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Counterbalancing

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Edited by: Published: 2017
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Counterbalancing is a procedure that allows a researcher to control the effects of nuisance variables in designs where the same participants are repeatedly subjected to conditions, treatments, or stimuli (e.g., within-subjects or repeated-measures designs). Counterbalancing refers to the systematic variation of the order of conditions in a study, which enhances the study’s interval validity. In the context of experimental designs, the most common nuisance factors (confounds) to be counterbalanced are procedural variables (i.e., temporal or spatial position) that can create order and sequence effects. In quasi-experimental designs, blocking variables (e.g., age, gender) can also be counterbalanced to control their effects on the dependent variable of interest, thus compensating for the lack of random assignment and the potential confounds due to systematic selection bias. ...

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