Experimental designs

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Independent Groups Design


  • There are no order effects a ppts only take part in one condition so cannot get better through practise, or under perform due to fatigue or change behaviour due to demand characteristics
  • It allows task variables to be controlled, for example ppts can be given the same word list in each condition so that this does not become a confounding variable. This also adds to the Reliability


  • Any differences between conditions could be due to individual differences in ppts, for example one group could do better on recall because they are more motivated, more intelligent or have better memories in general
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Repeated Measures Design


  • Any differences between conditions are likely to be due to changes in the IV and not due to ppt variables. Therefore its easier to establish cause and effect.
  • Fewer ppt need to be recruited, as they are used twices this means its cheaper and less time consuming for the researcher


  • Order effects might occur (e.g. practise effect, fatigue effect, recognising demand characteristics) as ppt take part in all conditions
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Matched Pairs Design


  • There are no order effects as ppts only tak part in one condition.
  • Individual differences between condtions are reduced as ppts have been matched up


  • It is time consuming and expensive for researchers to match up particapants.
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