Quantitative Psychology is arguably one of the oldest disciplines within the field of psychology and nearly all psychologists are exposed to quantitative psychology in some form. While textbooks in statistics, research methods, and psychological measurement exist none offer a unified treatment of quantitative psychology. The SAGE Handbook of Quantitative Methods in Psychology does just that. Each chapter covers a methodological topic with equal attention paid to established theory and the challenges facing methodologists as they address new research questions using that particular methodology. The reader will come away from each chapter with a greater understanding of the methodology being addressed as well as an understanding of the directions for future developments within that methodological area.

Experimental Design

Experimental design

Some Basic Design Concepts

Sir Ronald Fisher, the statistician, eugenicist, evolutionary biologist, geneticist, and father of modern experimental design, observed that experiments are ‘only experience carefully planned in advance, and designed to form a secure basis of new knowledge’ (Fisher, 1935: 8). Experiments are characterized by the: (1) manipulation of one or more independent variables; (2) use of controls such as randomly assigning participants or experimental units to one or more independent variables; and (3) careful observation or measurement of one or more dependent variables. The first and second characteristics–manipulation of an independent variable and the use of controls such as randomization–distinguish experiments from other research strategies.

The emphasis on experimentation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as a way of establishing causal relationships marked ...

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