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Research Methods - Being in Control

4. Experimental Controls

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we will think about experimental controls, focusing in particular on: (i) the importance of controls to ensure validity of results, by making sure you’re testing what you think you’re testing; (ii) examples of conditions to maintain e.g., time of day and information about the study disclosed; (iii) randomising and counterbalancing groups to ensure that extraneous variables or group allocations are not greatly impacting results; (iv) the specific effects of fatigue and practice, and the influence they can have on results.


In this course, Dr Ashok Jansari (Goldsmiths, University of London) explores points of consideration and control when designing and undertaking a scientific study. In the first lecture, we think about measurement levels by clearly defining nominal, ordinal, and interval data. In the second lecture, we think about how to construct a questionnaire, utilising open and closed questioning. In the third lecture, we think about variables by closely reviewing the role of independent, dependent, and extraneous variables within a study. Next, we think about experimental controls, going beyond just extraneous variables to think about randomisation and counterbalancing. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about demand characteristics and their impact, both as those which originate in the researcher as well as in the participant.


Dr Ashok Jansari is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Dr Jansari’s research interests include memory disorders, prosopagnosia, executive functions, and synaesthesia. Dr Jansari is most famous for his research into prosopagnosia, having made numerous TV appearances, including on BBC1’s The One Show, as well as hosting his own ‘Neuro Talk’ YouTube channel:

Some of Dr Jansari's recent publications include 'Acquired synaesthesia following 2C-B use' (2019), 'Using virtual reality to investigate multitasking ability in individuals with frontal lobe lesions' (2019), and 'Identification from CCTV: Assessing police super-recogniser ability to spot faces in a crown and susceptibility to change blindness' (2018).

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APA style

Jansari, A. (2022, March 03). Research Methods - Being in Control - Experimental Controls [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jansari, A. "Research Methods - Being in Control – Experimental Controls." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 03 Mar 2022,

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