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SUBJECT POOL SIGN-UP PROCEDURES: A THREAT TO EXTERNAL VALIDITY

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Abstract:

The extent to which introductory psychology students' self-selection into experiments produced biased samples was assessed in two experiments. As part of the normal sign-up procedure, students chose between apparently different experiments with quite different descriptions and between individual and group sign-up slots. Upon arriving at the laboratory, all students filled out personality questionnaires. Results demonstrated that students sorted themselves into experiments as well as into individual group sign-up slots in relation to personality dimensions. The resulting samples in each experiment were thus non-representative of even the restricted introductory psychology subject population. Implications and recommendations for the use of such populations were discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1989.17.1.29

Publication date: January 1, 1989

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