Introduction to Experimentation
Neann Klara M. De Jesus
BS Psychology II
Dr. Geraldine E. Tria
The first experiment done by the class was called “Introduction to Experimentation”. Its main objective is to give basic knowledge about some of the logic of experimentation. The class was divided into groups of 2. In each group there was an experimenter (E) and a subject (S). The experimenter instructed the subject to write the alphabet backwards (from Z to A) within 30 seconds. There were 5 trials of 30 second intervals. After every trial the subject was asked to estimate the number of letters expected to be written correctly in the next trial. As the results showed, only 2 out of the 9 subjects were able to perfect the experiment. Majority of the 9 subjects committed atleast 2 errors in a trial. The most errors committed by a subject were 7 errors. As a conclusion, it can be said that the main objective of this experiment was accomplished. The class exhibited notable scores during the course of the activity and important lessons were relayed.
Experimenting, although most are unaware about it, is a part of daily living. Say, experimenting with the route when going to school or to work, experimenting with clothes when dressing up, also, experimenting with ingredients when cooking. In life experimentation is simple however when it comes to Science, Experimentation entails so much more.
The meaning of the word “experiment” on a Merriam Webster dictionary is; a test or trial, an operation or procedure carried out under controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law to test or establish a hypothesis or to illustrate a known law. Wikipedia on the other hand says that an experiment is a methodical trial and error procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, falsifying, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. Furthermore, it says that experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Experiments vary greatly in their goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results. Experiments can vary from personal and informal to highly controlled. Uses of experiments vary considerably between the natural and social sciences.
Having a clear vision of what experiment means, it would be easier to comprehend the process of “experimentation”.
According to Anne Myers (2003) experimentation is a process undertaken to discover something new or to demonstrate that events that have already been observed will occur again under a particular set of conditions. When experimenting, systematically manipulate aspects of a setting to verify predictions about behaviour under particular conditions. Experimentation is sometimes impossible. To do an experiment, predictions must be testable. Two minimum requirements must be met: First, having procedures for manipulating the setting. Second, the predicted outcome must be observable.
To use experimentation, it is a must to have procedures to manipulate the environment, and to make predictions about observable outcomes. Experimentation must also be objective. Ideally, we do not bias results by setting up situations in which predictions can always be confirmed. Do not stack the deck in our favour by giving subjects subtle cues to respond in the desired way. Nor prevent them from responding in the non-predicted direction.
In Psychology however, experimentation started with the intensive, prolonged study of the individual. This single-participant research strategy followed from the earlier scientific paradigms employed by physiologists. Foremost was the classic research of the great French physiologist Claude Bernard in the 1830’s. Bernard’s strategy of concentrating on the individual was widely accepted...
References: F. J McGuigan c. 2000
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