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Creating a Novel Experimental Paradigm: A Practical Guide

Case
By: Laura M. Tully & Megan A. Boudewyn Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Abstract

This case discusses key factors to consider when designing a novel experimental paradigm. These are presented in the context of our own experiences developing, testing, and modifying new paradigms. We review three categories of core paradigm design factors: (a) paradigm design features, that is, the “nuts and bolts” of the paradigm itself, such as stimulus, numbers of conditions and trials, and response format; (b) experimental implementation concerns, including experimental modality, participant burden, and analysis plan; and (c) resources available, both financial and the less tangible resources, such as personal effort. Within each category, we offer key questions to consider, provide examples from our own experience as researchers, and make recommendations where appropriate. Finally, we provide a decision tree to guide researchers through the process of deciding whether to create a novel paradigm or use/modify an existing paradigm.

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