Examine the Reasons Why Some Sociologists Choose Not to Use Experiments When Conducting Research- 20 Marks

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Examine the reasons why some sociologists choose not to use experiments when conducting research- 20 marks In scientific research, an experiment is a method of investigating casual relationships among variables, or to test a hypothesis. The ability of establishing this relationship is why some sociologists, such as positivists, favour this method of research. These are three types of experimental methods that sociologists ay use in their research. The first type of experiments that sociologists use are lab experiments, and these are an artificial environment in which scientists can control all the different variables to see the effect that they have. A practical strength of lab experiments is that they favour science approaches, however controlling all of the possible variables can be difficult and it can’t always be done. An ethical strength of lab experiments is that all ethical issues are always dealt with, however lab experiments can be quite deceiving and they can potentially harm the participants. Finally, a theoretical strength is that the scientists personal feeling cannot affect the outcome of the experiment, however the validity of lab experiments is a weakness. Positivists favour lab experiments in principle because it achieves their main goal of reliability. They criticise naturalistic field experiments for reducing control over variables. Interpretivists reject lab experiments because it fails to achieve their main goal of validity. It’s an artificial situation producing unnatural behaviour, and they favour more naturalistic field experiments. Field experiments have two features with make them different from lab experiments, which are it takes place in the subject’s natural surroundings for example a school, and the people who are involved generally aren’t aware that they’re the subjects of an experiment. A practical strength of field
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