# Question: In a study of how external clues influence performance psychology

In a study of how external clues influence performance, psychology professors at the University of Alberta and Pennsylvania State University gave two different forms of a midterm examination to a large group of introductory psychology students. The questions on the exam were identical and in the same order, but one exam was printed on blue paper and the other on red paper (Teaching Psychology, May 1998). Grading only the difficult questions on the exam, the researchers found that scores on the blue exam had a distribution with a mean of 53% and a standard deviation of 15%, while scores on the red exam had a distribution with a mean of 39% and a standard deviation of 12%. (Assume that both distributions are approximately mound shaped and symmetric.)

a. Give an interpretation of the standard deviation for the students who took the blue exam.

b. Give an interpretation of the standard deviation for the students who took the red exam.

c. Suppose a student is selected at random from the group of students who participated in the study and the student’s score on the difficult questions is 20%. Which exam form is the student more likely to have taken, the blue or the red exam? Explain.

a. Give an interpretation of the standard deviation for the students who took the blue exam.

b. Give an interpretation of the standard deviation for the students who took the red exam.

c. Suppose a student is selected at random from the group of students who participated in the study and the student’s score on the difficult questions is 20%. Which exam form is the student more likely to have taken, the blue or the red exam? Explain.

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