Compare and Contrast One Laboratory and One Field Experiment.

1599 Words Apr 19th, 2011 7 Pages
Compare and contrast one laboratory and one field experiment.

A laboratory experiment is where research is done in a highly controlled environment, where the level of control is very important. It is also to examine the validity of the hypotheses. It is an investigation where one or more variables would be changed under these controlled circumstances so that research can be done on the affects of these alterations.

A field experiment is a study conducted in a naturally-occurring environment. It is a real life setup where one or more independent variables are manipulated by the experimenter to determine the affect of behaviour. Psychologists like these experiments as they give away natural behaviour.

One laboratory experiment was done by
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The bottles in fact contained glucose which would be of no harm to the patient. The ‘doctor’ used a written script for each conversation and all conversations were recorded. The conversation was planned to end when either the nurse agreed, refused, seeked advice, got upset or the call went on for more than ten minutes. If the nurse obeyed this order she would be breaking hospital protocol which states that nurses should only take instructions from doctors known to them, therefore they should definitely not follow instructions given by an unknown doctor over the phone. A real doctor who was involved in the experiment was there to stop any nurses when they were seen to be moving towards the patient’s bed with the medication. Out of 22 nurses 21 of them were about to administer the drug. All nurses were debriefed within 30 minutes of the telephone conversation. Nearly all of the nurses admitted they should not have followed the orders as they were in breach of hospital policy.

There are many similarities between the Milgram and Hoffling experiments. The similarities are that for both of them the focus of the research was obedience, Milgram to see if Americans were as callous as the Germans and Hoffling to see if nurses would obey orders even if they are against hospital policy. Both experiments were done