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The Critical Characteristics of an Experiment

When it comes to research, scientists can either support or deny some ideas with the help of various means, and an experiment is among them. An experiment is a way to identify what outcomes can occur when appropriate conditions are preserved. Here, one should mention that the credibility and relevance of such an investigation depend on its methods and procedures. If it is proved that the authors have utilized an unbiased approach to conducting an experiment and interpreting its results, it is possible to rely on the new data. Otherwise, a piece of research will raise a few concerns. Thus, the main aim of this assignment is to evaluate the experiment by Ellen Langer and determine whether it is a qualitative experiment.

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According to Langer, a famous psychologist, people can use their thoughts to control the state of their physical health. CBS This Morning (2014) explains that the hypothesis of Langer’s experiment was the existence of mind-body unity. It means that when people think appropriately, they can improve their health. CBS This Morning (2014) stipulates that Langer’s experiment was to place 70-year-old men in the environment as if it was 20 years earlier, and the men reported better memory and strength results. In addition to that, influencing the external conditions could reduce mortality as well as improve blood tests in patients with diabetes and cancer (CBS This Morning, 2014).

Even though the results above have the potential to change the health care industry significantly, it is impossible to leave them without skepticism. Thus, Coyne (2014) emphasizes that the results are not valid because the research did not offer any tables or statistical data. Consequently, these positive outcomes do not have evidence that would prove their credibility. Furthermore, the study by Langer has not been described in peer-reviewed articles written by other scientists (Coyne, 2014). It means that there are some questions about the credibility of the research under consideration.

According to the information above, it is possible to suppose the critical characteristics of an experiment. Firstly, it should have a concise theory or hypothesis that needs consideration. This central idea determines the procedure of the given work. Secondly, the methods of an experiment should be described in detail. It is necessary to allow readers to understand how the authors have managed to achieve appropriate outcomes.

Finally, an experiment should present statistical data to support the credibility of the results and avoid any misunderstanding. Thus, it is a challenging task to design high-quality research. However, I could cope with the assignment if I were asked to do so. In this case, I would draw specific attention to the transparency and description of the methods and procedures. In addition to that, I would present tables with statistical data to explain why appropriate outcomes were generated.

The issues described above make it possible to suppose that this topic will draw attention to the quality of research. I think that we will learn how to differentiate between qualitative and doubtful studies. Furthermore, the theme will describe what phenomena should be present to mean that an experiment or study is trustworthy. I believe that the learning goals above are essential for the whole world. It is so because they contribute to the fact that many future studies will meet the requirements of credibility. Consequently, it means that the given topic will allow researchers to make the world a better place to live.


CBS This Morning. (2014). Can your mental attitude reverse the effects of aging? [Video file]. Web.

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Coyne, J. (2014). Eminent Harvard psychologist, mother of positive psychology, New Age quack? Web.

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