In each of the following cases, identify which experimental design was used and why the researcher may have chosen that design.
- In order to compare the effectiveness of two different types of therapy for depression, depressed patients were assigned to receive either cognitive therapy or behavior therapy for a 12-week period. The researchers attempted to ensure that the patients in the two groups had a similar severity of depressed symptoms by administering a standardized test of depression to each participant, then pairing them according to the severity of their symptoms.
- To assess the difference in reading comprehension between 7 and 9-year-olds, a researcher recruited a group of each from a local primary school. They were given the same passage of text to read, and then asked a series of questions to assess their understanding.
- To assess the effectiveness of two different ways of teaching reading, a group of 5-year-olds were recruited from a primary school. Their level of reading ability was assessed, and then they were taught using scheme one for 20 weeks. At the end of this period, their reading was reassessed, and a reading improvement score was calculated. They were then taught using scheme two for a further 20 weeks and another reading improvement score for this period was calculated. The reading improvement scores for each child were then compared.
- In order to assess the effect of organization on recall, a researcher randomly assigned student volunteers to two conditions. Condition one attempted to recall a list of words that were organized into meaningful categories; condition two attempted to recall the same words, randomly grouped on the page.