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  • Research Methods
    • Laboratory Experiment
      • This is a type of experiment carried out under controlled conditions.
        • Psychologists use this type of experiment because they are keen to control situational variables
        • Allows for random allocation of participants to conditions where appropriate. This makes the experiment reliable because the psychologist cannot influence who participates in which condition.
        • Tighter controls of variables. This makes it easier to establish cause and effect.
        • Relatively easy to replicate because all factors are controlled and complex equipment are usable because it is in a controlled environment.
        • The use of laboratory experiments are often cheaper and less time consuming than other methods.
      • WEAKNESS
        • Demand characteristic means that participants may be aware of the experiment and may change their behaviour.
        • A controlled environment means that the setting is artificial.
        • May have low ecological validity which means it will be difficult to generalise to other situations.
        • There may be an experimenter effect. The experiment is bias when the experimenter's expectation affects the behaviour of participants.
      • This takes place anywhere in a natural setting and it is partially controlled.
        • People will behave more naturally than in a laboratory experiment.
        • The results are easier to generalise to the wider population because the experiment is natural.
      • WEAKNESS
        • Control over extraneous variables are much harder in a natural environment, this makes it difficult to replicate the experiment.
        • Doing this type of experiment is time-consuming and very costly.
      • Experimental conditions are determined by nature or by other factors out of the control of the experimenters.
        • There may be ethical implications with carrying out an experiment in this way. It may be unacceptable to manipulate the independent variable.
        • Less chance of demand characteristics or experimenter bias interfering.
      • WEAKNESS
        • The independent variable is not controlled by the experimenter.
        • No control over the allocation of participants to groups (random in a 'true experiment').


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