Experiment Module 1


1.     What experimental design was used?

Dr. Amabile used an experimental design that included a control group and an experimental group. The subjects were randomly selected from girls of the ages 7-11.

2.     Identify each step of the scientific method.

First, Dr. Amabile perceived a question about whether or not an extrinsic reward affected girls’ creativity in art.  Second, her hypothesis was, If girls create art for an extrinsic reward, then the level of creativity in the art will be less. Third, Dr. Amabile tested her hypothesis by setting up a control and an experimental group. The control group was told to just have fun while creating art while the experimental group was told the top three best art pieces would win prizes. Fourth, Dr. Amabile concluded that the girls working for an extrinsic reward showed less creativity than the control group. This was determined when Dr. Amabile brought in local art critics and artists to judge the artwork for both groups. The art critics did not know which pieces were from which group. Finally, Dr. Amabile used the results for further studies.

3.     Identify each variable and group.

The independent variable in the experiment was the instructions, while the dependent variable was the level of creativity. The control group was not making art for a special prize and the experimental group was the one making art for an extrinsic reward.

4.     Describe any potential experimental hazards.

For the most part, this experiment was rather safe. One potential hazard, however, was the toxicity of the glue. Since this experiment was about creating a collage, scissors would be necessary which could have also been a potential experimental hazard.

5.     What were the findings?

Dr. Amabile found that the girls making art for an extrinsic reward had collages that were less creative than the girls making art for fun.

6.     Was the experiment ethical?

Yes, this experiment was ethical. No harm was inflicted on the subjects, no deception was present so no deception had to be justified, the rights and well beings of the subjects were protected, and the participants were informed before participating.