Lab Experiments

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Positivists argue that lab experiments are high in validity. This is due them being able to isolate specific variables in a controlled environment to see if thet have a specific effect on behaviour.

Lab experiments are reliable. They intend to help sociologists observe and count behaviour patterns. This means they generate quantitative data which mean it is easier for future sociologists to compare results to at a later date.

Lab experiments are ethically sound. Sociologists usually have to gain fully informed consent from participants as it is clear they are being tested on. 

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Interpretivists argue Lab experiments are useful for natural scientists but are low in validity when sociologists use them to investigate human behaviour. Despite being able to isolate variables influencing behaviour positivists fail to isolate the reason that person behaved in that way in the first place.

Reliability is lost if the variables are changed or if the sttages of the experiment aren't repeated in the same way as the original experiment. Sociologists wishing to measure changed over time can't make safe comparrisons.

Ethically it can be difficult to gain fully informed consent from some people in which sociologists may be interested in.

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