Exam 4 Question


Vice President for Human Resources, Erica Jones, believes that by giving employees more choice in their work hours they will become more productive workers. Ms. Jones knew that the large company had a group of 90 employees who all shared the same job description. So, she sent a memo to that group of employees asking which of them would like to try a program in which they could select from several work schedules. From the 37 employees who said that they would like to try this new approach, Ms. Jones randomly selected 20 to be part of an experimental group to test her idea. Each of those 20 employees were allowed to select from several possible work schedules, most choosing the schedule that started and finished earlier in the day than the regular schedule. Ms. Jones then randomly selected 20 other employees from the remaining 53 in the group of 90 to be part of the control group which would keep the same, regular hours. After being informed about the details of the study, including the group to which each of their employees were assigned, the employees' supervisors gave permission for the employees to participate. The 40 employees in the study followed their schedules for six months, with each employee receiving the same length of breaks during the workday regardless of the group they were in. At the end of six months, Ms. Jones gave each of the employees a job satisfaction survey to measure how satisfied each one was with his/her work. She also kept track of how many days the employees missed during those six months. Finally, Ms. Jones asked the supervisors to evaluate the performance of their employees over the last six months. Ms. Jones was pleased to discover that those employees who were able to select their work schedule reported greater job satisfaction, missed fewer days of work, and were rated as more productive than the employees who kept the same, regular schedule.

a. What is Ms. Jones' hypothesis?

b. Was her hypothesis correlational or causal in nature? Explain.

c. Why did Ms. Jones choose to conduct an experiment rather than some other type of structured observation?

d. What is (are) the independent variable(s) of Ms. Jones' study?

e. What is (are) the dependent variable(s)?

f. List two variables that are controlled in the experiment.

g. If you find any, list two variables that aren't well controlled and explain how they might have affected the results.

h. Was Ms. Jones justified in concluding that this study supported her hypothesis? Explain.

i. Did Ms. Jones appropriately use random assignment, random sampling, both or neither? Explain.