Experimental Research

Good Essays

Experimental Research and The Key Components of
A Successful Experiment
Ehsan Jamil

Seneca College
Laura Cavanagh
February 4, 2013

This paper explores the experimental research method and specifically the experiment conducted by Professor Smith, a Psychology professor who has a hypothesis that Vitamin E improves memory, to determine the flaws in her experiment. In the process, the paper also clearly explains the various key factors which determine the outcome and accuracy of the method of experimental research, such as dependent variables, independent variables, experimental groups, and control groups. This paper examines the factors that render Professor Smith’s experiment as flawed, and finally attempts …show more content…

This could easily have had a demoralizing effect on the mental state of the control group and an encouraging effect on the experimental group, which would decrease the accuracy and validity of her findings as other factors beside the independent variable could have affected the dependent variable. Another flaw with her experimental design is the division of the experimental group and the control group into two seperate sections, creating a social inequity, specially as the first half of the students were allowed to sit in the front and the latter half were made to sit in the ramaining half of the class in the back. This could have created a sense of expectancy in the experimental group and compelled them to try harder, while the control group might have assumed they weren’t expected to do well and as a result not strive enough to succeed. According to Feldman and Dinardo ( 2012 ), one of the factors that distort how the independent variable affects the dependent variable in an experiment is participant expectations. The participants in Professor Smith’s experiment were aware of their assigned groups, which could have raised or lowered their expectations, depending on the group to which they were assigned. Finally, the flaw with Professor Smith’s conclusion is that the experiment was conducted to test her hypothesis that Vitamin E

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