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EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH. How do you establish causality? what causes something else to occur? Lazarsfeld provided three criteria: 1. Covariation – two are related 2. Time order – cause before outcome 3. Elimination of likely third variables. Establishing causality.

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EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH

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Experimental research l.jpg

EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH

How do you establish causality?

  • what causes something else to occur?

  • Lazarsfeld provided three criteria:

    • 1. Covariation – two are related

    • 2. Time order – cause before outcome

    • 3. Elimination of likely third variables


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Establishing causality

  • Surveys allow you to test for covariation.

  • Statistical techniques “control” for third variables

  • But experiments offer control over timing

  • Manipulate the Independent Variable and observe the consequences (the Dependent Variable).

    • Select a group of subjects

    • Do something to them

    • Observe the effects


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Examples of causality questions

  • Night lights

  • The “Mozart effect”

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VARIABLES: Independent and Dependent

  • CAUSE

    • Independent variable

  • OUTCOME

    • Dependent variable

CAUSE

OUTCOME

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A “classic” experiment

  • Independent and Dependent variables

    • advertising and sales

  • Experimental and Control groups

    • exposed and non-exposed

  • Pre-testing and Post-testing

    • measure attitudes toward product and sales

  • "Blind" to condition

    • Hawthorne effect, placebo effects


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Experiments

Selecting subjects

  • Randomization

    • equal chance of being in control or experimental condition

      • random number table, even-odd, etc.

  • Matching

    • equalizing "important" variables

      • age, education, product use, etc.


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Experiments

External validity

  • (How generalizable are the findings?)

    • artificiality of the situation

      • the lab setting, white lab coat, etc.

    • sampling issues

      • reliance on college students in experiments


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Experimental design

Basic

  • O- X - O experimental group

  • O - . - O control group


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Experimental design

Solomon 4-group:

O- X - O experimental group (pretest-posttest)

O - . - O control group (pretest-posttest)

. X - O posttest-only experimental group

. . - O posttest-only experimental group

  • attempts to assess sensitization

    (from pretesting)


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Experimental design

“Factorial” designs

Multiple variables are examined

  • Number of factors

    • One factor (involvement)

    • Two factors (involvement and gender)

  • Number of “levels” for each factor

    • e.g., 2 by 2 design…

    • or 2 (involvement) by 2 (gender) design…

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The End

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