A stimulus pretest occurs when the researcher chooses to test research participants on relevant variables that need to be accounted for before the independent variable is manipulated for the experimental group. It is thus a key component of several types of experimental designs. There are two main types of stimulus pretests. First, some studies run a pretest on an important variable that, while not the focus of the study, might still potentially influence the outcome of the study beyond the manipulation. For example, a study assessing the benefits of social support on blood pressure might collect pretest data on other variables that affect blood pressure, such as weight, family history of high blood pressure, and smoking. The pretest is thus used for examining ...
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