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Psychology Book of Knowledge

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By IftiAmbia
Words 4677
Pages 19
Laboratory Experiments
A laboratory experiment takes place in an artificial and controlled setting, which is not natural to the participants of the study. There is an independent variable, which is purposefully manipulated by the researchers, and the dependent variable is measured, to see the effect of changing the IV on the DV. All other variables other than these are controlled to the best of the researchers’ ability, which are called extraneous variables, but sometimes other variables can affect the results – these are confounding variables. With laboratory experiments, cause and effect conclusions can be drawn * Careful controls mean they are replicable so can be tested for reliability – if carried out again and findings are similar, then it is likely to be reliable * Good controls mean there should be few confounding variables, so experiment is objective (e.g. there should be no subjectivity from the experimenter’s interventions and interpretations) and scientific * By isolating variables, the situation is not as in ‘real life’ so findings are not likely to be valid * Laboratory experiments usually lack validity of the task and therefore are not representative of true behaviour
Milgram (1963) Study of Obedience

Aim: To see whether people would obey and inflict harm on each another person using electric shocks, by following the orders of an authority figure. This was to see whether all individuals had the potential to cause harm like the Germans and the Nazi’s or if they were different.

Procedure: A volunteer sample was recruited by placing an advert in a newspaper offering a $400 reward and travelling expenses. 40 male participants took part and were introduced to who they believed to be another pp (confederate). In a rigged draw the pp was allocated the role of teacher in an experiment they were told was about human learning and memory....

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