Controlling Extraneous Variables

In the process of carrying out experiments, there are certain variables that can affect the results and would therefore require to be controlled. By controlling these factors, the researcher is assured that any changes observed in the dependent variable are as result manipulations in the independent variable.
In the process of carrying control of the extraneaous variables, one of the techniques available is the use of standardized procedures. This method involved ensuring that all aspects of an experiment that are similar with an exception of the independent variable. To achieve this, the researcher aims to recruit participants using the same method, carry out the experiment in the same setting, and provide similar rewards for participation in the study (Breckler & Wiggins, 2005). The participants also get the same set of explanation and feedback. The standardization technique ensures that dependent variable is not affected by other factor other than the intended experimentation.
The other method that the researchers can use to reduce the effect of extraneous variable to the dependent variable is through the use of random assignment. This method aims at ensuring that all participants have a similar chance of being selected for the experimentation process. Through the use of random assignment, there is a reduction in the possibility that the personal characteristics of the participants will be likely to influence the independent variables. Random assignment may happen in three ways; random selection from population to achieve external validity; random assignment to groups thereby ascertaining internal validity, randomization of treatment that seeks to reduce the impact of researcher’s internal biases. Use of random assignment can therefore be regarded as a powerful procedure that can be used to assert that post-treatment differences are actually as a result of treatment but not before (Street, 1995).
Breckle ,S. J., Olson, J., & Wiggins, E. (2005). Social psychology alive. Cengage Learning.
Street, D. (1995). Controlling Extraneous Variables in Experiemental Research: A Research Note. Accounting Education , 168-188.

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