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Created by ashiana121 over 4 years ago


Questions and answers on the experiments topic of AQA AS Sociology. Includes lab and field experiments.

Resource summary

Question Answer
In an experiment, the researcher identifies and controls all possible _________ Variables
By manipulating the variables and observing what happens, what can the researcher discover? Cause and effect relationships
What are the two main type of experiment? Laboratory experiments and field experiments
Which situations do 'field experiments' take place in? Real life/natural enviroments
What is it more difficult for the researcher to do in field experiments? Control all the variables
A lab experiment gives the researcher more control over variables but the results are more ________ Artificial
What positivist requirement do experiments meet? Data should be quantitative and scientifically collected
Why do positivists find lab experiments particularly reliable? They can be exactly repeated
What does using standardised methods and quantitative data allow positivists to make about society? Generalisations
What do interpretivists argue experiments lack? Validity
What are the 5 main disadvantages of laboratory experiments? Artificiality - identifying and controlling variables - ethical issues - Hawthorne Effect - limited application
Why is it doubtful that the results of lab experiments can be applied to the real social world? A lab is a highly artificial environment - how people react in an artificial environment is different to how they react in real life
What is meant by validity? The extent to which the results are true to social reality
Under what conditions are laboratory experiments effective? If all the variables that can influence the outcome are controlled
Why is it hard to identify and control all variables? Due to the complexity of social interactions
Why may a researcher not want/be able to gain informed consent? If the experiment was blind as not to influence the results
What is another ethical issue surrounding lab experiments? The emotional and psychological effects some experiments can have on the individuals involved
What is the Hawthorne effect? The knowledge of knowing you are part of an experiment affecting the results
What affect does the Hawthorne effect have on validity and why? Lowers it - because the test subjects are not acting like they would in a real social situation
Why do lab experiments have limited application? The lab is small so only small-scale social interactions can be studied
What does this mean is excluded? Large scale social change, past events, events of long duration
In a field experiment, individuals are usually ________ that an experiment is taking place Unaware
What do field experiments try to avoid? The artificiality of the lab experiment while obtaining some element of control
What are the two main advantages of field experiments? Less artificiality - due to 'real world' environment Validity - due to people being unaware they are being studied and therefore will act normally
What are the three main disadvantages with field experiments? Less control over variables, limited application, ethical problems
Why is it harder to control all the variables in a field experiment? It is based in the test subjects natural environment so some variables are unpredictable and difficult to identify
Give 2 examples of what it is possible to study using field experiments The apparent influence of social class, discriminatory actions
Field experiments only tend to measure what people do and not ___ ____ __ __ Why they do it
Why cant informed consent be obtained in a field experiment? It would 'give the game away', could cause Hawthorne effect and therefore reduce validity
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