Treatment groups are the sets of participants in a research study that are exposed to some manipulation or intentional change in the independent variable of interest. They are an integral part of experimental research design that helps to measure effects as well as establish causality. This entry briefly explores the purpose of experimental research, discusses manipulability, outlines different types of treatment groups, explains the role of treatment groups within experimental design, and finally offers some insight into common problems and solutions associated with the use of treatment groups.

Experimental Research

The primary purpose of experimental research is to establish a causal connection between an independent variable (IV), the cause, and a dependent variable (DV), the effect. (This stands in contrast to survey research, which typically measures correlational ...

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