Experimental research is a systematic and scientific approach to research in which the researcher manipulates one or more variables, and controls and measures any change in other variables.
Experimental Research is often used where:
1. There is time priority in a causal relationship (cause precedes effect) 2. There is consistency in a causal relationship (a cause will always lead to the same effect) 3. The magnitude of the correlation is great.
Aims of Experimental Research
Experiments are conducted to be able to predict phenomenons. Typically, an experiment is constructed to be able to explain some kind of causation. Experimental research is important to society - it helps us to improve our everyday lives.
One of the main strengths of experimental research is that it can determine a cause and effect relationship between two variables. However, because of its reliance on a controlled, artificial environment, this kind of research is often difficult to generalize to real world situations. Independent and Dependent Variables
In an experimental study, the independent variable is the factor that the experimenter controls and manipulates throughout the experiment. The dependent variable, on the other hand, is the variable that is influenced and affected by the independent variable. In a simple experiment, a researcher might hypothesize that cookies will make individuals work harder. In one condition, participants will be offered a cookie if they complete a task, while in another they are not. In this case the presence of a reward (the cookie) is the independent variable and completing the task is the dependent variable. An experiment can have more than one independent variable. A researcher might decide to see if a cookie will only make individuals work harder if the task is easy. In this case both the presence of a reward and task difficulty would be independent variables. Experimental Design
The purpose of an experiment is to investigate the relationship between two variables to test a hypothesis. By using the scientific method, a psychologist can plan and design an experiment that will answer the research question. The basic steps of experimental design are: Identifying a question and performing preliminary research to determine what is already known Creating a hypothesis
Identifying and defining the independent and dependent variables Determining how the independent variable will be manipulated and how the dependent variable will be measured
The Scientific Method
The scientific method is the process by which new scientific knowledge is gained and verified. First you must identify a question and, after some preliminary research, form a hypothesis. After designing an experiment to test the hypothesis and collecting data, a scientist will use this information to draw a conclusion. The conclusion will either support the hypothesis or refute it. Based on this information, the scientist will then either reformulate the hypothesis or build upon the original hypothesis. The scientific method cannot prove a hypothesis, only support or refute it.
EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH AND DESIGN
Experimental Research - An attempt by the researcher to maintain control over all factors that may affect the result of an experiment. In doing this, the researcher attempts to determine or predict what may occur. Experimental Design - A blueprint of the procedure that enables the researcher to test his hypothesis by reaching valid conclusions about relationships between independent and dependent variables. It refers to the conceptual framework within which the experiment is conducted. Steps involved in conducting an experimental study
Identify and define the problem.
Formulate hypotheses and deduce their consequences.
Construct an experimental design that represents all the elements, conditions, and relations of the consequences. 1. Select sample of subjects.
2. Group or pair subjects.
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