Empirical research involves an experiment in which data are collected in two or more conditions that are identical in all aspects but one. A blueprint for such an exercise is an experimental design. Shown in Table 1 is the design of the basic experiment. It has (a) one independent variable (color) with two levels (pink and white); (b) four control variables (age, health, sex, and IQ); (c) a control procedure (i.e., random assignment of subjects); and (d) a dependent variable (affective score).

Method of Difference and Experimental Control

Table 1 also illustrates the inductive rule, method of difference, which underlies the basic one-factor, two-level experiment. As age is being held constant, any slight difference in age between subjects in the two conditions cannot explain the difference (or ...

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