ERIC Number: ED203241
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Naturalistic Versus Experimental Approaches to the Study of Human Aggression: Theoretical and Methodological Issues.
Gaebelein, Jacquelyn W.
Research strategies used to study human aggression include laboratory study, experimental simulation, field experiment, field study, judgment task, sample survey, and less empirical strategies such as computer simulations and formal theory. The context of these strategies can be classified as either contrived, natural, or irrelevant. Major issues revolving around the context deal with the generality of findings and control over extraneous factors. Precision of measurement reflects the clarity with which a dependent variable can be operationalized and measured. Although the laboratory study gives maximum control over the measurement of behavior, the issue focuses on the abstractness of the operational measure and its validity. Closely related to the issue of precision of measurement are the areas of research designs and statistical analysis. Analysis of variance is the method most widely used; other designs include nonorthogonal, experimental, and designs that contrast a within subject to a between subject version of a variable. The issue of the theory/application balance, termed ecological validity, relates to the generality of conclusions across persons, settings or specific behaviors. The three major goals of research (precise measurement, realism and generality) cannot be achieved in studies using only one paradigm. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (88th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 1-5, 1980); Best copy available.