A closer look at social psychologists' silver bullet : inevitable and evitable side effects of the experimental approach

Bless, Herbert ; Burger, Axel M.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691615621278
URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/174569...
Additional URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/298917858...
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2016
The title of a journal, publication series: Perspectives on psychological science
Volume: 11
Issue number: 2
Page range: 296-308
Place of publication: London ; Thousand Oaks, CA
Publishing house: Sage Publications
ISSN: 1745-6916 , 1745-6924
Publication language: English
Institution: Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences- CDSS (Social Sciences)
Außerfakultäre Einrichtungen > Mannheim Centre for European Social Research - Research Department A
School of Social Sciences > Mikrosoziologie u. Sozialpsychologie (Bless 1999-)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Abstract: The main advantage of experimental research lies in the possibility of systematically investigating the causal relation between the variables of interest. The well-known advantages result from (a) the possibility to manipulate the independent variable, (b) random assignment of participants to the experimental conditions, and (c) the experimenter’s control over the operationalization of the variables and the general experimental setting. We argue that it is exactly these elements that constitute core advantages of experimental research but that are—at the same time—associated with side effects, which are often out of focus when researchers derive theoretical conclusions from their experimental findings. We discuss potential restrictions linked to these core elements of experimental research. Implications for both theory development and research design are discussed.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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