Essay on Experimental Methods Used in Applied Research

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According to Shaughnessy, Zechmeister, and Zechmeister, 2009, “in applied behavioral analysis the methods developed within the experimental analysis of behavior are applied to socially relevant problems (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister & Zechmeister, 2009, p. 317).” In this paper I will discuss some of these experimental methods used in applied research. First, I will discuss the similarities and differences between descriptive and inferential statistics, and when they should be used. In addition, I will explain the similarities and differences between single-case and small N-research designs. Furthermore, I will explain when single-case and small-N-research designs are used. Moreover; I will examine true experiments and examine how they…show more content…
On the other hand, inferential statistics are used by researchers to determine if an independent variable has a reliable effect on a dependent variable. In addition, two methods of inferential statistics based on sample data are used. The first is null hypothesis testing that is used to determine if mean differences among groups are greater than the difference expected because of error variation. The second method of inferential statistics based on sample data is confidence intervals. According to Shaughnessy, Zechmeister & Zechmeister (2009), descriptive statistics should be used in the second stage of data analysis of an experiment to summarize the findings of the experiment. Moreover, inferential statistics should be used in the third stage of data analysis of an experiment to confirm what the data revealed (Shaughnessy, Zechmeister & Zechmeister, 2009). Next, I will examine Single-case and small N- research designs. These designs are very important in studying behavior. According to Alan Kazdin (1978), single-case designs are a good choice for evaluating the effects of treatment in an individual. According to Kazdin (1978), these designs are important because these designs compare baseline and after treatment data. Kazdin (1978) adds that problems can still arise when using single-case designs like deciding the conditions of the experiment or an alternative treatment
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