Experimental Design Experiment Experiment: Researchers impose some change (treatment) and measure the result or response.
Principles of Experiment Design Randomization: unknown and uncontrollable difference are handled by randomizing who receives what treatments. Replication: treatments need to be repeated on a sufficient number of subjects. Generalizability: ability to repeat an experiment in a variety of settings.
Terminology Experimental Units: the individuals/items on which the experiment is done When the units are human beings, they are called subjects. Treatment: A specific experimental condition
applied to the unit. Can be multiple treatments in one experiment. Factors & Level Factors: the explanatory variables in an experiment Level: the specific level/value of each factor. Example:
Factor: Sleep. Level: 6 hours, 7 hours and 8 hours of sleep. The Physicians Health Study Does regularly taking aspirin help protect people against heart attacks? The Physicians Health Study looked at the effects of two drugs: aspirin and beta
carotene. The body converts beta carotene into vitamin A, which may help prevent some forms of cancer. A combination of the drugs were given to 21,996 male physicians. Name the subjects, treatments and factors? The Physicians Health Study Subjects?
Lurking Variables Lurking variables: a variable that drive two other variables, creating the mistaken impression that the two other variables are related by cause and effect. Example: As shoe size increases, reading scores increase.what is the lurking variable?
Placebo v. Treatment People who receive the placebo are members of the control group. People who receive the real treatment are the treatment group. Specific Types of Experiments
Double-Blind Single-Blind Matched Pairs
Block Design Double-Blind In a double-blind experiment, neither the subjects nor the experimenters know which treatment a subject received. Matched Pair Design
In a matched pair design, subjects are paired by matching common important attributes. Some times the results are a pre-test and post-test with the unit being matched to itself. Matched Pair Design Example:
Tire wear and tear. Put one set of tires on the left side of the car and a different set on the right side of the car. This would help control the lurking variable of different driving styles (between teenage boys and teachers) and mileage driven. Block Design
A block is a group of experimental units or subjects that are known before the experiment to be similar in some way that is expected to affect the response to the treatments. In a block design, the random assignment of units to treatments is carried out separately within each block.
Helps control for lurking variables. Block Design Experiments are often blocked by Age Gender Race Achievement Level (Regular, Honors, AP, etc.)
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