Running Behavioral Experiments With Human Participants: A Practical Guide provides a concrete, practical roadmap for the implementation of experiments and controlled observation using human participants. Covering both conceptual and practical issues critical to implementing an experiment, the book is organized to follow the standard process in experiment-based research, covering such issues as potential ethical problems, risks to validity, experimental setup, running a study, and concluding a study.

The detailed guidance on each step of an experiment is ideal for those in both universities and industry who have had little or no previous practical training in research methodology. The book provides example scenarios to help readers organize how they run experimental studies and anticipate problems, and example forms that can serve as effective initial “recipes.” Examples and forms are drawn from areas such as cognitive psychology, human factors, human-computer interaction, and human-robotic interaction.

Risks to Validity to Avoid while Running an Experiment

Risks to validity to avoid while running an experiment

Validity refers to the degree to which experimental results lead to an intended conclusion from the data. A number of things can reduce the validity of an experiment, and these are known as risks to validity. Understanding how subjects will complete the task and working toward uniformity across all iterations of the procedure for each subject are important. The repeatability of the experiment is a necessary condition for scientific validity. There are, however, several well-known effects that can influence the experimental process. These effects are examined in this chapter and are diagramed in Figure 4.1.

Chief among these risks are experimenter effects, or the influence of the experimenter's presence ...

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