Marketing Faculty Publications and Presentations

Best practices for implementing experimental research methods

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Experimental research methods have a long history across a number of different disciplines—including consumer research. Although experiments are just one of many alternative research methods, experiments are notable because they are the best way to establish causation. This makes experiments a powerful tool when researchers need to show cause and effect relationships. In this article, we provide best practices for implementing experimental research methods in consumer studies. Specifically, we discuss several important topics researchers need to consider when designing experiments, including developing hypotheses, operationalizing the variables (manipulated or measured), deciding on the research design (between-subjects, within-subjects, or mixed), selecting the research setting (laboratory, field, or online), understanding the main effect (via moderation, mediation, or moderated mediation), including manipulation and attention checks, determining the sample size, and choosing participants. We provide recommendations that researchers can use to conduct high-quality experiments in a consumer context.


© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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International Journal of Consumer Studies