Reasons Why Some Sociologists Chose Not to Use Experiments When Conducting Research Essay

544 WordsJan 14, 20153 Pages
Question 4 In Research, a laboratory experiment is a test carried out in controlled conditions in an artificial setting (a lab) to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between two or more variables. A field experiment also has the same aim but is carried out in a natural environment. Some sociologists such as positivists favor this method of research. Many sociologists use lab (laboratory) experiments, as once a lab experiment has been conducted it can easily be repeated by other people/scientists therefore is easily replicable. The lab experiment is proven to have a use in establishing cause and effect relationships, which is why positivist sociologists favor them more as they prefer the more scientific method. Although they favor then, positivist sociologists also acknowledge the shortcomings of a lab experiment as it is often unethical to control the experiment and the results can often not be accurate or representative to a wider population. Interpritivist on the other hand reject the laboratory experiments as they fail to achieve the main goal of validity and they say it us an artificial environment producing unnatural behavior. Although there are many advantages to lab experiments there are various practical problems with them. For example it would be almost impossible to control the variables that may influence a situation and although being able to control the environment/variables may seem like a good thing all its creating is an artificial environment. This is the reason why field experiments are better favored by an interpritivist as an experimental method. There are also many ethical issues regarding the conduction of experiments on human beings as informed consent is necessary from the participants and it is difficult or impossible to get consent of somebody who has learning difficulties or is a baby. Many sociologists choose not
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