This paper will work to design an experiment that will be utilized to test some of the aspects discussed in the previous week’s discussion regarding the described DUI Task Force. In keeping with following the basic steps of conducting an experiment, this mock experiment will include a pre-test, random assignment to a control group and treatment group, a treatment, and a post test. Included will be information regarding the experiment design, the data collection method, what the anticipated results of the experiment will be, and the potential major threats to the experiment resulting from internal and external validity.
Keywords: mock experiment, DUI Task Force, experiment design, anticipated findings, potential threats
DUI Task Force Experiment
The pretest-posttest design is widely utilized for the purposes of behavioral research, as we will be completing with the DUI Task Force Experiment (Dimitrov & Rumrill, 2003). The posttest works to determine the effectiveness of the experiment, while the pretest provides the means of comparison for the final results, showing how great the achievement is (Merriam Webster, 2014).
In working to design an experiment to determine the effectiveness of the DUI Task Force and whether or not it has been able to reduce recidivism, as it was intended (Troy and Alana Park Foundation, n.d.), the pretest that must be utilized is a review of the DUI statistics for the county prior to the creation of the task force. The control group, utilized for the baseline measure, will be one of the neighboring counties, wherein no DUI Task Force is in effect, to be selected at random indicating that it does not receive the treatment, the task force, that our county does (Control and Treatment Groups, n.d.); as all neighboring counties are of similar size and population density this will meet the requirements of a randomized control group pretest-posttest design (Dimitrov & Rumrill, 2003). The data to be collected for the purposes of determining the success of the experimental treatment would consist of an analysis of the tickets that have been written during the six month time period following the creation of the task force, looking at the total number of tickets and offenses during this time, the amount of repeat offenders, and a comparison of this data to the pretest data collected regarding the six month period prior to the task force’s creation. In light of past research into this matter, I would expect that the total number of DUIs during this time period would have decreased drastically, as would the rate of recidivism (Frequently Asked Questions, 2010). Major threats of validity to the experiment would be due to the fact that I was reviewing the success or failure of my own department and my own task force, resulting in the potential skewing of data, or potential bias. In addition, all tickets may not yet be entered into the system resulting in an inaccurate portrayal of analyzed data, and the amount of time that it would take to review the data, causing a potential call for the invalidity of the data itself.
- Bakersfield Police Department. (2010). Frequently asked questions. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.bakersfieldcity.us/police/pdfs/2010%20DUI%20FAQ%20FINAL.pdf [Accessed: 31 Jan 2014].
- Dimitrov, D. M. & Rumrill, P. D. (2003). Pretest-posttest designs and measurement of change. Work: A Journal Of Prevention, Assessment And Rehabilitation, 20 (2), pp. 159–165. Retrieved from: http://www.phys.lsu.edu/faculty/browne/MNS_Seminar/JournalArticles/Pretest-posttest_design.pdf [Accessed: 26 Feb 2014].
- Merriam Webster. (2014). Posttest – definition and more from the free merriam-webster dictionary. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/posttest [Accessed: 27 Feb 2014].
- Ncsu.edu. (n.d.). Control and treatment groups. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.ncsu.edu/labwrite/Experimental%20Design/controltreatmentgr.htm [Accessed: 27 Feb 2014].
- Troy and Alana Park Foundation. (n.d.). Dui task force final report. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.troyandalana.org/duifinalreport.doc [Accessed: 31 Jan 2014].