiment?

In this experiment the independent variable is the product. the product’s packaging, for the purpose of the study, was manipulated in order to give the participants the perception  that the products presented to them were of different brands when reality it was 4 packaging variants of  the same product .

     (b) What were the quasi-independent variables in this experiment?

Quasi-independent variables are variables that a researcher cannot usually control exposure to or randomly assign participants to these variables.(Huck, Cormier, & Bounds, 2004) In this experiment the quasi-independent variable is the personality variable of self-monitoring. As explained in the experiment’s report, participants were subjected to an 18-item Self-Monitoring Inventory. This inventory determined that the study consisted of 25 participants with low self-monitors and 39 with high self-monitors. This classification could not be controlled by the researcher and ultimately could not assign participants to a particular set or group.

(c) What were the dependent variables in this experiment?

The dependent variable in this experiment is the proportionality between an individual’s self-monitoring propensity and their preference of a product.

(d) How were the dependent variables operationalized?

The dependent variable in this experiment was operationalized through the use of questionnaires. These questionnaires together with the results of the self-monitoring inventory were used in order to measure the relationship between the levels of self-monitors and an individual’s evaluation of a product.

5. (a) Give the experimental notation for this experiment (e.g., 2 x 2 x 3).

2 x 3 (Self-Monitoring: High or Low x Product Type: Coffee, Chocolate, Bottled Water)

(b) for each independent variable in the experiment, state the number of levels created by its manipulation. Treat any quasi-independent variables as though they were true independent variables in this question.

By manipulating the product’s packaging, the study was able to create 4 levels of product packaging defined by their level of attractiveness towards the consumer. In addition the quasi-independent variable provided by the self-monitoring inventory enabled the experiment to create another diversification that the study could use.

6. For Study 1, did the results support or not support the stated hypothesis?

For this particular study, the researcher was able to reinforce and prove his initial hypothesis through the experiment’s results. The experiment’s illustrated that high self-monitors were more likely to rank their preference for a product using the attractiveness of its packaging when product quality was held constant. (Booth, 1979)

Questions 7-11 pertain to Study 2

7. (a) What were the independent variables in this experiment?

In this experiment, the independent variables were the perfume’s packaging and scents.

(b) What were the quasi-independent variables in this experiment?

Similar to the first study, the quasi-independent variable for this experiment was the 18-item Self-Monitoring Inventory. This inventory determined that the study consisted of 93 participants with low self-monitors and 107 with high self-monitors. This classification could not be controlled by the researcher and ultimately could not assign participants to a particular set or group.

(c) What were the dependent variables in this experiment?

The dependent variable in the second study was the relationship and proportionality between self-monitors, container attractiveness, and scent pleasantness.

8. Using Table 2, calculate the marginal means used to test for the main effects of each of the independent variables. Be sure to indicate which marginal means pertain to which independent variable.

Self-monitoring propensity
Marginal Means (Self monitors)

High/Attractive bottle
High/Unattractive bottle
Low/Attractive bottle
Low/Unattractive bottle
Marginal Mean Fragrance

(Conover, 1999)

9. On page 518, the second sentence states that `this analysis revealed, as expected, a significant Self-Monitoring x Container Attractiveness x Scent Pleasantness interaction, F (1, 192) = 5.86, p .02.”

(a) what is the probability that this effect was due to extraneous variables?

The probability for this effect to be caused by extraneous values is quite high, especially for the high self monitors since variables such as experimental and situational variables can greatly influence their reaction to the independent variable and eventually determine the results(Roscoe, 1975)

(b) What is the probability that this finding was a Type II error?

Although the probability for this is relatively low, there is still a small probability that the excessive optimism provided by the first experiment could result to such findings. (Shaw, 1981)

10. (A) Create a graph in Excel that displays the significant interaction given in Question 9 and displayed in Table 2.

(b) After drawing your graph, please indicate which means were compared in the text on pages 518-519 by giving the t-statistic generated by each comparison.

High Self Monitors: Attractiveness of bottle = t (192) = 17.3

                                  Pleasantness of Scent = t (192) = 2.1 1

Low Self Monitors: Attractiveness of bottle = t (l92) = 3.01

                                  Pleasantness of Scent = t (192) = 17.12

11. (A) How internally valid do you think this experiment was? Explain your answer.

In my opinion this research study can be considered as an internally plausible experiment due to the variables used in the experiment. The use of 4 factors rather than the previous experiments 2 provided this particular experiment with more validity. (Blalock, 1979)

(b) How externally valid do you think this experiment was? Explain your answer.

Consequently the external validity of this experiments I relatively low. This is due to the fact that Reactive or interaction effect of pretesting could increase the scores on a posttest and ultimately jeopardize the experiments external validity.(May, 2001) In addition Multiple-treatment interference can also contribute to lower validity scores since the previous experiment could provide the researchers effects that are not erasable.

Blalock, H. M. (1979). Social statistics. McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages.

Booth, G. D. (1979). Statistics for Experimenters: An Introduction to Design, Data Analysis, and Model Building. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 74(367), 731–732.

Brown, J. D. (1988). Understanding research in second language learning: A teacher’s guide to statistics and research design. Cambridge University Press.

Conover, W. J. (1999). Practical nonparametric statistics. Wiley New York.

Huck, S. W., Cormier, W. H., ; Bounds, W. G. (2004). Reading statistics and research. Pearson.

May, T. (2001). Social research: Issues, methods and process. Open University Press.

Roscoe, J. T. (1975). Fundamental research statistics for the behavioral sciences. Holt Rinehart and Winston.

Shaw, M. E. (1981). Group dynamics: The psychology of small group behavior. McGraw-Hill Companies.


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