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Key Concepts
Mundane How the environment is to the real life setting we
realism are wanting to investigate.
Internal Validity: Did the External Validity: Can you
researcher test what they generalise the results of a study
intended to test & whether it to difference: places, people,
possessed mundane realism. times etc.
You cannot with low mundane
realism.
Control Refers to the extent to which any variable is help
constant or regulated by and researcher.
Generalizability How well the conclusions of a piece of research
can be applied to a large amount of
people/events etc.
Reliability The extent to which the experiment can be re
tested or repeated.…read more

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Types of Experiment
Laboratory: Field:
An experiment conducted in an An experiment conducted outside
environment in which the of the laboratory; the IV is still
variables are highly controlled. manipulated.
Natural: An experiment which is conducted in the natural
environment of the participants and controls are not chosen by the
researcher.…read more

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Laboratory Experiments
Advantages Limitations
· There is a high level of control · Risk of demand characteristics
in terms of variables.
· Higher reliability. · Possibility of social desirability
influencing the participants.
· Ethical issues can be dealt · The way in which you
with much easier in this setting operationalize the IV may not
(i.e. you can give the subjects truly reflect what it is trying to
a briefing). measure.
· Establish cause and effect · Low mundane realism and
relationships. Ecological validity.…read more

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Field Experiments
Advantages Limitations
· Higher level of mundane · They usually do not know they
realism and higher ecological are being studied so there are
validity. definite ethical implications.
· More likely to get real life data. · Less control over the
variables.
· Less chance of demand · Ethics are also harder to
characteristics. control.
· Unlikely there will be social · Lower reliability than a lab
desirability. experiment.…read more

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Natural Experiments
Advantages Limitations
· More likely to get data that · Low reliability.
represents true behaviours.
· High ecological validity. · Cannot control the ethical
implications.
· No risk of demand · Produce data which is
characteristics. subjectively interpreted.
· No risk of social desirability. · Do not show cause effect
relationships.…read more

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