Random Assignment Methods

The primary distinction we will make is between approaches in which each participant experiences one level of the independent variable and approaches in which each participant experiences all levels of the independent variable.

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Many of the teetotallers had their own reasons for not drinking alcohol, meaning that the scientists would have had to either force them to drink (highly unethical) or drop them from the study, leaving them with just drinkers who they would have had to convince not to drink, this dictation of a way of life could again be highly unethical.

So we can see just how difficult it is to use random assignment in some cases, yet in others experiments wherein the participants past cannot make a large impact, I consider it to be the best assignment type available.

If by the end of an experiment you have discovered which is the dependent variable and which is the independent variable, you will have created a much more valid study than one which simply finds a connection, as you can then start investigating to what extent the IV affects the DV.

Yet what if you have indeed found a connection, yet the methods you used to imply that connection ended being the reason it occured? conducted a meta-analysis of 54 studies looking at moderate alcohol use and if it had an effect on a person’s health.

But randomizing enough clusters (schools) to create three arms for testing the pre-K and kindergarten programs would have been challenging in its operational demands and use of resources.

Randomly assigning children to kindergarten math clubs within the program arm allowed for reasonable statistical power while balancing the reality of implementing the clubs in so many schools.

Interesting alcohol related fact: A brewery tank ruptured in a London Parish in 1814, releasing 3,500 barrels worth of beer, destroying two houses and killing nine people.

In this section, we look at some different ways to design an experiment.

Random assignment ensures that participants in a cause and effect study are unbiased as it prevents people’s history from causing an extraneous variable within the experiment.

Only for ethical reasons should it be changed; many of the studies could not have used this as it means they would have had to convince non-drinkers to drink.


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