Field experiments are carried out in a real life setting and the participants are usually unaware they are taking part. The researcher can therefore be sure they are witnessing real life behaviour however as it is a natural setting there is low control over extraneous variables. Field experiments have a clear IV and DV.
Examples of studies
- · Piliavin (AS) – Set in the New York subway.
- · Rosenhan (AS) – Hospital setting with real nurses and patients.
- · Mann (A2) – Video clips of real life interviews.
- · Fisher & Gieselman (A2) – Real officers using the cognitive interview technique.
Similarities between field experiments and lab experiments
P – Both have a clear IV and DV.
E – Piliavin, victim type (black/white, drunk/lame) and if someone helps or not.
E – Castellow, attractive victim/defendant and guilty or not guilty verdict.
C – More useful as it clearly shows causation.
P – Both can raise ethical issues.
E – Rosenhan, patients showed signs of distress from being watched.
E – Bandura, children were displayed to aggressive behaviour which may have caused distress.
C – Distress can influence…