PRACTICAL PROBLEMS IN THE DESIGN OF FIELD EXPERIMENTS

CONSIDERATION OF THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AS WELL AS THE SELECTION OF STATISTICAL METHODS FOR DATA ACQUISITION AND ANALYSIS IS MANDATORY IN THE PLANNING PHASE OF ANY EXPERIMENT. THIS IS TRUE WHETHER IT IS TO BE PERFORMED IN THE LABORATORY OR IN THE FIELD. THERE ARE CERTAIN DIFFERENCES, HOWEVER, BETWEEN LABORATORY AND FIELD RESEARCH THAT MUST BE CONSIDERED IN THE FORMULATION OF A FIELD RESEARCH PROGRAM. THESE DIFFERENCES PRIMARILY RESULT BECAUSE THE ENVIRONMENT IS BEYOND CONTROL OF THE RESEARCHER. HOWEVER, OF ALMOST EQUAL CONCERN ARE THE MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS, PARTICULARLY PERSONNEL, THAT OCCUR IN THE FIELD. IF THESE FACTORS ARE NOT RECOGNIZED AND CONSIDERED IN THE EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AS POSSIBLE SOURCES OF VARIATION, THEIR EFFECTS WILL MOST CERTAINLY BE CONFOUNDED WITH THE RESPONSE OF THE MATERIAL, CONDITION, OR PROPERTY UNDER INVESTIGATION. THIS CONFOUNDING OF THE EFFECTS OF UNCONTROLLED VARIABLES WITH CONTROLLABLE AND MEASURED PARAMETERS UNDER TEST WILL PRODUCE INVALID QUANTITATIVE DATA; AND IN ADDITION, BECAUSE OF POSSIBLE INTERACTION AMONG THESE EFFECTS, STATISTICAL TESTS MAY ERRONEOUSLY INDICATE THAT SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES ARE OCCURRING FOR THE CONDITIONS BEING INVESTIGATED. IN REALITY, HOWEVER, THESE DIFFERENCES MAY BE INSIGNIFICANT. USUALLY, THE EFFECT OF THIS SORT OF CONFUSION IS TO LIMIT THE ABILITY TO DETECT CHANGES IN TEST PARAMETERS WHEN THEY DO OCCUR. /AUTHOR/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Pagination: pp 15-18
  • Monograph Title: Research project design and program development
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00200434
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 2 1971 12:00AM