Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Experiment: artificial bringing about of an event or artificial creation of a state for testing a hypothesis. Experiments can lead to the reformulation of the initial hypotheses and the reformulation of theories. See also theories, measuring, science, hypotheses, Bayesianism, confirmation, events, paradigm change, reference systems.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Developmental Psychology on Experiments - Dictionary of Arguments

Upton I 19
Experiments/Developmental psychology/Upton:
Dependent variable (DV): the variable of interest. It can be measured when the researcher sets up two or more situations in which this variable can be compared.
Independent variable (IV): the conditions can vary only in terms of the variable whose effect is being tested.
Causal relationship: in order to test the predicted causal relationship, all other factors that may affect the DV have to be controlled. ((s) For problems in relation to causality and causal explanations see >Causality/Philosophical theories; >Causal explanation/Philosophical theories.
Between-group design: compares groups under different conditions. Participants would then be allocated to one of the two study groups using either random sampling or a matched design. With random sampling it is assumed that there is no systematic difference between the two groups.
Within-group design: all participants experience the same conditions. This method avoids the need to assume that the different groups are equivalent because everyone experiences everything.
VsWithin-group design: Problem: limitations. The researcher has to ensure that the results are not due to participant fatigue or practice when they experience the second condition.
Counterbalancing/Solution: One way to control for this is to have half of the group experience the conditions in one order and the other half experience them in the reverse order. This is known as counterbalancing.
VsCounterbalancing: Problem: Using a within-group comparison is not always possible. For example, how would we know if it was the [first condition] that had influenced the [resulting] patterns if all [participants] experienced both conditions?
VsCausality approach: Problem: One possibility is that the researcher’s choice of factors to control was wrong. There may be other variables that had an influence on the results but were overlooked.
Confounding variable: overlooked. If one of these systematically biases the results it is called a confounding variable. This could prevent the researcher from obtaining valid results.
Upton I 20
Correlational studies: look for a relationship between variables rather than seeking to establish cause and effect. ((s) These studies use existing empirical material.)

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Developmental Psychology
Upton I
Penney Upton
Developmental Psychology 2011

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