Experimental Research

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  • A type of research in which experimental conditions are manipulated or created (in the laboratory or field) for one or more groups of research participants to determine whether participants' thoughts and/or behaviors change as a result of their participation in the experiment. The key ingredients under the researcher's control in experimental design are (a) the use of one or more pretests (i.e., measurement on the outcome variable before the experimental manipulation starts), (b) the use of one or more posttests (i.e., measurement on the outcome variable after the experimental manipulation ends), (c) comparison groups (e.g., a control group that receives no treatment, an experimental group that receives the treatment, and any additional comparison groups that receive different types or amounts of the treatment), and (d) ...

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