A certain psychologist was looking for the cause of failure among college students. She took a group of former students who had flunked out and a group of students who had received good grades. She gave both groups a self-esteem test and found that the group that flunked out scored lower on the test than did the group that received good grades. She concluded that low self-esteem is one of the causes of college failure and suggested further that a person with low self-esteem probably expects to fail and exhibits defeatist behavior in college, which eventually leads to failure.
What was the independent variable?
What was the dependent variable and how is it measured?
What kind of design was used?
Was this design appropriate? Why or why not?
Was the experimenter justified in her conclusions? Why or why not?