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40 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

True experiment

Testing whether the independent variable is the cause of any changes in the dependent variable. The researcher has total control over the experiment.

In reference to independent variables:




Factors: the independent variables

Levels: the particular values of an independent variable

Condition: the group or treatment (the way the subjects are treated)

Two basic elements of good experimental design

1) The existence of a control group/condition

2) The random allocation of subjects to groups

Within-in subject design.

What is the basic strategy for achieving control?

Within-in subject: each subject is exposed to every condition.

Counterbalancing (controlling for order and sequence effects by arranging that subjects experience the various conditions in different orders)

Order effects

Changes in a subject's performance resulting from the position in which a condition appears in a experiment.

i.e. performance on the 1st condition might be worse than subsequent conditions because the 1st condition acted as a warm-up. Fatigue might also set in if the participant experiences many conditions, or is busy with the experiment for a long period of time.

Sequence effects

Changes in a subject's performance resulting from interactions among the conditions themselves

How do you control for order and sequence effects within subjects?

Counterbalancing for order effects.

For sequence effects, arranging that each condition follow every other condition equally often

Reverse counterbalancing.

When is it ineffective for controlling for order effect?

Reverse counterbalancing: method of control in which conditions are presented in order the first time, and then in reverse order.

It may not control for order effects in an ABCDDCBA experiment because B follows A once and C once, but never follows D or itself.

Complete counterbalancing

What does it control for? Greatest disadvantage?

each condition occurs an equal number of times, and follows every other condition an equal number of times

Controls for order and sequence within a group of subjects

Disadvantage: as you have more conditions you need more orders, and therefore, subjects (i.e. 5 conditions = 120 orders)

What is this?

What is this?

A latin square. A control procedure in which each subject experiences each condition in a different order from other subjects.

Preferred when there are fewer subjects in the experiment

Disadvantage: Sequence is not controlled

Between-subjects design

each subjects is only exposed to one level of the independent variable

When are between-subject designs preferred over within-subjects designs?

When a significant reaction would occur between conditions; when a subject can't be used as their own control because of possible carry-over effects

3 designs to avoid in research

One-group posttest only: researcher can't measure the change because no pretest was done. Large threat to validity.

Posttest only with nonequivalent control groups: Control group not randomly selected, and they're not equivalent to the experimental group

One group pretest/posttest design: even if changes are recorded/measured, a cause can't be determined

Factorial designs

Two or more independent variables (factors) are manipulated simultaneously to determine their separate and combined effects on the dependent variable

Advantages of factorial designs

It is an efficient way of exploring whether or not interdependencies between two or more independent variables exists. There are multiple independent variables and only one dependent variable.

How many cells (combinations) are there in 2x3x4 factorial design?

A 2x3x4 has 3 independent variables with 2, 3, and 4 levels, respectively. It would have 24 cells (or 24 conditions)

A 2x3x4 has 3 independent variables with 2, 3, and 4 levels, respectively. It would have 24 cells (or 24 conditions)

Main effects

The influence of one factor on the dependent variable; the effect of a variable averaged over all values of another variable

Interaction effects

How can one tell graphically if there is an interaction between two variables?

Interaction effect: when the effect of one independent variable depends on the level of another variable

-If the data is graphed, and there are curves that are not parallel, then there is an interaction between variables

How to tell interaction effects vs main effects

If you can explain your study results by only talking about one variable, you have a main effect for that variable.

If you MUST mention 2 or more variables to explain the study results, there is an interaction between those variables.

What are the common types of interactions in psychological research?

Antagonist interaction: two ind. variables tend to reverse each other's effects

Synergistic interaction: two IVs reinforce each other's effects

Ceiling-effect interaction: one variable has a smaller effect when paired with higher levels of a second variable

Mixed factorial design

Includes within-subject variables AND between-subject variables

Quasi experiment

Opposite of true experiment. The research does not/cannot control the assignment of subjects into conditions

True = assigning subjects

Quasi = selecting subjects

When are quasi experiments useful?

When it is the only possible way to study the impact of a natural event

Major weakness of quasi experiments

Presence of uncontrolled or confounded variables reduces the internal validity

What is a non-equivalent control group design?

Non-equivalent control group - research design having both an experimental and a control group wherein subjects are not randomly assigned

What is an interrupted time series design?

Allows the same group to be compared over time by considering the trend of the data before and after experimental manipulation

What are repeated treatment designs? How do they control for confounding variables?

Treatment is withdrawn, and then presented a second time.

Changes between Pretest 1 and Post test 1 should = Pre test 2 and Post test 2

Which quasi-experimental designs can be used with a single-subject?

Longitudinal study

Repeated treatment design

What are the common quasi-experimental designs used in developmental psychology?

Cross-sectional study

Longitudinal study

Cross-sequential study

Advantages and disadvantages of

Cross-sectional study

Advantages: All age groups can be tested at the same time

Disadvantages: age is confounded with birthdate (cohort effects are likely)

Advantages and disadvantages of

Longitudinal study

Advantages: All the same birthdates, no cohort effects

Disadvantages: Takes years to complete, age confounded with time of testing

Advantages and disadvantages of

Cross-sequential study

Advantages: Reduces confounding, show effects of time-lag

Disadvantages: ?

What is a program evaluation? How can quasi-experimental designs be used in program evaluations?

Program evaluation: A set of techniques for evaluating the effectiveness of a social service program.

Quasis are used becuase clients are likely to be assigned to groups for comparison rather than randomly allocated

In what ways is scientific communication carried out?

Publication in professional & academic journal

Conventions and conferences

Presentations and discussions

Laboratory visits

Archival publication

What are the essential features of a good scientific report?

Clarity - Say exactly what you mean as directly as possible

Brevity - does every word and sentence contribute to the paper? (short & concise)

Felicity - a pleasing style (liveliness and grace)

Parts of a scientific paper


Title - indicate contents of the article


Abstract - brief summary and key points

Introduction - specifies problem & hypothesis

Results - Research findings (incl. data, graphs..)

Discussion - Brief summary of main results, conclusions, weaknesses, etc.



Presenting another person's work as your own

Briefly discuss the human biases to which science is subject.

-Researchers may have to distort findings based on who is funding the research (government parties, corporations, etc.)

Discuss the limitations of science in achieving knowledge.

Limited by technology

Limited by our shared view of the world (can't determine value based problems)

Science is incomplete and tentative

What are the responsibilities of a scientist?

Find the answer