research that manipulates one or more variables, while controlling other factors, to determine the effects on one or more other variables. (47)
the method of choice to study cause-and-effect relationships; the researcher randomly assigns participants to different conditions and ensures that these conditions are identical except for the independent variable (the one thought to have a causal effect on people's responses)
in marketing and advertising research, a technique that utilizes a controlled situation, in which one or more factors are manipulated by the marketer or advertiser, for example, allowing subjects' behavior to be monitored to determine cause and effect; can be useful in helping to determine the impact of an increase in the advertising budget or the use of specific media vehicles. Essentially, the manipulation of an independent variable (e.g., advertising dollars) to observe the effect on a dependent variable of interest (e.g., sales) to the advertiser or researcher. Often used to compare the responses of two or more groups that are alike in all ways except for the variable being tested. Typically involves comparing a “test group” with a “control group,” or the group not receiving the test treatment. See independent variable and dependent variable.
the use of controlled observations and measurements to test hypotheses
An approach used in research, in which a hypothesis is tested under controlled conditions to determine a relationship (possibly causal) between two or more variables.
Galileo's greatest achievement; rather than speculate about what might or should happen in an experiment, he conducted controlled experiments to find out what actually did happen. (p. 599)