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  • Experiments
    • The aims
      • To test a hypothesis
      • To test why something happens by looking at the cause and effect
      • The experimental group is the groups which is having variables tested on them
      • The control group is the group which does not receive the test variable
    • Different types:
      • Laboratory
        • Classic research style of the natural sciences
        • Seek to discover scientific laws of cause and effect
        • Positivist method
          • Like it because have control over the variables
        • Conducted in an artificial environement
      • Field
        • Conducted in the real world
        • Same conditions as laboratory
    • Theoretical Issues
      • Interpretivists argue humans are different to plants and other things studied by natural scienctists
        • Humans have free will and choice
        • Behaviour not caused by external forces
        • Untitled
        • Behaviour cannot be explained by cause and effect
      • High in reliability:
        • Can be repeated exactly
        • Results can be checked by repeating them
        • Can control the conditions
        • Quantitative data
      • Low representativeness
        • Can only study small samples
        • Lack external Validity- not natural
        • Lack internal validity- artificial environment
    • Practical Issues
      • Society is a complex system- cannot conrol all the factors.
      • Individuals are complex- not possible to match the control and experimental group
      • Past events cannot be studied
      • Can only study small samples in the lab
      • Hawthorne effect- if people know that they are being studied, they behave differently
      • Free will
    • Ethical Issues
      • Researcher must obtain informed consent
      • Difficult to obtain from some groups such as children
      • Wrong to mislead people
      • Must not cause harm
    • Comparative Method
      • Does not involve the researcher actually experimenting on real people
      • Involves looking at secondary data for cause and effect relationships
      • Could use cause and effect in exam results.
      • Gives researcher little control over variables
      • Less certain that the cause and effect are actually related
    • Examples of experiments in education
      • Teachers expectations
      • Classroom Interaction
      • Labelling
  • Evaluation Of Experiments in Education
    • Schools are large complex institutions in which many variables may affect the dependent variable
      • Limit cause and effect relationship
    • Sociologists are often interested in large scale social factors and processes, which cannot be done by an experiment
    • Cannot be used to study the past
    • If people know that they are being studied, they may behave differently
    • May focus on one variable at a time, eg, teachers expectations they look at only body language
    • Young people may suffer from deception, and they may not fully know what is going on


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