This entry reviews the five basic research designs available to investigators who study the behavior of nonhuman animals. Use of these experimental methods is considered historically, followed by a short review of the experimental method proper. Then, for each design, the discussion focuses on manipulation of the independent variable or variables, examples of testable hypotheses, sources of error and confounding, sources of variation within the design, and statistical analyses. The entry concludes with a section on choosing the appropriate research design. In addition, this entry addresses why it is important to choose a research design prior to collecting data, why certain designs are good for testing some hypotheses but not others, and how to choose a research design. This entry focuses on nonhuman animals, but ...
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