chapter  1
Experimental Research Methods in Consumer Psychology
WithFrank R. Kardes, Paul M. Herr
Pages 14

Experimental methodology is the cornerstone of scientific research in consumer psychology. Unlike other research methods, random assignment of subjects to conditions controls for all extraneous variables, including ones the researcher has not considered. True experiments also ensure that the independent variable (or presumed cause) precedes the dependent variable (or presumed effect), unlike correlational research methods which beg questions about which came first, the proverbial chicken or the egg. The ability to control for all extraneous variables permits researchers to draw stronger inferences on the basis of experimental methods than on the basis of correlational methods (Aronson, Ellsworth, Carlsmith, & Gonzales, 1990).