Researchers conducted an experimental study in the lab in which they manipulated
the independent variable, wearing headphones, by employing two conditions: One
where participants wore headphones while listening to classical music and one where
they did not wear headphones but listened to classical music via a loudspeaker. In both
conditions, participants drove around a course on a driving simulator. The simulator
was programmed so that at different times an obstacle would appear. The number of
times that participants crashed into the obstacle was recorded, and this measure
constituted the dependent variable. All participants first drove around the course
wearing headphones. Then all participants drove around the course not wearing
headphones. The researchers found that the number of crashes was lower in the
condition where participants did not wear headphones. Would you trust these results?
b. No. You can’t say that wearing headphones leads to more crashes because of the
confound of order effects.
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