True Experiments and Causation

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In research, a causal connection between independent and dependent variables is a critical component. It is therefore important to understand the meaning of causation in order to determine whether an experiment is causally valid. We generally view the concept of cause in the context of cause and effect as one action that may cause another to occur. View the Crime Analyst in Action media resource (attached) for an example of data quality and validity before answering these questions. With variables, the independent variable is considered the cause and the dependent variable is considered the effect. Therefore, a causal connection exists when a change to the independent variable is followed by a change to a dependent variable. It follows that association in research refers to that change in the independent variable being associated with the change in the dependent variable, therefore solidifying the causal relationship. There must be an association for a causal connection to exist between these variables in research.

For this discussion, select a true experiment from the Journal of Experimental Criminology (attached)

In your main post:

  1. Diagram the selected experiment using the exhibits in Chapter 6 of your Fundamentals of Research In Criminology and Criminal Justice text as a model (chapter attached).
  2. Explain the extent to which experimental conditions were controlled and the causal mechanism was identified.
  3. Specify the independent and dependent variables in the true experiment selected.
  4. Determine whether an association exists between the independent and dependent variables in the true experiment.
  5. Express how generalizable you think the study’s results are to the population from which the cases were selected.

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