Designing online experiments

Michael H. Birnbaum

in Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199561803
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Designing online experiments

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  • Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology



This article focuses on the design of Internet-based experiments. It discusses the five criteria of a theory, between- versus within-subject designs, representative design, and systextual design. The results of psychological experiments can and do depend on the experimental designs used to establish causal effects. For example, the effect of a variable can be opposite in within- as opposed to between-subjects designs. It can also be reversed when the correlations among independent variables are manipulated via systextual design. These findings mean that the conclusions one draws need to be restricted to the type of experimental design used until one has established the effects of experimental designs themselves.

Keywords: Internet-based experimenting; experimental methods; Internet-based research; experimental design; psychological experiments

Article.  7463 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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