Learning Objectives

  1. List the five criteria for establishing a causal relationship.
  2. Explain the meaning of the expression “correlation does not prove causation.”
  3. Compare the difference between an independent and a dependent variable and understand their function in an experiment.
  4. List the essential components of a true experimental research design.
  5. Distinguish the concepts of random assignment (randomization) and random sampling.
  6. Identify the two major types of quasi-experimental design and explain why they are considered to be “quasi” experimental.
  7. Define “ex post facto control group design” and explain why it is not considered to be experimental or quasi-experimental.
  8. Discuss the influences on external validity (generalizability) in experimental design and those on internal validity (causal validity).
  9. Explain the role of process analysis in experimental research.
  10. Discuss the most distinctive ethical challenges in experimental research.