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Design Choice and Threats to Validity in an Experimental Design

Review the attached article. Evaluate the choice of the design used in the article. Why was that design used and not another one? Assess the authors' performance in explaining this.

With these thoughts in mind:
1. Describe the choice of design and threats to validity in an experimental design.
2. An evaluation of the choice of design, the author's rationale for the design choice, the types of validity presented and the critical differences among them,
3. The author's performance in explaining them, and how you would assess the study's validity and the information you would require to do so.

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1. Milgram (1974 as cited in Burger, 2009) conducted a study on obedience and conformity involving adult males, aged 20 to 50 years, The choice of design was a teacher=--learner observation approach learning. A rigged drawing was held so that the "naive subject" is considered as the teacher. The experiment consisted of sending a 150-volt shock to the participants to observe how they would conform or disobey the experimenter's command to push a lever causing the electric shock. The act of administering the shock is set in the context of a tormented, terrible situation that is designed to study the effect of punishment on memory (Samson, 1980).

According to Samson (1980, prior to Milgram's experimental design not much was known about the nature of obedience. Milgram was skeptical of historical philosophies on behavior. Thus, he just observed his participant without having any theoretical basis, which can be offered as a reason as to why he used this experiment and not another philosophical belief on behavior. For instance, Milgram postulated that "Obedience is the psychological mechanism that links individual action to political purpose", and conducted his experiment by suggesting that obedience was deeply ingrained in daily behavior that ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines Stanley Milgram's experiments on obedience and conformity.