Social reinforcement of exercise. Two University of Georgia researchers studied the effect of social reinforcement on the duration of exercise in adolescents with moderate mental retardation ( Clinical Kinesiology , Spring 1995). Eleven adolescents with IQs ranging from 32 to 61 were divided into two groups. All participated in a six-week exercise program. Group A (4 subjects) received verbal and social reinforcement during the program, while Group B (7 subjects) received verbal and social reinforcement and kept a self-record of individual performances. The researchers theorized that Group B subjects would exercise for longer periods than Group A. Upon completion of the exercise program, all 11 subjects participated in a run/walk “race” in which the goal was to complete as many laps as possible during a 15-minute period. The number of laps completed (to the nearest quarter lap) was used as a measure of the duration of exercise. a. Specify the null and alternative hypotheses for a nonparametric analysis of the data. b. The Kruskal-Wallis H-test was applied to the data. The researchers reported the test statistic as H = 5.1429 and the observed significance level of the test as p-value = .0233. Interpret these results. c. Are the assumptions for the test carried out in part b satisfied? If not, propose an alternative nonparametric method for the analysis.
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