Dr. Baines asked us to respond to the following prompt: “List and provide examples of three approaches you could use to test the hypothesis that increases in potassium lead to increases in the number of seeds a plant produces.” She also wanted us to write a null hypothesis for this experiment as well as identify the independent and dependent variables. My response was as follows: “My first approach would be the Open field approach which would include taking a group of plants into the lab and experiment with exposing them to various levels of potassium while leaving other variables (such as light, temperature) uncontrolled. Then I would record the results.
The second approach would be to conduct a lab experiment. This would include taking a group of plants into the lab and controlling (as much as possible) all aspects of the experiment. Specifically, I would expose the plants to various levels of potassium and record the effect on the number of seeds produced (while controlling pressure, temperature and amount of light received by plants).
The last approach would be to use simple observation for data collection purposes. I would observe how various levels of potassium affect the number of seeds produced in the plants natural state or environment without controlling any of the variables (uncontrolled method).” The null hypothesis would be that the, “potassium does not have an effect on the number of seeds a plant produces.” Finally, the dependent variable would be the number of seeds a plant produces, while potassium level would be the independent variable.