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PSYB01 - Lecture 7

CHAPTER 8

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Describe the relationship between a confounding variable and the internal validity of an experiment
Explain error variance
Describe the post-test only design and the pretest-posttest design, including the advantages and
disadvantages of each design

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Contrast an independent groups design with a repeated measures design
Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of using a repeated measures design
Describe a matched pairs design, and state reasons why one might use this design

CONFOUNDING AND INTERNAL VALIDITY


Internal Validity: experiment must be designed and conducted so that only the independent variable can
be the cause of the results
TWO WAYS TO MANIPULATE INDEPENDENT VARIABLE
1. Vary it quantitatively
2. Vary it qualitatively

CONFOUNDING AND INTERNAL VALIDITY


Confounding Variable: confounding occurs when the effects of the independent variable and an
uncontrolled variable are intertwined so one cannot determine which is responsible for the effect
CONFOUNDING VARIABLES
Tom Rogers wanted to test a new "singalong" method to teach math to fourth graders (e.g., "I love to
multiply" to the tune of "God Bless America"). He used the singalong method in his first period class. His
sixth period students continued solving math problems with the old method. At the end of the term, Mr.
Rogers found that the first period class scored significantly lower than the sixth period class on a
mathematics achievement test. He concluded that the singalong method was a total failure.
1. Identify the independent variable(s).
2. Identify the dependent variable(s).
3. Identify any confounding variable(s).
4. Propose a method to "unconfound" the experiment.
ERROR VARIANCE
statistical variability of scores caused by the influence of variables other than your independent
variables (extraneous or subject related variables) (Bordens & Abbott, 2005)
Rarely possible to hold all variable constant
Subjects differ from one another
Environmental conditions fluctuate
Subjects change over time
May cause fluctuation in scores that have nothing to do with your IV (produce error variance)
BASIC EXPERIMENTS

Posttest-Only Design
Must:
Obtain two equivalent groups of participants
- Selection differences
Introduce the independent variable
Measure the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable
POSTTEST-ONLY DESIGN

POST-TEST ONLYHYPOTHETICAL EXPERIMENT


Performance on Dependent Measure (Simulated Air Control Task)
Control Group
25

13

24

19

18

22

29

18

19

23

Mean 23

Experimental Group (THC)

Mean 19

REDUCING ERROR VARIANCE


Hold extraneous variables constant (treat participants exactly the same except for IV)
Random Assignment
Larger sample?
Match participants?
Carefully select levels of IV
Statistical Analysis (estimate probability that error variance would produce observed results)
BASIC EXPERIMENTS
Pretest-Posttest Design
A pretest is given before the experimental manipulation is introduced to make sure groups are
equivalent at the beginning of the experiment

BASIC EXPERIMENTS
Advantages of the pretest-posttest design
Mortality (dropout factor)
Assess equivalency of groups with small sample size
Can use to select participants for the experiment
BASIC EXPERIMENTS
Disadvantages of the pretest-posttest design
Time consuming and awkward to administer
Sensitize participants to what is being studied
- Demand characteristics
- Reduces external validity
-

ASSIGNING PARTICIPANTS EXPERIMENTAL CONDITIONS


Independent Groups Design
Participants participate in only one group
Repeated Measures Design
Participants Are in All Conditions
REPEATED MEASURES DESIGN
Advantages and Disadvantages of Repeated Measures Design
Advantages
Fewer participants
Extremely sensitive to statistical differences
Conditions are identical because person is own control group
Disadvantages

Carry over effects


Practice effect
Fatigue effect
Contrast effect
Habituation (reduced responsiveness)
Sensitization (stronger response)
Adaptation (e.g. tolerance)

REPEATED MEASURES DESIGN


Counterbalancing
Complete counterbalancing
Latin squares
Time Interval Between Treatments
Choosing Between Independent Groups and Repeated Measures Design
COUNTERBALANCING

LATIN SQUARE

CONSTRUCTING A LATIN SQUARE


Determines orders of N number of conditions
4 conditions=4 orders
8 conditions=8 orders
Each condition or groups appears once at each order and each condition precedes and follows each
other condition one time
Need 2 Latin squares for odd number
CONSTRUCTING A LATIN SQUARE
1. Determine the number of conditions, and use letters of the alphabet to represent them:
ABCDEF for six conditions
2. Determine the order for the first row, using the following ordering:
A, B, L, C, L-1, D, L-2, E, etc(L=final condition)

What would order for six conditions be?


A, B, F, C, E, D
CONSTRUCTING A LATIN SQUARE
3. Determine the order for the second row by going up one letter at each column position (last
letter reverts to first letter):
Row 1: A, B, F, C, E, D
Row 2: B, C, A, D, F, E
Row 3: C, D, B, E, A, F
Row 4: D, E, C, F, B, A
Row 5: E, F, D, A, C, B
Row 6: F, A, E, B, D, C

MATCHED PAIRS DESIGN


Goal is to Match People on a Participant Characteristic
Either the Dependent Measure or a Variable that is Strongly Related to the Dependent Variable
Analysis of Covariance

DESIGNING AN EXPTPOTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF COMPANION ANIMALS?


How might we conceptualize this question?
How might we operationalize our variables?
Methods?
Potential Confounds?
Ethics
Logistics/resources
Be creative