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How to Conduct a Psychology Experiment

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5. Select an Experimental Design
Experimental Design

Learn more about three of the basic experimental designs you might use when conducting your psychology experiment.

Image courtesy Bart Coenders/iStockPhoto

After conducting background research and finalizing your hypothesis, your next step is to develop an experimental design. There are three basic types of designs that you might utilize. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

  • Pre-Experimental Designs: This type of experimental design does not include a control group. A single group of participants is studied, and there is no comparison between a treatment group and a control group. Examples of pre-experimental designs include case studies (one group is given a treatment and the results are measured) and pre-test/post-test studies (one group is tested, given a treatment and then retested).

  • Quasi-Experimental Designs: This type of experimental design does include a control group, but the design does not include randomization.

  • True Experimental Designs: A true experimental design include both of the elements that the pre-experimental designs and quasi-experimental designs lack on their own - control groups and random assignment to groups.

Step 6: Standardize Your Procedures

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