Lecture 8: March 18, 2013
Types of Experiments
• Laboratory experiment:
• High degree of control over the setting, artificial setting
• Field experiment
• Less control over the setting, natural setting
• Go to where the subjects are- lack of control over the environment
• Examining how people behave if no one was observing them
• i.e. used by criminologists- tells us about bystander effect
• Natural experiment
• Natural change in society takes place, can measure before and after
What is your question?
• Emphasis is on causal relations
• Causal relationship needs to be testable
• Which question is appropriate?
• Do university students commit suicide less frequently when they have more official breaks
during a semester?
• Causal relationship between breaks and suicide rates
• Do people who go to university develop coping skills which help them through times of crisis?
• University experience and crisis coping skills
• Do people who complete a university education increase their annual income more than people
who do not?
• Completing university education and increasing annual income
Features of Design
Do university students commit suicide less frequently when they have more official breaks during a semester?
• Control Group – universities without additional holidays
• Experimental Group
• Independent Variable- number of breaks
• Dependent Variable – variable that is expected to change as result of manipulating independent
variable- rates of suicide
• Post-test – rates of suicides and number of br