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Another route to broadening the scope of social psychology: Ecologically valid research

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 2004

Samuel D. Gosling*
Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX78712-0187


An imbalance is identified in social psychology between controlled experimental studies (which are common) and real-world, ecologically valid studies (which are rare). The preponderance of experimental studies (which provide mere existence proofs and lack realism) helps fuel social psychology's fault-finding focus. Laboratory experiments and ecological studies should be pursued jointly to examine social life in the real world.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2004

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