Replication and Comparison
Replication is defined as the act of reproducing something. Scientifically, replication means that a scientific experiment is repeated towards a more consistent result (McKubre, 2008, p.1). Also, the study’s methods are repeated independently using different subjects in order to achieve the same results (Watson, Pyke, Lynch & Ochsendorf, n.d., p.1). From the experiment, the scientists segregated the 30 children in two groups, each of which consists of 15 children. Replication can be seen through this, because the scientist divided the children into two groups. One group would use the Brand A toothpaste while the other group would use Brand B.
Replication is important in conducting experiments because it leads to reliable and consistent findings. It can also produce reliable scientific discovery (Ting Lee, Kuo, Whitmore & Sklar, 2000). In addition, experimental replication can “foster a sense of reliability in the…implementation and certify the robustness or generalizability of initial findings when consistent data result” (Watson, Pyke, Lynch & Ochsendorf, n.d., p.1).
Comparison, on the other hand, defines the effect that a certain experimental treatment will have on the behavior or phenomenon. It is important in experiments because through comparison can scientists determine if the applied treatment is effective. The before-and-after treatment is the “most primitive kind” of comparison (Freed, 1999, p.71).
From the experiment, the scientist gave instructions on how and when the children should brush their teeth with the respective brands of toothpaste. After a period of time, the children were taken to the dentist to see which brand of toothpaste was effective. Thus, the comparison is between Brand A and Brand B.
Freed, W.J. (1999). Neural transplantation: An introduction. United States: MIT Press.
McKubre, M.C.H. (2008). The importance of replication. LENR-CANR. Retrieved March 27, 2009, from http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/McKubreMCHtheimporta.pdf
Ting Lee, M-L., Kuo, F.C., Whitmore, G.A. and Sklar, J. (2000). Importance of replication in microarray gene expression studies: Statistical methods and evidence from repetitive cDNA hybridizations. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 97(18), 9834-9839.
Watson, W., Pyke, C., Lynch, S. and Ochsendorf, R. (n.d.). Understanding the effectiveness of curriculum materials through replication: Three quasi-experiments on a middle school unit on motion and forces. The George Washington University. Retrieved March 27, 2009, from http://www.gwu.edu/~scale-up/documents/NARST_Understanding%20Effectiveness_2007.pdf