The maturation effect is defined as when any biological or psychological process within an individual that occurs with the passage of time has an impact on research findings. When a study focuses on people, maturation is likely to threaten the internal validity of findings. Internal validity is concerned with correctly concluding that an independent variable and not some extraneous variable is responsible for a change in the dependent variable.

Over time, people change and these maturity processes can affect findings. Most participants can, over time, improve their performance regardless of treatment. This can apply to many types of studies in the physical or social sciences, psychology, management, education, and many other fields of study.

Maturation Effects and Internal Validity

A number of maturation effects can occur during ...

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