New: Psychology Experiments for Science Contests.

Choice of 13 experiments at $40.00. Includes tutorial and on-line help.

Click here for demos

Tutorial: Good Psychology Experiments for Science Contests.

Frank J. Mandriota, Ph.D.

Psychology experiments are suited for science contests and can be done at home or in school on a computer with software we can provide. Don't be put off by the complexity of most current projects held in sponsor's laboratories. Psych experiments can be complex, but don't need complex equipment.

This software provides the tools for measurement. Your creative task as experimenter is to select variables to test on the persons (subjects) you will be working with. In simple terms, “Impose conditions on subjects and see how they react”. If done properly, Psych experiments are as scientific and reliable as those in physical or biological science. Part of what makes Psychology scientific is that it studies observable behavior and not intangibles such as “the mind”. So we will focus on measuring behavior.

In this tutorial, I will give some background in doing experiments in general and in Psychology in particular.

How do you do scientific experiments? Science can be observational or experimental. All work in astronomy, for example, is observational and most research in evolution is not experimental.

In experimental science you can control the things (variables) you expect to influence the outcome.

Here is an example of a controlled psychology experiment:

Reaction time (RT) is the time between turning on

Covered are:

Key terms defined, e.g. Independent variable, dependent variable;

Operational definitions; importance of controls, double blind;

the author's experience with 9 years of judging science contests and hints and cautions from that experience.