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People between the ages of 18 and 40 who sleep fewer than 6.5 hours per night for 12 months will have a larger
Body Mass Index than people who sleep more than 6.5 hours per night
DV: Increase in Body Mass Index
IV: Those who sleep fewer than 6.5 hrs or less vs. those who sleep more than 6.5 hours per night
Population: 18 – 40 Year olds
Prediction: Sleep deprived patients will have a higher BMI than non-sleep deprived subjects
Extraneous variables (EV) (the word extraneous means ‘outside’
So an EV is any variable outside the experimental design that may affect the D.V,
thereby having an unwanted effect on the results of the experiment and thus affecting the
ability of the researchers to draw conclusions.
So an EV is a variable other than the IV that may affect the DV
They can occur at any stage of an experiment – e.g. how the D.V was measured, how the
experimental group was treated (which may be different to treatment of control group)
EV’s occur randomly rather than systematically – i.e. they occur at a point of the
Identification of extraneous potential confounding variables
variable Description
The composition of the control
and experimental groups, may
contain significant difference
in terms of the intelligence,
past experience, memory
ability, gender mix, age spread,
etc – which may influence the
This involves subjects
standardised receiving different instructions,
conducting experiment in a
& procedures different context (different
time of day, different location
– could affect results)
Control group has
80% males,
group has 80%
females, gender
may affect results
Use a repeated-measures
design to eliminate
individual participant
differences or a matchedpairs design to reduce
individual participant
Comparing results
of Psych class A
(experiment done
Monday am, to
results of Psych
class B
(experiment done
Friday pm)
Use standardised
instructions and
procedures: i.e. same
experimenter, same
context, etc.
Order effect
(see below)
Experimenter (see below)
(see below)
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