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Experimental Design

Experimental Design

During class this week, we discussed different ways to design an experiment and how they can be used for different types of experiments.  For this week’s lab assignment, I want you to consider three different types of experimental designs for your research project.  Your submission will be the three different types of design, and why they would or would not work for your project.  One of the selected types should be the one you plan on using for your project.

Some things to consider:

There is no universally perfect research method. All research methods have advantages and
disadvantages. For example, survey research is not well suited for determine causal
relationships. While a survey might determine the level of correlation between variables, it would not provide much insight into the other two causal rules – temporal order or the lack of plausible alternative explanations. Even the classic experimental design, considered by many researchers to be the ‘purest form of research’, is ineffective when the research subject’s mere participation in the experiment causes them to change their behavior, a threat to validity known as reactivity.

Don’t be afraid to create ‘hybrid’ methods wherein useful elements from several methods are merged into a single method. For example, sometimes surveys are a good pre- or post-test for an experimental design. Also, it is possible that your particular research questions will require the use of multiple methods.