Publication Year: 2009
Authors/Editor: Rosenthal, Robert; Rosnow, Ralph L.
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
A classic book in the literature of artifacts in research and, more specifically, in the social psychology of behavioral research.
This new combination volume of three-books-in-one, dealing with the topic of artifacts in behavioral research, was designed as both introduction and reminder. It was designed as an introduction to the topic for graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and younger researchers. It was designed as a reminder to more experienced researchers, in and out of academia, that the problems of artifacts in behavioral research, that they may have learned about as beginning researchers, have not gone away.
For example, problems of experimenter effects have not been solved. Experimenters still differ in the ways in which they see, interpret, and manipulate their data. Experimenters still obtain different responses from research participants (human or infrahuman) as a function of experimenters' states and traits of biosocial, psychosocial, and situational origins.
Experimenters' expectations still serve too often as self-fulfilling prophecies, a problem that biomedical researchers have acknowledged and guarded against better than have behavioral researchers; e.g., many biomedical studies would be considered of unpublishable quality had their experimenters not been blind to experimental condition.
Problems of participant or subject effects have also not been solved. We usually still draw our research samples from a population of volunteers that differ along many dimensions from those not finding their way into our research. Research participants are still often suspicious of experimenters' intent, try to figure out what experimenters are after, and are concerned about what the experimenter thinks of them.