If you decide to start students off by evaluating popular press accounts of what may be a simple experiment, See Handout 10.2
If you have students critique published simple experiments, realize that most published simple experiments tend to be field experiments. However, there are some examples of laboratory field experiments in the literature, such as:
Chase, C. (1991). Expectancy and handwriting quality. Psychology: A Journal of Human Behavior, 28,
(The Chase article is short, easy to read, and helps students to realize the value of multiple-group (chapter 10) and factorial experiments (chapter 11).
Loftus, E. F. (1975). Leading questions and the eyewitness report.
(Experiment 1 is a simple experiment, Experiments 2 & 3 show the advantages of adding a factor [in this case, time delay] to turn a simple experiment into a factorial experiment. This is a classic study that students should be somewhat familiar with--and worth commenting on since the findings are still somewhat controversial.)
Liebert, R., & Baron, R. (1972). Some immediate effects of televised violence on children's behavior.
Developmental Psychology, 6, 269-475.
Asch, S. E. (1946). Forming impressions of personality. Journal of
Abnormal and Social Psychology,
Or, you could simply take advantage of one of the cases prepared by faculty members at UCLA by clicking here.
Note: To help students understand the logic of the simple experiment-- especially the value of a control group-- you might have them access this link.