AS Psychology - Research Methods - Experiment types

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  • Created by: Sarah
  • Created on: 30-12-10 20:13

Laboratory Experiment

Laboratory experiments are conducted in a specially designed environment where variables can be well controlled - not necessarily a laboratory. Therefore, it is a highly contrived and controlled situation, often described as 'artificial'.  

The researcher decides where the experiment will take place, at what time, with which participants, in what circumstances and using a standardised procedure.


  • Control - The researcher can precisely manipulate the IV and carefully measure the DV. 
  • Replication - It is easy for researchers to replicate their studies; therefore making them more reliable.


  • Lack of Ecological Validity - The laboratory experiment is a contrived situation, therefore, the results may not generalise to everyday life
  • Total control is never possible - Results may be affected by confounding variables/extraneous variables/demand characteristics.


Field Experiment

Field experiments are conducted in participants' natural surroundings, however the IV is still manipulated by the experimenter.  


  • High ecological validity…


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