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Pretest–Posttest Design

Edited by: Published: 2010
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The basic premise behind the pretest–posttest design involves obtaining a pretest measure of the outcome of interest prior to administering some treatment, followed by a posttest on the same measure after treatment occurs. Pretest–posttest designs are employed in both experimental and quasi-experimental research and can be used with or without control groups. For example, quasi-experimental pretest–posttest designs may or may not include control groups, whereas experimental pretest–posttest designs must include control groups. Furthermore, despite the versatility of the pretest–posttest designs, in general, they still have limitations, including threats to internal validity. Although such threats are of particular concern for quasi-experimental pretest–posttest designs, experimental pretest–posttest designs also contain threats to internal validity.

Types of Pretest–Posttest Designs without Control Groups
One-Group Pretest-Posttest Design

In the simplest pretest–posttest design, researchers gather ...

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