Experimental Methods

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  • Experimental Methods
    • Laboratory Experiment
      • to investigate causal relationships under controlled conditions.
      • Strengths: well controlled, extraneous/confounding variables are minimised, high internal validity, easily replicated, high external validity
      • Limitations: rtificial, lack of mundane realism, low ecological validity, problems with demand characteristics
    • Field Experiment
      • to investigate causal relationships between an IV and DV in more natural surroundings, pps are not usually aware of being studied.
      • Strengths: less artificial, usually higher mundane realism and high ecological validity
      • Limitations: less control of extraneous/confounding variables, reduces internal validity, more time consuming and more expensive
    • Natural Experiment
      • to investigate relationships between IV and DV where the IV cannot be directly manipulated
      • Strengths: allows research where IV cannot be manipulated for ethical reasons, enables psychologists to study real problems , increased mundane realism.
      • Limitations: cannot demonstrate causal relationships as IV is not directly manipulated, random allocation is not possible, so no control of confounding variables.
    • Quasi Experiment
      • the IV is naturally occurring and the DV may be measured in a lab, the IV is simply difference between people that exist
      • Strengths: allows comparisons between types of people
      • Limitations: pps aware of being studied so reduces internal validity
    • Variables
      • extraneous variables
      • confounding variables
      • dependent variables
      • independent variables
    • Validity
      • internal validity
      • external validity
        • population
        • temporal
        • ecological


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