The interaction of different variables in a study enables a researcher to choose the most appropriate research method to apply. Independent and dependent variables are two major elements in research that assist in testing hypotheses and developing the research questions. An experiment is an exercise that aims to investigate a causal relationship between variables Price, Chiang, and Jhangiani (2018). For example, an experiment to determine the effects of play on learners with autism. Therefore, this paper assesses experimental design and methods in determining human behavior.
There are two main types of experimental methods, which include experiments between subjects and within-subjects’ experiments. Inter-subject experiments entail carrying a study on two different subjects Price et al. (2018). One group is exposed to control conditions, while the other group is subjected to uncontrolled conditions. For example, having two separate groups of children; group A and B. Children in group A are introduced to supervised play, while group B children experience unsupervised play. The researcher aims to establish the impact of play on the emotional and cognitive development of children.
Experimental methods require subjects to be studied in the research process. Therefore, the researcher identifies the subject that meets the set conditions for a study. According to Price et al. (2018), the subject pool approach is used to recruit participants that are willing to participate in the experiment. Moreover, the experiment requires standardization to achieve a reliable and valid result across the subjects. Before experimenting, pilot-testing is vital in determining any issues that might arise before conducting the actual test. Experimental methods are sometimes expensive and might require time to achieve the desired results. However, experimental methods in research assist in confirming hypotheses and answer research questions.
Price, P. C., Chiang, I. C. A., & Jhangiani, R. (2018). Research Methods In Psychology: 2nd Canadian edition. [ebook] BCcampus. Available at: <https://opentextbc.ca/researchmethods/> [Accessed 01 December 2020].