Love and fMRI

Questions About the Article

1. Was the research basic or applied?

2. What was the main hypothesis?

3. What research method was used (e.g., experiment, survey/correlational, quasi-experimental, case study, observation)?

4. What were the IV and DV, and how was each operationally defined?

5. Was it a between-participants, within-participants, or a mixed design1?

6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using fMRI in psychological research?

7. Is studying brain functioning necessary for understanding human behavior? Why or why not?

8. What other human experiences would benefit from research using fMRI?

9. Why might use of distracting tasks between exposures to photos be important? Is it necessary?

10. Were there any issues related to internal validity? Were there any potential confounds?

11. What were the strength and weaknesses of the study?

General Questions

How researchers operationally define variables determines the results of a study. Are there other ways the researchers could have elicited the feelings of romantic love in this research? Develop a new way to induce feelings of romantic love in participants. Be sure to include a control group.

Develop a study to test the idea that reward is involved in feelings of romantic love without using an fMRI as the dependent variable.

1 A mixed design has one between subject independent variable and one within subject independent variable. Imagine for example that you exposed people to sad movies and happy movies (within subjects IV) and measured their memory after each movie and measured their age (between-subjects IV). I would have a 2 (mood: happy vs. sad) x 2 (age: young person vs. older person) study of memory.

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