Internal Validity, Types of

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  • The researcher's ability to control extraneous variables in an experiment so that he or she can legitimately conclude that an observed effect is due to the treatment. Internal validity is required if the researcher desires to make the claim that variations in the independent variable caused variations in the dependent variable. Careful design of the experiment helps reduce the threat to internal validity. Campbell and Stanley (1963) identified several potential threats to the internal validity of a study. History refers to the impact of other events occurring during the period of the experimental manipulation. To avoid threats relating to history, researchers try to control the experiences of the treatment and the control groups to the extent possible. Maturation refers to natural physical or psychological growth ...

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