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What is the aim of Lab Experiments?

To control all relevant variables except for the IV which is altered to see what the effect is


What setting is a Lab Experiment conducted in? Give an example.

Artificial setting e.g. Milgram (1963)


Give 3 pros of Lab Experiments.

1. Control - the effects of confounding variables are minimized

2. Replication - strict controls mean you can run the study again to check the findings

3. Casual Relationships - ideally, it's possible to establish whether one variable actually causes changes in another


Give 3 cons of Lab Experiments.

1. Artificial - experiments might not measure real-life behaviour (lacks ecological validity)

2. Demand Characteristics - pps may respond according to what they think is being investigated, which can bias the results

3. Ethics - Deception is often used, making informed consent difficult


Where are Field Experiments conducted? Give an example.

Outside the Lab. Behaviour is measured in a natural environment e.g. on the train. A key variable is still altered so that it's effect can be measured. Zimbardo (1971)


Give 3 pros of Field Experiments

1. Casual Relationships - casual relationships can be established, however it's difficult to do in a field experiment

2. Ecological Validity - field experiments are less artificial than those done in a Lab, so they relate to real life better

3. Demand Characteristics - these can be avoided if pps don't know they're in a study


Give 2 cons of Field Experiments

1. Less Control - confounding variables may be more likely in a natural environment

2. Ethics - pps who didn't agree to take part might experience distress and often can't be debriefed. Observation must respect privacy


How do Natural Experiments work? Give an example.

The researcher looks at how an IV, which isn't manipulated, affects a DV. The IV isn't manipulated because it's an event which occurs naturally. e.g. Hodges and Tizard (1989)


Give 3 pros of Natural Experiments.

1. Ethical - it's possible to study variables that would be unethical to manipulate otherwise

2. Demand Characteristics - pps might not know they're in a study, so their behaviour is likely to be more natural

3. Ecological Validity - they tend to be less artificial than Lab experiments


Give 2 Cons of Natural Experiments.

1. Casual Relationships - because the IV isn't manipulated and because other variables could be having an effect, it's hard to establish casual relationships

2. Ethics - deception is often used, making informed consent difficult. Confidentiality may be compromised if the community is identifiable


How do Quasi Experiments work?

The researcher isn't able to use random allocation to put pps in different conditions. This is usually because the IV is a particular feature of the pps e.g. gender.


Give 2 pros of Quasi Experiments.

1. Control - quasi experiments are often carried out under controlled conditions

2. Ecological Validity - the research is often less artificial than Lab studies, so results are likely to be generalized to real life


Give 2 cons of Quasi Experiments.

1. Participant Allocation - pps can't be randomly assigned to each condition, and so confounding variables may affect results

2. Casual Relationships - it can be hard to establish cause and effect because the IV isn't being directly manipulated