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Impacts of History Effects on Research Design

Impacts of History Effects on Research Design

History effects refer to unrelated events whose occurrence in the research environment alters the study’s conditions, affecting its outcome. These activities may occur prior to the study, at the beginning of experimentation, or during the post-test (Slocum et. al., 2022). History effects may have significant impacts on the research’s internal validity, especially if it alters the score of one group more than the other and the scores of independent and dependent variables.

The history effect is likely to impact the final findings of a study. For example, an organization’s management informs employees about upcoming layoffs a week into the completion of the study. The news stresses the study’s participants on the post-test, resulting in possible negative impacts on their performance. The historical effects depend on the timing, magnitude, and length of the study. In the presented case study, the layoffs and the study are unrelated things, but the news will affect the participants’ performance because of the resultant uncertainties (Flannelly et. al., 2018). The news about upcoming layoffs is a threat to validity; it will change the participants’ perceptions of the organization. The change results to altered scores, which may not give a clear picture to estimate validity. History effects consider only factors that are likely to change the performance of the scores.

Events associated with historical effects are unpredictable, making it challenging to plan for them during the research. Besides, it is difficult to curb the internal validity threats emanating from the historical effect event. Researchers face tough times in their attempt to maintain the study’s original objective in the event of historical effect. The important thing that the researcher should focus on is the magnitude and impact of the historical effect and devise an explanation about its impact on the overall study.


Flannelly, K. J., Flannelly, L. T., & Jankowski, K. R. (2018). Threats to the internal validity of experimental and quasi-experimental research in healthcare. Journal of health care chaplaincy24(3), 107-130.

Slocum, T. A., Pinkelman, S. E., Joslyn, P. R., & Nichols, B. (2022). Threats to Internal Validity in Multiple-Baseline Design Variations. Perspectives on Behavior Science, 1-20.


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In this discussion, we examine the design and interpretation of social science research. Select one of the following (individual differences, history effects, response bias, regression to the mean, experimenter bias, testing effects, or participant reactions) and discuss the impact on research design.

Impacts of History Effects on Research Design

Impacts of History Effects on Research Design

Describe the issue and how it impacts the design considerations for the researcher. Explain how the issue impacts the estimation of validity and the interpretation of results

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