Discussion

This is one of the most important parts of this course – I want you to work with your group to design a follow-up study using the topic of the 
Psychological Reactance Theory, or PRT. Your instructor will present the ideas to the whole class, and you will vote on which one you would like to do for your final class project. As you work on this discussion, try to think about what other variables might influence 
PRT. Let me give you a few examples, though try to get creative with your group. Look at prior research and see if you can use some of their work as a follow-up to your study. Have fun with it!

Okay, consider some ideas I was thinking about for a follow-up study (Personally, I would recommend the third or fourth idea, as there is a lot of research you could draw on these new independent variables, which would make Paper III much easier to write). Keep in mind that we will drop one condition from our original Study One independent variable. I suggest keeping the High Controlling and Low Controlling conditions and dropping the Neutral Language condition. Those two conditions present the most diverging uses of language, so they provide good comparisons for each other. I also suspect the Low Controlling and Neutral Language conditions will not differ much, so including both is unnecessary. Since we are dropping one, it makes more sense to drop the Neutral condition than the Low Controlling condition. Still, we could retain the Neutral condition if you and your lab mates have a good reason for doing so!

First, if we keep the High Controlling (HC) and Low Controlling (LC) conditions, we can alter the valence (or tone) of the Artificial Intelligence Policy. That is, for some participants, we use a more “pro-AI policy”. But for others, we us a more “anti-AI policy”.  Would the policy valence impact participants, and in what way? Would it interact with the author variable of High Controlling versus Low Controlling language? (Note that we would have FOUR conditions in this design: High Controlling and Pro-AI tone vs Low Controlling and Anti-AI tone vs. High Controlling and Pro-AI tone vs. Low Controlling and Anti-AI tone).

Second, we could alter the “author” of the AI policy, telling some participants that it was developed by faculty at FIU while others will think that it was developed by students at FIU. As usual, some participants will read a policy that uses High Controlling language while others will read a policy that uses Low Controlling language. Will the role of the policy author impact participant ratings of the policy? This might be fun to look at with regard to source credibility, or a message seen as more credible when it comes to a credible source! Once again, this gives us four conditions (which I hope you can figure out!).

A third idea might involve altering what policy information participants see first. In study one, all participants first read information about when AI is “allowed” followed by when it is “disallowed”. But we could alter it so that some participants see it the other way around (“disallowed” information followed by “allowed” information). This presents an interesting way to look at the primacy versus recency effects in the study design (that is, people are often more impacted by information they see first). Whether seeing “allowed” or “disallowed” information first interacts with High Controlling versus Low Controlling language might be interesting to look at in study two.  

A fourth idea, and one personal like, provides some participants with information that a high majority (like 90%) of students and faculty at FIU agree with the AI policy versus a slim majority (like 55%) of students and faculty at FIU agree with the policy. Participants then read either High Controlling or Low Controlling language for the policy. Would the participants rate the policy differently if they thought it was very popular versus less popular? This might involve looking at interesting literature on conformity / obedience in your Study Two literature review for Paper III. 

Finally, you can look at some participant characteristics if you like. You can measure the participants’ own ratings of whether students should be able to use AI programs like Chat GTP. Those who think using AI should be acceptable may find both High Controlling and Low Controlling language too severe compared to participants who think using AI should never be acceptable. Or we could also look at participant gender. Would female participants differ in their ratings compared to male participants? Just remember that if you choose a participant characteristic as your second independent variable, you cannot draw cause-effect conclusions (you cannot randomly assign someone to find AI acceptable or unacceptable, and you cannot assign someone to be a male or a female). That is why I prefer that you manipulate some feature of the study so you can randomly assign people to one of the four different conditions.

As you can see, there are tons of ways to extend your original study. Work with your classmates to identify the one you like best, and then let your instructor know. Your instructor will take the consensus vote for the whole class and let you know what the study will be for study two. In this discussion, I want EACH of you to do three things.

First, tell me which study you want to do (that is, which second independent variable you find most interesting). You can use one of the ideas above or come up with a unique one on your own. I prefer your own ideas, but if you really like one I mentioned you can use it. You still need to give me two more things, though …

Second, give me a reference in APA format for one peer reviewed research article that has something to do with this second variable. This article 
does not have to involve Psychological Reactance Theory at all, but it must have something to do with your second independent variable.

Third, give me a hypothesis for what you expect to occur if your new independent variable is chosen for the class project. What do you predict just for that independent variable? What do you predict in terms of the interaction of that new independent variable with your original Psychological Reactance Theory (High Controlling vs. Low Controlling) independent variable?