Research Methods

These cards would be suitable for a variety of subjects (i.e. sociology).

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Laboratory experiments

Definition: An experiment that is carried out in an environment (not nescesserily a lab.) in which all the variables are highly controlled.


  • High reliability (they can be repeated).
  • High level of control
  • Establish cause-effect relationships.
  • Produce empirical data (easy to collate)


  • You may get demand charctersists.
  • Social desirabitity.
  • Often a lot of infastructure, time & money involved.
  • Low mundane realism & Ecological validity.


  • Milgram - Obediance        Zimbardo - Stanford Prison         Albert Bandura - Bobo Doll
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Field Experiment




Definition: An experiment conducted in a more natural environment ; the IV is still manipulated.


  • The data collected is more likely to represent real life behaviours.
  • People often do not know they are being researched; no demand charcteristics and social desirability.


  • Less control of extranous variables.
  • Greater ethical problems than Lab.
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