However, these two variables are not the only ones present in an experiment. Extraneous variables may also be present and play a great role in influencing the research.
If a researcher wanted to study the effects that inadequate instructions have on level of anger or frustration, variable identification is requisite. The ability of the researcher to define the variables in an operational approach is very important because it makes the study’s outcomes more valid and reliable for use at present times and in future.
In this case, the independent variable is represented by the inadequate instructions while the level of frustration or anger is a variable that solely depends on the inadequate instructions given.
Having identified the variables, the next step is to make them operational. At this point, the researcher should select a concept to ensure that anger is a result of the instructions given. However, the concept chosen should be within the limits of time, feasibility and financial ability. For instance, a researcher in this case may come up with a rewarding competition where the competitors are given limiting instructions.
The competition may be presented inform of an aptitude exam. It should be clearly stipulated that a competitor can only win by completing a given task within a specified time frame. When a short but logical period of time is set, it may result into frustration of the subjects being studied.
In order to measure anger, various methods could be used. For example, an oral interview at the end of the competition may give the researcher an opportunity to evaluate anger or frustration level especially for those who did not win. Another method that could be used is the filling of a questionnaire at the end of the study. A set of questions could be asked and based on the response; the researcher may be able to measure the level of frustration or anger.
Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More In many experiments, extraneous and confounding variables will always be there. An extraneous variable can be described as unwanted variable that influences the experiment other than the variables being studied.
These variables are objectionable because in most cases they produce erroneous outcomes. They are divided into two, the first one being participant variables that are linked to the characteristics of an individual participant and which may have an impact on the response.
These variables may include factors like intelligence, mood and background differences. In the example of the aptitude test case given here, the extraneous variable might be pre-knowledge that competitors have on the questions being asked. If the competitors had seen the questions, then they might have an easy time and as result may not show any signs of frustration.
The other category of extraneous variables is the situational ones, which are associated with environmental factors that may influence the response of the participant. For example, if the test is being given in a room that is very hot, the high temperature may frustrate some participants while others may remain comfortable despite the impediment.
In conclusion, extraneous variables should be avoided as much as possible by carefully choosing a concept that will ensure they are minimized. For instance, the researcher should ensure that the test is being given in a room where all the participants feel comfortable.
The room should neither be very cold nor very hot. The participants should be carefully selected to ensure fairness; for example, they should be of the same age and of the same social background. Failure to alleviate these variables may produce incorrect results, and therefore compromise the validity and reliability of the research.
The Successful Experiment Classification Essay
Nursing Assignment Help When designing experiments, researchers always find themselves needing to control certain variables to ensure the success of the research. According to Sytsma (2009), a variable is defined as almost anything found on the face of the earth. Variables are a real concern for researchers (Sytsma, 2009). When these variables are of definite experimental interests they are known as factors. However, the term factor is generally used when an experiment includes more than just one variable (Sytsma, 2009).
Variables that Researchers can Control Among the variables that a researcher can control while designing the experiment are history, maturation and pre-testing (Key, 1997). The environment of the experiment and the actual variable to be used in the experiment may also be controlled by the researcher (Student of Fortune, 2011).
As a factor, history can easily affect the results of a study when a researcher takes further measurements to the experimental variables that had not been taken earlier before the onset of the research. An example, consider a case where a researcher collects data before and after a certain event happens. If not properly controlled, this may greatly affect the results of a study as measurements or data collected could greatly differ (Key, 2009).
Maturation refers to the process of an individual moving on to maturity either in age or otherwise during the life period of the research. The data collected at different stages of the research may be affected by change in time and hence the need for effective controls (Key, 2009).
Pre-testing on the other hand requires that the researcher notes down some parameters before the actual research begins. The challenge faced by the researcher has to do with the fact that experimental conditions could change drastically in the process in such a way that the results of any post-test may end up be being skewed (Key, 2009). It is very typical for respondents to give completely different responses at a later stage of the research leading to invalid results (Key, 2009).
Limit the Effects of Extraneous Variables According to Sytsma (2009), when variables are external with regard to the experiment, they are referred to as being extraneous. Without proper control, these variables end up influencing or affecting the results of the research.
To limit the effect of extraneous variables, a researcher may need to control the degree of randomness of the experimental variable (Student of Fortune, 2011). Randomization commonly refers to the fact that the outcome of a research is not at all predictable. A researcher’s confidence has been known to come from understanding that a random approach was taken at the time of assigning experimental variables (Sytsma, 2009).
Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Extraneous variables can also be dealt with by means of Control Groups. This involves the use of a matched group that is not exposed to the experimental variables. The control groups can help greatly in reducing the effect of factors such as history and maturation. Generally, the control group is subjected to every other experimental condition but not to the experimental variable (Key, 1997).
Another approach to addressing the effect of extraneous variables is to use additional groups. These are groups that were neither tested in advance nor exposed to the experimental preparations and can thus be used in tackle the effects of pre-tests (Key, 1997). They are used together with the pre-tested groups or other factors that affect the results of a study.
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