Examine the Reasons Why Some Sociologists Choose Not to Use Experiments When Conducting Research.

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Date Submitted: 10/23/2013 03:42 PM

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Examine the reasons why some sociologists choose not to use experiments when conducting research.

Sociologists mainly use 3 different experimental methods. These 3 experimental methods are laboratory experiments, field experiments and the comparative method. Every one of these three experiments differs in the way that they experiment the social world. Laboratory experiments consist of two groups being used for the experiment, the experimental group which have one variable and the control group which stays the same and is used for comparison against the experimental group. The second of the three experimental methods are field experiments and field experiments take place out in natural surrounds. The third and final experimental method is the comparative method which takes place in the mind of the sociologist and is known as the ‘thought experiment’. This is because this experiment doesn’t involve the researcher experimenting on real people.

However, all three of these methods are used and have been perfected by different sociologists due to their different preferences when it comes to experiments and the subjects being researched. However, these three experimental methods have advantages and disadvantages, which can mean they have certain strengths and limitations. This can result in some sociologists refusing to use experiments when conducting research.

Laboratory experiments are favoured by a lot of sociologists. Laboratory experiments consist of two groups being made, one group is the experimental group and the other is the control group. Both groups are the same, other than one variable. If both groups have the same results or no change can be recognised, then the researchers hypothesis is incorrect, however if the experimental group has changed in anyway, then the researcher can conclude that their hypothesis is correct.

I mentioned that these experimental methods have limitations. The first limitation of the laboratory experimental method is the ethical...