According to this well-known saying, the accidental discovering and picking up a penny will result in a lucky day afterward. Thus, the discovery of a coin is an influential factor, and luck during the day is a consequence of this factor. In the experiment, an independent variable is a factor that is intentionally manipulated or selected by the researcher in order to determine its influence on the dependent variable. In turn, a dependent variable is a measurable condition that is influenced by an independent variable. Thus, the ideal experiment is designed to verify the causal relationship between independent and dependent variables.
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In this case, the independent variable should be an accidental discovery of a penny, and the dependent variable should be the level of luck during the day. Therefore, consideration should be given to the methods of manipulating the independent variable and measuring the dependent one. For such an experiment, it will be impossible to create ideal conditions, specifically the entirely accidental detection of a coin. If the sample consists of people who have already discovered a penny by random, then at best it will be a quasi-experiment, since the researcher has not modulated the independent variable.
The researcher will have to artificially create a situation where an unsuspecting participant of the experiment can find a penny. An operational definition of luck during the day should be provided, given that there are no objective methods for measuring this phenomenon. The plan is to develop a “Fortune Questionnaire,” which will allow participants to evaluate their luck within one academic day.
Given the above, the following experimental design should be proposed. The study will be carried out within an educational institution, and its students will constitute a sample of the experiment on a voluntary basis. The age, gender, profession, and other individual characteristics of students are not assumed to influence the causal relationship being studied by the experiment. Hence, it is assumed that the sampled population of the experiment will be the entire human population. Consequently, it is assumed that the findings of the experiment could be generalized to the entire human population. It is expected to recruit a sample of 200 student volunteers.
The experimenter will place the penny at the most available place near the entrance. The members of the research team will observe this place using a video surveillance system. They will note which of the participants discovered and raised the coin and then will put a new penny in the same place and repeat the process. Thus, the participants who detected and picked up the coin will be included in the experimental group, and the other participants will form the control group.
All participants of the experiment will be informed that the study is devoted to a simple assessment of luck during the day. At the end of a “Fortune Questionnaire,” there will be a question about whether something unusual happened during the day that might have affected luck. In this way, researchers will be able to monitor the placebo effect. It implies that the participants of the experiment, knowing the famous saying, could subjectively evaluate their day as more successful because of the discovery of a penny.
The inclusion of participants in the experimental group is mostly conditioned by accident, which is necessary to maintain the relative purity of the experiment. It may be necessary to conduct this experiment several times in order to recruit the required number of members of the experimental group. In the final stage of the experiment, after data collection, a statistical analysis will be performed. Its purpose will be to determine whether there is a causal relationship between a coin detection (independent variable) and a high level of evaluation of luck during the day (dependent variable).
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