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Experimental Research One, Term Paper Example

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Term Paper

A good experiment can be characterized by four aspects namely; reliability, internal validity, external validity and sensitivity. Internal validity refers to the fact that the relationship between effect and cause is interpretable. This means that changes in the independent variable causes corresponding change in dependent variable. Reliability implies that the same experiment should be able to yield same results when repeated severally under same set of conditions. This gives confidence that the results are not obtained chance. Sensitivity implies that a system is able to detect effects of changes in dependent variable even if those changes are very small. External validity means that findings in a particular experiment can generalised to similar settings and individual situations (Jeanne, 2002).

This experiment does comply with some of the characteristics of internal validity. Internal validity has been ensured since the effect of offering incentives for studying is clearly interpretable. By increasing the conditions under which the second group studies, there is observed significant increase in number of study hours spent by each student. However, since the experiment was performed only once, it is not easy to tell if it conforms to the requirements of validity and external validity.  The experiment can be improved to conform to all characteristics of a good experiment by performing it repeatedly to determine whether the aspects of external validity and reliability exist. This may call for change of conditions under which the experiment is performed. Some of the things which should be changed include incentives offered to the participants, and also the number of participants in the experiment. Change of these conditions can significantly increase reliability of the experiment (Creswell, 2003).

References

Jeanne, S., (2002). Essentials of Research Methods in Psychology. Boston: MCGraw-HillCreswell, J., (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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