ORIGINAL PAPER
Field experiment in psychology. Is there still room for conducting research in natural conditions?
 
 
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Faculty of Psychology, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Wroclaw, Poland
Submission date: 2020-05-07
Final revision date: 2020-06-04
Acceptance date: 2020-06-04
Online publication date: 2020-07-10
Publication date: 2020-07-10
 
Health Psychology Report 2020;8(4):428–434
 
KEYWORDS
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ABSTRACT
Background:
This paper reflects on the status of the field experiment in contemporary psychology (especially its social branch). The subject of analysis is how frequently this method is used, especially in the context of the growing popularity of on-line research.

Participants and procedure:
The empirical part of the article presents an experiment revealing the uniqueness of the field experiment as a method allowing for the identification of subtle variables that can have a real impact on the results obtained. In the whole study 128 people were examined (half of the group were women). The obtained results show that some phenomena cannot be examined in any other way than by means of the field experiment.

Results:
The process of moving away from the study of real behaviours in the real environment, observed over the last twenty years, has not stopped since the criticism of this phenomenon expressed about 20 years ago. On the contrary, it has intensified. The phenomenon described in the article is definitely harmful to the scientific disci-pline so strongly connected with the social context of research, namely social psychology.

Conclusions:
Time will show whether the increasingly loud voices criticising this trend will translate into an actual change of methods used by social psychologists.

 
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