Experimental Design (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
Careful and detailed plan of an experiment.
In simple psychological experiments, one characteristiche independent variables manipulated by the experimenter to enable the study of its effects on another characteristiche dependent variable. In many experiments, the independent variable is a characteristic that can either be present or absent. In these cases, one group of subjects represent the experiment group, where the independent variable characteristic exists. The other group of subjects represent the control group, where the independent variable is absent.
The validity of psychological research relies on sound procedures in which the experimental manipulation of an independent variable can be seen as the sole reason for the differences in behavior in two groups. Research has shown, however, that an experimenter can unknowingly affect the outcome of a study by influencing the behavior of the research participants.
When the goal of an experiment is more complicated, the experimenter must design a test that will test the effects of more than one variable. These are called multivariate experiments, and their design requires sophisticated understanding of statistics and careful planning of the variable manipulations.
When the actual experiment is conducted, subjects...
(The entire section is 565 words.)
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