Examine the strengths and weaknesses of using Experiments on sociological research. (20 Marks)
There are different strengths and and weaknesses of using experiments in sociological research. These include things like Practical, Ethical and also Theoretical problems as well.
First of all, are the Practical Issues and strengths. A strength of using experiments in research is that in a Lab Experiment, you have control over the variables. This makes it much easier to conduct the experiment. Also, this type of experiment is good, because it can produce quite reliable data, which may also allow the experiment to be replicated by another experimenter. As it is a reliable experiment, and it is reliable, the experiment should produce valid data. Positivists like these types of experiments because it achieves the main principle of their goal, which is reliability. A Practical problem of a Lab Experiment is that it cannot be used to study the past, as it would be impossible to replicate the controlled variables from the past. A strength of a Field Experiment, is that you are able to see what people do naturally and in real life. There are less likely to be Demand Characteristics, which if there was, would decrease the validity and reliability of this experiment. However, a weakness of Field Experiments is that you have less control of the variables of the experiment. This makes it harder to be replicated and therefore makes it less representative. It also leads on to some ethical problems as well.
Secondly are the Ethical Problems of using experiments in research. The main ethical…