Experimental methods

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  • Experimental methods
    • Lab experiment
      • Example: Loftus&Palmer verb changing
      • Artificial environments and controlled conditions
      • IV manipulated, record affect on DV
      • Controlled: no outside influences-higher validity
      • Replication easier: results more reliable
      • Lacks EV- people may act differently to how they would in everyday life
      • Demand characteristics
    • Field experiment
      • Example: Christansen& Hubinette bank robbery
      • IV manipulated in natural, everyday setting
      • High EV- participants more likely to act how they would in everyday life
      • Harder to replicate: less reliable
      • Outside influences: less valid
      • Ethical issues
    • Natural Experiment
      • Example: Rutter Romanian orphans
      • Change in Iv would have happened anyway
      • Record effect on DV
      • Allows research to be conducted on 'sensitive situations'
      • High EV- natural, real situations
      • Difficult to generalise- not representative
      • Less sure of cause and effect due to no controls
    • What is an experiment?
      • Only method in psychology that can claim to establish cause and effect
      • Involves the manipulation of one variable while controlling all other variables


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