There are many research methods available to the psychological scientist. Some allow researchers to describe phenomena (surveys and observational studies), and another allows researchers to explain phenomena (an experiment). To explain a phenomenon, one must be able to determine cause and effect. The only research method that can do that is an experiment. Scientific experiments are based on observations when a variable has been introduced into a controlled situation. Inferences can be made about the differences between observations and then used to develop theories and to generalize to other similar situations. The controlled situation, in which variables are manipulated and effects measured, comprise the design of the experiment.

In setting up the context, the experimenter must hold as many conditions constant as possible in the situation, ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles