Problems with experiments

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  • Problems with experiments
    • Demand characteristics - a cue that makes participants unconsciously aware of the aims of the study or helps them work out what the researcher expects to find. E.g. if a participant is given two memory tests, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, they might try to guess why and correctly guess it is to look at the effects of time of day on performance and try to perform the same on both.
    • Investigator effects - anything an investigator does that has an effect on the participant's performance in the study other than what was intended. This includes direct effects (a consequence of the investigator interacting with the participant) and indirect effects (a consequence of how they designed the study). They might act as CV/EVs.
    • Dealing with these problems
      • Single blind design - the participant doesnt know the research aims or conditions so they dont seek cues cues about the aims and react to them.
      • DDouble blind design - both the participant and the person conducting the experiment are blind to aims and hypotheses.  So the person conducting the experiment is less likely to produce cues about their expectations.
      • Experimental realism - if the task is sufficiently engaging, the participant pays attention to the task and not that they are being observed.


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