Children between the age of three and five will be tested with a new drug to reduce hyperactivity. In this experiment there should be three groups with three different ages: three years, four years, and five years old. In each group there should be an equal number of boys and girls. For each experimental group there will be a control group. Children will be chosen through random assignment to be placed in the experimental group or the control group.
The six groups will be placed in a kid-friendly environment, such as a playground, for one hour. The playground will be in a public area such as a park so that the kids’ mothers can observe their behavior for the next hour. Each group will be in a separate yet identical playground. Each kid in each group will be given a certain amount of sugar to increase hyperactivity (in this case sugar can range from pure table sugar in a drink to simple carbs for longer sustained energy). Every kid, in either case, will receive the same form of sugar. Immediately after each kid in the experimental group has received their sugar substance, the kids will be able to play for exactly half an hour and can interact with their mothers if they please. (The mothers would have filled out a question form which grades their child’s normal everyday behavior as hyperactive or not). After the half hour, the kids will be called back for a five minute rest break in which they receive a drink with the drug. The experimental group will actually receive the drug while the control group will receive the placebo. Also in this case, the mothers will not know whether their child has received the actual drug or the placebo. Here, the independent variable will be drug or no drug. The kids will be able to go back to the playground for another half hour while the mothers observe their behavior. (An alternative for a control can include giving the control group kids a sugar alternative and the experimental group real sugar. Again, the mothers will not know what their kid has received. After the first half, the experimental group will be given the real drug and the control group will receive a placebo. After receiving the mother’s feedback, it will be easy to determine if the results were because of true affects or observer bias).
At the end of the second half hour, the mothers will be called back and the hyperactivity will be measured. In this case hyperactivity will be the dependent variable. Since hyperactivity cannot be physically measured, it will be up to the mothers to decide if a) when the child was given the sugar did they display hyperactive behavior and b) when the drug or placebo was given to the child was hyperactivity reduced (keeping in mind the mothers will not know if their child received the placebo or the drug). Some examples of hyperactivity the mothers can chose from include excessive running, screaming, jumping, restlessness, etc. At the end of the experiment the mothers will be asked to grade their children on a scale of one to ten of hyperactivity, with one being less hyper and ten being more hyper.
Finally, the results will be put into two tables. The first table will be the control group with a sum of the scores from before on one side and the sum from after on the other side (the same will be done for the experimental group results). The greater the difference between the before scores and after scores will allow for a valid conclusion. For example, if the total for the control group before the drug was 49 and total after the drug were 28, the difference would be 21. If the same were done for the experimental group with a score of 47 before the drug and a score of 15 after, the difference would be 32. Since the latter difference is bigger, it would be safe to assume that the drug worked since neither the mothers nor the kids knew if they received a placebo or the actual drug. To improve reliability, the experiment should be replicated but should only focus on specific age groups instead an age range. Also, each age group’s results should be analyzed separately. To get even more specific results, the scores of the girls and the boys should be separated to determine what gender the drug had a great affect on.