Discussion – types of experimental design



The goal of this discussion is to demonstrate your understanding of the pros and cons associated with between and within subject designs. These are discussed in section 5.24 of your textbook Links to an external site.

Main Discussion Post – Due Wednesday by 11:59pm

Please read the following research topics and choose two to write about.

  1. You want to test the relative effectiveness of two training programs for dogs.
  2. Using photographs of people as stimuli, you want to see if smiling people are perceived as more intelligent than people who are not smiling.
  3. In a field experiment, you want to see if the way wait staff are dressed (neatly vs. sloppily) affects the size of their tip.
  4. You want to see if concrete nouns (e.g., dog) are recalled better than abstract nouns (e.g., truth).

For each of your chosen topics:

  1. Describe the pros and cons of using a between-subjects design (at least 4 sentences).
  2. Describe the pros and cons of using a within-subjects design (at least 4 sentences).
  3. Decide which would be better and explain why (at least 2 sentences).

Your responses should incorporate the correct terminology (e.g., random assignment, control of extraneous variables, carryover effects), and should identify the pros and cons that are relevant to each of your chosen research topics.


  • Your posts must be in your own words. Work that is not original will not receive credit. 
  • Your responses must be in college-level English.
  • Please refer to the rubric for full scoring criteria.
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