Discuss Types of Factorial Designs

Lecture 12.2 presents several uses for factorial designs. Discussing these designs helps students realize that

1. Using the factorial design allows one to overcome the following limitations of the simple experiment:

a. Only studying one variable at a time;

b. Only studying situational variables (but emphasize that if they use a personality factor as their second variable in a factorial study, they can't make causal inferences about this variable [see Table 12.12]);

c. Not knowing whether a main effect would generalize to different situations, persons, places, or conditions (a significant interaction involving situations, subject type or location indicates that the effect would not generalize);

d. Lack of power due to not controlling or accounting for effects of other variables.

2. Factorial designs allow students to build on existing studies and test several hypotheses in a single study.

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