In social sciences, a field experiment is an investigation method used to rigorously assess a specific hypothesis, with data collected in a real-life environment, in which the researcher chooses the type of participants and where, when, and how the experiment takes place. This approach is particularly suited for the analysis of life-span human development because it allows the observation of subjects in their natural context while controlling for factors potentially affecting their behavior. Especially when studying children, allowing them to feel comfortable in their own environment is crucial to observing genuine behavior.

This entry starts with a definition of field experiments, continues with a description of types of experiments used in research, and then focuses on life-span and child development. This entry concludes with a discussion ...

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