field experiment

An experiment carried out in a ‘natural’ setting; that is, unlike in the case of laboratory experiments, the setting is not created by the researcher. Field experiments are relatively rare since identifying settings where experimental intervention is both feasible and ethical is difficult. Less artificial than laboratory experiments, fewer variables are controlled, so inferences are often difficult. For a review and discussion of examples see, Research Design (1987).

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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