Variables: Extraneous and confounding

  • Created by: 0045253
  • Created on: 01-06-22 13:53
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  • Variables
    • Extraneous Variables
      • anything that may affect the dependent variable that is not the independent variable
      • Situational variables
        • Variables associated with the research situation. 
        • Situational variables are controlled by standardised procedures which ensure that all conditions are set up in exactly the same way apart from the change in the IV.
      • Participant effects
        • Variables associated with the research participants 
        • Examples of a participant effect are demand characteristics. These refer to cues in a study that make participants aware of what is expected of them and thus makes participants change their natural behaviour (social desirability bias)
        • Participant variables are controlled through experimental design
          • repeated measures where each participant takes part in both conditions and so acts as their own control or independent groups where participants only do one condition so are unlikely to show demand characteristics
        • using a single blind design where the participant does not know the true aims of the experiment.
      • Investigator effects
        • These occur when the researcher’s behaviour or characteristics influence the research in some way
        • controlled by using standardised instructions to prevent leading questions.
        • double blind design where neither the person nor the researcher conducting the experiment knows the aims/hypotheses of the experiment.
    • Confounding variables
      • A confounding variable that varies systematically with the IV so we cannot be sure of the true source of the change to the DV.
      • All variables except the IV should be keep constant 
      • Specific procedures which are followed every time the test is carried out - this ensures all researchers will test all participants in exactly the same way.


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