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Flashcards in Experiments Deck (5)
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What Are experiments?

What defines an experiment is the high level of control the Sociologist has over all variables, by changing the variables of experiments they can create cause and effect relationships, there are two types of experiment laboratory and field experiments, laboratory is in a lab but is more artificial and less valid whereas a field experiment is in the real world and is slightly more valid but researchers cannot make relationships because of lack of variable control


What do positivists and interpretivists argue about laboratory experiments?

+ positivists argue that there is a measurable social reality out there, they use quantitative data to create generalisations and cause and effect relations, they regard experiments especially lab ones as very reliable because they can be repeated so findings can be checked, they are also quantitative
+ interpretivists claim that experiments do not translate easily to the study of social behaviour and they produce data low in validity
There are also lots of problems associated with them that even positivists rarely use them


What are some of the problems associated with experiments?

+ Artificial, as the lab is a highly artificial environment it is unlikely that the results can be transferred to the real social world
+ the Hawthorne effect, because of participants knowledge of being experimented on, their behaviour is likely to change from the norm, reducing the validity of the experiment


What are some advantages of field experiments?

+ Less artificial, Field experiments are set in the real world situations
+ Validity, they Will act normally if they are in their natural social environment increasing the validity


Disadvantages of field experiments?

+ Less control over variables
+ Limited application, very few hypothesis can be proven the way
+ Ethical problems, they don't usually have the consent of those involved, is deceptive