Artifacts and their control
As a rule, no experiment, even if it is built according to the plan of the so-called "true experiment" and flowing in the laboratory, is not guaranteed against the influence of various interference. These disturbances, like external variables, can lead to offsets effect of research and cause artifacts. The researcher should represent the basic sample "offsets". Therefore, it is necessary for every psychologist to know the typology of artifacts in the course of experimental work. Here is a brief typology of artifacts proposed by J. Campbell .
1. Mixed factors of experimental impact: the main effects & quot ;. During the impact of the independent variable, additional variables appear which work together on both the experimental and control sample, shifting the effect of the experiment. Unfortunately, many researchers are subject to the "expectation effect", which is characterized by the fact that only the experimental effect that fits into the theory is seen. The reasons for the appearance of additional influences can be both instrumental errors, and the absence of the so-called "cleanliness" experiment. Control over the displacement of the experimental effect is achieved by introducing a new control group that is exposed only to additional variables, or by applying new forms, research procedures, where the independent variable is "cleaned" from additional variables.
2. Mixed aspects of the experimental impact : interaction effects & quot ;. Here the independent and external variables, influencing each other, create an new independent variable. The effects of the interaction of independent and additional variables in the experiment are of little probability, therefore they are not always considered by psychologists.
3. " Mixed aspects of experimental impact-, background interactions". The background effect on independent variables occurs in the experimental and control samples. The background is successfully controlled in a laboratory experiment by limiting its effect on the test subjects or changing independent variables.
4. Mixed aspects of experimental impact-, interaction with population characteristics. " During the experiment, it should be remembered that there are requirements for the representativeness of the experimental sample, non-compliance of which is the source of artifacts. The method of control of representativeness is randomization, equivalent pairs, etc.
5. & nbsp; Mixed Dimension Aspects : Basic Effects The psychological a measuring tool, whose errors are also a source of artifacts. In the course of testing, subjects often have attitudes to answers related to social desirability. Not yet solved the problem of perception of tests. Weakly account for traces past testing of the participants in the experiment. Control of artifacts of this type is carried out by applying different tests on different modes of research, applying a form of laboratory experiment, repetition of impacts, etc.
6. Mixed aspects of measurement: interaction with exposure processes. " A certain reaction of the subjects to the impact can be caused not only by an experimental stimulus, but also by a specific measurement method consequences of this impact. Here, control is exercised through the use of alternative psychological measuring tools.
There is some interest typology of artifacts by J. Godfroi , which include:
1) placebo effect. If the subjects are convinced of the efficacy of the proposed drug or regimen, they often have the desired effect, although the drug itself and the regimen have no effect ;
2) The Hawthorne effect. The very participation in the experiment has an effect on the subjects that the effect is exactly what the experimenter expects;
3) audience effect. The audience observing the research affects the behavior and actions of the subjects (for example, speeds up the learning process);
4) Pygmalion effect (or Rosenthal effect). The researcher, firmly convinced of the validity of the hypothesis, involuntarily acts in such a way that it is confirmed;
5) the effect of the first impression. The first impression plays a significant role in assessing the character of a person's personality, and experimental facts that contradict the created image are not taken into account;
6) FT Barnum's effect. People tend to believe in descriptions or general assessments that are presented under a scientific, magical or ritual "sauce."
To forms of general control of artifacts include:
1) the use of control groups which are subject to additional exposure by the method of false experimental effects;
2) Repetition of experimental impact using other methods (X1);
3) the use of different methods of measuring dependent variables (O1, ..., On);
4) additional variation of an independent variable, whose essence is to identify the additional impact (source of the artifact) and apply it to the control group. If the additional impact does not cause an experimental effect, then this competitive hypothesis is rejected. Varying can be applied in a wide range of effects of additional effects or in the extreme spectrum. For example, when studying the intelligence of an additional variable, "bad weather" is. Two options for controlling the additional impact can be used: a) study of IQ under different weather conditions; b) the study of IQ in extreme (bad) weather conditions;
5) repetition of the experiment using different methods of influence and measurement of psychological data.
In order to neutralize instrumental errors that can lead to the appearance of artifacts, it is necessary to introduce the independent variable (X) in two initial ways in the initial phase of the investigation and in each case to measure the experimental effect by two independent methods (Table 5.2);
Ways to neutralize instrumental errors
Method for measuring the experimental effect
Introduction X (a) (first way)
Introduction X (b) (second way)
6) disguised experiments in vivo. The fact and level of respondents' knowledge of experimentation are important sources of artifacts. There are various reactions of people to the experiment. One of the negative is the so-called sense of the condition of the "experimental rabbit". This artifact arises from the notification of the subject that he is a participant in the experiment. Conclusion can be made and the fact of informing about the study, and after passing the preliminary testing. The audience can be influenced by the researcher - additional experimental impact may arise due to fear of people of psychological evaluation (the subjects react by means of socially desirable behavior, simulation or bringing the desired or undesirable reaction to the extreme, they are growing suspicious, which usually manifests itself in the form of excessive caution, tension, distrust, fear, shyness, etc.).
Avoiding artifacts of this kind is the "disguised experiment". Masking of experimental impact and testing is done in two ways: a) interspersing the elements of research into the process of habitual life, or b) by legend, which in a certain sense morally "traumatizes" the experimenter (experiencing his own lies) and the subject (the awareness that he was frank in response to deception). And the depth of the injury depends on the scale of deception.
The masking of the study involves contradictions in the process-ethical plan. This is due, on the one hand, to the need to obtain the patient's consent to participate in the experiment and, on the other hand, to the problem of intrusion into his personal life. The ways to neutralize these aspects are: anonymity in collecting information of a confidential, strictly personal plan, and "unmasking."
Some researchers carry out a "unmasking" or apology for cheating at the end of the experiment, considering this as the feedback of the researcher to the audience. Unmasking & quot ;, certainly leads to relief feelings of the experimenter and frees him from ethical experiences. However, it causes obvious damage to the subject, as he realizes that because of his credulity he was put in an awkward position. It can be assumed that later the distrust of the subject will spread to other experiments and it will be difficult to achieve the necessary contact from him.
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