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Resolving Internal Validity Threats in an Experiment Design

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Consider the following scenario:

60 children, ages 3-5, are selected to participate in a program for developing non-verbal communication skills. The children were selected on the basis of extremely low scores on a test of non-verbal communication. After participating in the program, the children are re-tested. An average improvement of 59% is observed in the quality of non-verbal communications.

What threat to internal validity is present in this situation? How can this confound be eliminated?

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Solution Preview

In my opinion the biggest threat to internal validity is the huge age range for the participants. Depending on how the program is designed and implemented, a certain age may benefit more from the program. However, the age range is a concern too due to the different rates of maturation of the participants. The different ages will be maturing differently and acquiring slightly different skills due simply to their age. Yet maturation in general is an internal ...

Solution Summary

The solution picks out and explains a threat to the validity of the given non-verbal communication skills study, as well as giving suggestions on how to remove it. 280 words with 3 reference links.