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SOC200H1 (51)
Chapter 8


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Alexandra Marin

SOC200 CHAPTER 8 Experiments involve 1 taking action 2 observing consequences develop generalized understanding Experimentswell suitedto research projects involving limited and well defined concepts hypothesis testing help determine causation explain rather than describe study small grp interaction natural experiments occur in regular course of social events variables must be operationally defined before experiment beginsquantitave specificstandardized measurement and observation Classical Experiment3 major components 1 Independent and dependent 2 pretesting and post testing 3 experimental and control 1 Independent and dependant experiment examines effect of independent on a dependant variable indp is an experimental stimulus which is either present or absent The stimulus is a dichotomous variableDichotomous variablevariable with only 2 attributes It is also called a binomial variable 2 attributes present and not present they compare what happens when the stimulus is present to what happens when it is notvariable might serve as an indp variable in one experiment and as a dependant in anotherex prejudiceboth indpdep must be operationally defined operational definitions must involve variety of observation methodsmust be operationally defined before experiment begins2Pretesting and Post testing Pretesting measurement of a dependant variable among subjects before they are exposed to a stimulus representing an indp variable1 subjects are measured in terms of dependant variable2 exposed to stimulus indp variable 3 postesting remeasurement of dependant variable among subjects after exposed to stimulus representing an indp variablediff between firstlast measurement are attributed to independent variable Problem of validitymay respond diff to second time even if attitudes remain unchanged may be aware of what we want to study to fix this control groups4 Experimental and Conrol Groups Labs rarely involve only observation of experimental grp which stimulus has be administered Experimental grp in an experimentation a grp of subjects to whom an experimental stimulus is administered observe control grp does not receive stimulus control group subjects to whom no experimental stimulus is given and who should resemble experimental grp in other respects Comparison of the control grp and experimental grp at the end of the experiment points to the effect of the experimental stimuluscontroldetect effects of experiment placebo drug that actually had no effect like sugar pills to a control group guard against not only effect of situation but effect of any event outside lab during experiements experimental design may require more than one experimental or control grp Hawthorne effect reference to a series of productivety studies at the hawthorne plant of the western electruc company in Chicago Presence affected the behav of the workers being studied Term refers too as impact of research on subject of studyDouble Blind Experimentexperimental design which neither the subject nor the experimenters know which is the experient grp and which is the control eliminates possibility of observing wrong groupeliminates bc know which is the experimental group and which is the controlcan be a placeboSelecting Subjectssamples must be representative of populationsocial processes and patterns of causal relationships appear to be more generalizable and more stable than specific characteristics like an indv prejudice levelselection and experimental concerns the comparability of experimental and control grps Control grp represents what the experimental grp would be like if not exposed to experimental stimulus Therefore the logic of experiments requires that experimental and control group be as similar as possible
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