Experiments

  • Created by: acornes15
  • Created on: 13-11-18 16:15

Experimental research vs observational research

Observational:

  • Take the world as it exists - comparisons between individal or aggragate units
  • Researcher has no control over independent variable

Experimental:

  • Intervention by the researcher
1 of 7

What is an experiment?

Allows for systematic intervention upon study participants

Tests causal relationships between factors

Need:

  • Appropriate RQ
  • Causal hypotheses
  • Carefully designed conditions/treatments

Subjects make freely cognitive decisions, independent of researcher

2 of 7

Basic experiment

1) Random allocation to groups

2) Group 1 = control, Group 2 = treatment, Group 3 = treatment

3) Pre-test

4) Treatment

5) Post-test

6) Compare

3 of 7

Issues with laboratory experiments

  • External validity 
  • Artificiality 
  • Reactiveness of participants
  • Lasting impact?
  • Self-selection
4 of 7

Field experiments

Real world environment 

Benefits:

  • Natural setting
  • Clarify causality 

Drawbacks:

  • Validity?
5 of 7

Natural experiments

Naturally occurring events treated as interventions

Benefits:

  • Avoids artificiality
  • Ethical responsibility

Drawbacks:

  • Issue of causality?
6 of 7

Ethics in experimentation

Rules that govern the researcher's conduct

Responsibility that the research doesn't harm participants (physically or mentally)

e.g Zimbardo Stanford prison experiment, biting finger nails etc.

7 of 7

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all Approaches to Research resources »