Topics: Causality, Sudden infant death syndrome, Experiment Pages: 6 (850 words) Published: November 29, 2010
Assignment 1
Test One

1. Compare experimental and co relational methods. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Show by an example how both methods could be used to investigate the same problem.

Co relational method is a scientific procedure that is used to look for relationships

between variables. On the other hand, experimental method is a scientific technique that

involves a sequence of procedures which include observation, identification of a problem,

hypothesis formulation, experimentation, analysis of data, and then the outcome or result

that involves acceptance, rejection, or modification of a hypothesis. One of the

disadvantages of co relational method is that finding a correlation does not prove that one

variable causes a change in another variable. In other words, correlation does not equal

causation. While, the advantage of experimental method is that it is a study of cause and

effect, it involves the deliberate manipulation of one variable, while trying to keep all

other variables constant. One of the advantages of correlation method is that we can use

this method in a natural setting, whereas, since most experiments are conducted in

laboratories, therefore it should be difficult to generalise findings from experiments

because they are not true to real life. Moreover, there are very many areas of human life

which cannot be studied using the experimental method because it would be simply too

unethical to do so.

There are three possible results of a co relational study; a positive correlation, a negative

correlation, and no correlation. Positive correlations could be found when either variables

increase or decrease at the same time. Whereas, negative correlations indicates that as the

amount of one variable increases, the other decreases or vice versa. While, no

correlation refers to a condition when there is no relationship between the two variables.

On the other hand, in an experimental method, independent variable is a manipulated

variable in an experiment whose presence or degree determines the change in the

behaviour of the participant or dependant variable. A dependant variable is an observed

variable in an experiment whose changes are determined by the presence or degree of one

or more independent variables. There is another important variable which is often

involved in an experimental method, and that is, confounding variable. The confounding

variable can be defined as any variable other than the independent variable that could

cause a change in the dependent variable. Thus, confounding is a major threat to the

validity of inferences made about cause and effect.

Another advantage of co relational method is that we can study and measure the

relationships between two or more variables. On the other hand, in an experiment, we

need to control all extraneous or confounding variables, to make sure nothing is

influencing our dependent variable except the one or more variables are manipulating.

An example which shows both methods would be one’s self esteem and the feedback of

others. In creational method both variables would be correlated, although we have to find

out whether they are positively correlated or negatively correlated. In experimental

method, we would be able to find out the cause and effect of the relationship between

one’s self esteem and the feedback of others.


2. What advice would you give to prospective parents on preventing SIDS?

SIDS refers to sudden infant death syndrome. It is an unexpected death of an infant, who

suddenly stops breathing. SIDS occurs when the infant is usually less than one year of

age. Although the actual causes of SIDS are unknown, it is seen and observed that...
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