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Dependent variable analysis for effects of music on shoppers

At a family gathering, Dan Kessler, the manager of an IGA grocery store, got into a conversation with his brother-in-law, who supervises a large number of data-entry workers at a public utility company. The brother-in-law mentioned that his company had recently begun programming background music into the data-entry workers? room with the result that productivity had increased and the number of errors had decreased. Kessler thought that music within a grocery store might have an impact on customers. Specifically, he thought that customers might stay in the store longer if slow, easy-to-listen-to music were played. After some serious thought, he started thinking that he should hire a business researcher to design an experiment for testing the influence of music tempo on shopper behavior.

Operationalize the independent variable music tempo. What dependent variables do you think might be important in this study?

Develop a hypothesis for each of your dependent variables.

Solution Preview

Let me first define what operationalize means. Operationalizing a variable is defined as finding a measurable, quantifiable, and index for your variable (independent and dependent variables), and (sometimes) finding a way to manipulate that variable in such a way as to have two or more levels.

So in this case, we see that the easy-to-listen music is a key variable which would be our independent variable. How would we operationalize it? We would hire musicians to compose music of various tempos - a slow pace, a medium pace, and a fast pace. By getting the word of an expert (the musician) we are able to make sure that our tempos are appropriately categorized. Luckily, the tempo of music is easily to measure and quantify.

Formally, ...

Solution Summary

Guidelines for creating a hypothesis for dependent variables are provided for a study on the influence of music tempo on shopper behavior.