Quiz: Stewart (2009)
The following quiz assesses students' ability to critically think about a piece of research. The study looks at how anchors may affect people's payment of debt.
To assign this quiz to your students, please go to the student page for this quiz.
If you would like to give them a paper copy, please see the link below.
When customers use credit cards, they receive a monthly bill from the credit card company. In order to make sure that customers do not end up with a large amount of unpaid debt, there are laws requiring credit card companies to specify a minimum payment. According to Stewart (2009), this policy may do more harm than good.
Since minimum payments on credit-card statements are usually small amounts, Stewart wondered whether seeing an actual amount might make people pay less than they would otherwise have done.
The sample was made up of 413 participants that had been recruited via social media by a marketing research company.
Stewart gave the participants a mock credit-card bill of £435.76 (about $600). They were asked to imagine that the bill had arrived that morning and to consider how much they could afford to pay, and then to state how much they would pay. For half of the participants, the bill mentioned a minimum payment of £5.42.
Among those who wanted to pay the full amount, the presence of the minimum payment did not make any difference. However, those who were not able to pay the full amount offered to pay 43% less on average when presented with a minimum payment. When there was a minimal payment, the average amount offered was £99 and without the minimum payment, the average amount offered was £175.
In the real world, this would roughly double interest charges.
- Which design was used in this study? What was the independent and dependent variable?
- Comment on the internal validity of this study.
- Explain how one potential confounding variable may have affected the study.
- Explain one ethical consideration in this study.
- Comment on the ecological validity of this study.
- Comment on the population validity of this study.
Each of the responses may earn up to a maximum of three marks, for a total of 18 marks.
1. Which design was used in this study? What was the independent and dependent variable?
2. Comment on the internal validity of this study.
3. Explain how one potential confounding variable may have affected the study.
4. Explain one ethical consideration in this study.
5. Comment on the ecological validity of this study.
6. Comment on the population validity of this study.