1.3 Experimental Method

1.3 The Experimental Method- Skill: Analyze psychological research studies

  • Identify independent, dependent, confounding, and control variables in experimental designs.
  • Describe how research design drives the reasonable conclusions that can be drawn.
  • Distinguish between random assignment of participants to conditions in experiments and random selection of participants, primarily in correlational studies and surveys.

Learning Targets

1.H Identify independent, dependent, confounding, and control variables in experimental designs.

1.I Describe how research design drives the reasonable conclusions that can be drawn.

1.J Distinguish between random assignment of participants to conditions in experiments and random selection of participants, primarily in correlational studies and surveys.


1.I.1 Experiments are useful for determining cause and effect.

1.I.2 The use of experimental controls reduces alternative explanations.

1.I.3 Random assignment is needed to demonstrate cause and effect.

1.I.4 Correlational research can indicate if there is a relationship or association between two variables but cannot demonstrate cause and effect.