Reactive arrangements are considered a threat to validity within a research design. Elements within an experimental setting could cause subjects to react differently to the experimental arrangements rather than to the experimental variable alone. Reactive arrangements can be a difficult threat to compensate for, as they may not be decreased or eliminated by random assignment. Yet, if reactive arrangements are present, they may lead to confounded findings and opposing explanations.

In defining threats to validity, Thomas D. Cook and Donald T. Campbell, as well as other researchers, attribute these reactions to the use of measures in a study and/or other reactions to the fact that participants are aware that they are in a study. Reactive arrangements are present when these participant reactions become a functional part ...

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