Strengths and weaknesses of lab, field and comparative experiments

  • includes table of strengths and weaknesses of the 3 types of experiments
  1. field experiement
  2. lab experiment
  3. comparitive experiment
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SCYL2 ­ research methods;
Experiment type
Strengths Weaknesses
Lab experiment Cheaper and less time consuming Has an artificial environment.
than other experiments. Demand characteristics ­
Has more use of complex equipment participants might be aware of
in experiments. the experiment so might change
Variable can be altered to see if their behaviour.
there are any changes and effects. We cannot generalise results
Possible to look at the cause and from a single experiment.
effect within the experiment. Lab experiments are harder to
Taking place in a highly controlled control.
environment. validity
Can collect a large amount of data Sample
that is in detail. Ethical issues (deception)
Quantitative data
Ethical issues
Field experiment Natural Unethical due to deception and a
Realistic lack of consent.
Results are more Valid Harder to repeat experiment.
People may behave more natural in May be harder to check
a field experiment compared to a reliability and validity of the
lab experiment. findings found within the
Naturalist observations are a very experiment.
useful research tool when Validity of tasks
investigating and studying a new Ethical issues ( informed
area. consent/confidentiality)
Can control the conditions more reliability
which make the experiment more
Less chance of demanding
Ethical issues
Comparative Avoids artificiality. Less control over variables.
experiment Can study the past. Unsure about the outcome of an
Many situation Haven't any ethical experiment that's being studied.
issues due to them trying to avoid No control over the participants
them. within the research group.
Less chance of demanding Ethical issues (
characteristics consent/protection of
Consists of real data untouched and participants/ confidentiality)
not influenced by researchers.


Aiste - Team GR

Extremely useful for revision :) 
Thank you 

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