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Title: CHAPTER%209:%20Producing%20Data%20Experiments

CHAPTER 9Producing DataExperiments
Moore, William I. Notz, and Michael A.
Fligner Lecture Presentation
Chapter 9 Concepts
  • Observation vs. Experiment
  • Subjects, Factors, Treatments
  • Randomized Comparative Experiments
  • Cautions About Experimentation
  • Matched Pairs Designs

Chapter 9 Objectives
  • Distinguish between observations and experiments
  • Identify subjects, factors, and treatments
  • Design randomized comparative experiments
  • Describe cautions about experimentation
  • Describe matched pairs designs

Observation vs. Experiment
  • In contrast to observational studies, experiments
    dont just observe individuals or ask them
    questions. They actively impose some treatment in
    order to measure the response.

An observational study observes individuals
and measures variables of interest. Sample
survey are observational studies. The purpose is
to describe some group or situation. An
experiment deliberately imposes some treatment
on individuals to measure their responses.
Studies whether the treatment causes change in
the response.
Experiments When our goal is to understand
cause-and-effect conclusion. Observational
study Study the association between the two
Observational studies of the effect of one
variable on another often fail because of
confounding between the explanatory variable and
one or more lurking variables.
A lurking variable is a variable that is not
among the explanatory or response variables in a
study but that may influence the response
variable. Confounding occurs when two variables
are associated in such a way that their effects
on a response variable cannot be distinguished
from each other.
Well-designed experiments take steps to avoid
Individuals, Factors, Treatments
An experiment is a statistical study in which we
actually do something (a treatment) to people,
animals, or objects (the experimental units) to
observe the response. Here is the basic
vocabulary of experiments.
? The experimental units are the smallest
collection of individuals to which treatments are
applied. When the units are human beings, they
often are called subjects. Subjects are
individuals studied in an experiment ?The
explanatory variables in an experiment are often
called factors. Factors could be one or
more. ? A specific condition applied to the
individuals in an experiment is called a
treatment. If an experiment has several
explanatory variables, a treatment is a
combination of specific values of these
Case Study
  • There are six possible treatments, which is a
    combination from one value of each factor

Factor B Repetitions Factor B Repetitions Factor B Repetitions
1 time 3 times 5 times
Factor A Length 30 seconds 1 2 3
Factor A Length 90 seconds 4 5 6
How to Experiment Well?
Experiments are the preferred method for
examining the effect of one variable on another.
By imposing the specific treatment of interest
and controlling other influences, we can pin down
cause and effect. Good designs are essential for
effective experiments, just as they are for
How to Experiment Well?
Many laboratory experiments use a design like the
one in the online SAT course example
Experimental Units
Measure Response
In the laboratory environment, simple designs
often work well. Field experiments and
experiments with animals or people deal with more
variable conditions. Outside the laboratory,
badly designed experiments often yield worthless
results because of confounding.
Randomized Comparative Experiments
? Experiments should compare treatments rather
than assess the effect of a single treatment in
isolation ? a comparative experiment in which
some units receive one treatment and similar
units receive another. ? Most well-designed
experiments compare two or more treatments.
Comparative design ensures that influence other
than the experimental treatments operate equally
on all subjects ? Comparison alone isnt enough.
If the treatments are given to groups that differ
greatly, bias will result. The solution to the
problem of bias is random assignment.
In an experiment, random assignment means that
experimental units are assigned to treatments at
random, that is, using some sort of chance
Randomized Comparative Experiments
In a completely randomized design, the treatments
are assigned to all the experimental units
completely by chance. Some experiments may
include a control group that receives an inactive
treatment or an existing baseline treatment.
Experimental Units
The Logic of Randomized Comparative Experiments
Randomized comparative experiments are designed
to give good evidence that differences in the
treatments actually cause the differences we see
in the response.
Principles of Experimental Design
  1. Control for lurking variables that might affect
    the response, most simply by comparing two or
    more treatments.
  2. Randomize Use chance to assign experimental
    units to treatments.
  3. Replication Use enough large experimental units
    in each group to reduce chance variation in the

An observed effect so large that it would rarely
occur by chance is called statistically
significant. A statistically significant
association in data from a well-designed
experiment does imply causation.
Cautions About Experimentation
The logic of a randomized comparative experiment
depends on our ability to treat all the subjects
the same in every way except for the actual
treatments being compared.
A placebo is a dummy treatment. Experiments in
medicine and psychology often give a placebo to a
control group because just being in an experiment
can affect responses.
In a double-blind experiment, neither the
subjects nor those who interact with them and
measure the response variable know which
treatment a subject received.
Matched Pairs Designs
A common type of randomized design for comparing
two treatments is a matched pairs design. The
idea is to create blocks by matching pairs of
similar experimental units.
A matched pairs design compares two treatments.
Choose pairs of subjects that are as closely
matched as possible. Use chance to decide which
subject in a pair gets the first treatment. The
other subject in that pair gets the other
treatment. Sometimes, a pair in a matched
pairs design consists of a single unit that
receives both treatments. Since the order of the
treatments can influence the response, chance is
used to determine which treatment is applied
first for each unit.
Chapter 9 Objectives Review
  • Distinguish between observations and experiments
  • Identify subjects, factors, and treatments
  • Design randomized comparative experiments
  • Describe cautions about experimentation
  • Describe matched pairs designs
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