Research Proposal: Experimental Research

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Experimental Research

One of the many important decisions a researcher must make during his or her work is which design to use for the research. Two main experimental designs include within-subjects and between-subjects design. Each has its own merits and drawbacks, and researchers tend to choose these according to the purpose and nature of the experiments or surveys to be conducted. For the experiment in question, where three different types of survey invitations are offered online, either the within- or between-subjects design can be used.

According to MacKenzie (2013), most empirical evaluations of input devices or interaction techniques, like the one to be conducted here, will be comparative. In this specific experiment, three types of online survey invitations are explored; the first containing only a link, the second offering to donate $10 to charity as a reward for participation, and finally, a chance to win $1,000 as a potential reward for participation. The comparative aspect lies in why people would be moved to respond to each of the invitations, and which invitation would receive the most participants. While some cases require a between-subjects design and others a within-subjects design, this particular survey could be studied by using either.

A within-subject design means that there is one group in which each participant is tested for all the conditions. Two major advantages of this design is that fewer participants are required, which means that recruiting, scheduling, briefing, demonstrating, and all the other aspects of the research procedure would be somewhat easier and take less time. Second, there is less variance resulting from participant disposition. Certain dispositions will occur consistently for certain participants, which makes it easier to make concessions for the particular behavior, as far as it influences the experiment results. Further, differences among measurements will then be due to differences in the conditions being measured rather than to disposition or behavior differences among participants (MacKenzie, 2013).

In the Zikmund experiment, a within-subject design would mean a single group of people would be tested for each type of survey invitation. In practical terms, this would mean that the group would be exposed to all three invitations and asked to choose the one they would most likely participate in. They could also be asked to give reasons for their participation. This would include both quantitative and qualitative effects in the experiment results. Quantitatively, the results would then reveal the invitation that is most enticing to participants, while the reasons can be investigated for their consistency with the results and among each other.

Although within-subject designs have distinct advantages, it is also true that there could be interference between the conditions imposed. When exposed to all three choices, for example, some participants may experience some difficulty choosing among them, which could compromise the reliability of the results. For this reason, researchers sometimes choose to opt for a between-subjects design instead (MacKenzie, 2013).

According to Shuttleworth (2013), a between-subjects design refers to an experiment that involves more than… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Experimental Research.  (2013, December 3).  Retrieved May 25, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/experimental-research-one/9429934

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"Experimental Research."  Essaytown.com.  December 3, 2013.  Accessed May 25, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/experimental-research-one/9429934.