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The Biggest Problem of reliabilty for
sociologists carrying out experiments is the
human participants.
Artificial nature of the
laboratory environment may
cause the human subjects to
behave in a different manner.
Producing a result that is not
as valid in examining human
behaviour.
Hawthorne effect- where subjects
react simply to being studied, and
do so in ways that produce invalid
results.
Human beings are
fundamentally different from
natural phenomena that
natural scientists study.
Unlike these objects the
subject has free will and
choice. Behaviour is not
caused by external forces
and therefore interprevists
cause and effect theories
cannot be applied.
In order to produce
valid data the
sociologist would have
to examine subjects
from a large cross-
section of the
population. This makes
it difficult to examine
study large scale
social phenomena.
Individuals are complex and
therefore it is not really possible to
match the members of the control
and experimental groups exactly.
While we can find identical samples
of chemicals, no two human beings
are exactly alike.
Most aspects of crime and
deviance do not lend
themselves to study using
laboratory experiments. The
complexity of the factors
involved means the
manipulation of single
variables in order to tell us
about the real world. The
differences for humans in real
life and the laboratory
undermine the validity of such
experiments. Leading to
sociologists favouring
observational methods of
research.
Even though those involved in
a field experiment may not
have been informed (raising
ethical issues), in many
settings word gets around. In a
controlled social environment
such as a prison, any change
to the routine is quickly noticed
and speculated about. Similarly
among members of a close-knit
community such as a local
neighbourhood. The danger is
the Hawthorne effect that once
the participants know they are
being studied they may change
their behaviour as a result,
therefore undermining validity.
Human behavior is too complex to allow
sociologists to predict precisely any
individual’s actions.
Human judgment can vary wildly
between observers, and the same
individual may rate things differently
depending upon time of day and
current mood.

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Experiments on human q1

  • 1. The Biggest Problem of reliabilty for sociologists carrying out experiments is the human participants. Artificial nature of the laboratory environment may cause the human subjects to behave in a different manner. Producing a result that is not as valid in examining human behaviour. Hawthorne effect- where subjects react simply to being studied, and do so in ways that produce invalid results. Human beings are fundamentally different from natural phenomena that natural scientists study. Unlike these objects the subject has free will and choice. Behaviour is not caused by external forces and therefore interprevists cause and effect theories cannot be applied. In order to produce valid data the sociologist would have to examine subjects from a large cross- section of the population. This makes it difficult to examine study large scale social phenomena. Individuals are complex and therefore it is not really possible to match the members of the control and experimental groups exactly. While we can find identical samples of chemicals, no two human beings are exactly alike. Most aspects of crime and deviance do not lend themselves to study using laboratory experiments. The complexity of the factors involved means the manipulation of single variables in order to tell us about the real world. The differences for humans in real life and the laboratory undermine the validity of such experiments. Leading to sociologists favouring observational methods of research. Even though those involved in a field experiment may not have been informed (raising ethical issues), in many settings word gets around. In a controlled social environment such as a prison, any change to the routine is quickly noticed and speculated about. Similarly among members of a close-knit community such as a local neighbourhood. The danger is the Hawthorne effect that once the participants know they are being studied they may change their behaviour as a result, therefore undermining validity. Human behavior is too complex to allow sociologists to predict precisely any individual’s actions. Human judgment can vary wildly between observers, and the same individual may rate things differently depending upon time of day and current mood.