The Great Parking Debate
A Research Methods Case Study
Department of Psychology
Two friends debate whether people leave their parking spaces faster if others are waiting. They decide to see if they can design a study to test their ideas. In this interrupted case study, students develop a research question and hypothesis and consider how to test a hypothesis. Students read about what researchers have done to answer the research question and identify and evaluate different research designs. Students are also asked to evaluate data. Developed for a use in an introductory psychology course to cover terms and concepts related to research methods, the case could be used in other introductory science classes, early in research methods courses, or in upper-level social science courses.
- Critically evaluate terms and concepts related to research methodology.
- Evaluate various research methods and understand the positives, negatives, and potential uses of those methods.
- Evaluate data.
KeywordsResearch methods; experiment; experimental design; hypothesis testing; observational research; naturalistic observation; survey; dependent variable; independent variable; random assignment; human behavior; parking
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type MethodsDiscussion, Interrupted
Subject HeadingsPsychology Sociology Science (General)
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The following video(s) are recommended for use in association with this case study.
- Parking: A Behavioural Study
Teachers using this case may be interested in incorporating the video clip based on the case study that was made by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The video clip, titled "Parking: A Behavioural Study," is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzyL7zKCBS4