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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 47350 Find in a Library
Title: IN DEFENSE OF THE EXPERIMENTAL PARADIGM AS A TOOL FOR EVALUATION RESEARCH
Journal: EVALUATION  Volume:4  Dated:(1977)  Pages:14-18
Author(s): R APSLER
Corporate Author: Evaluation
501 South Park Avenue
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Evaluation
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A RESPONSE TO THE CRITICS OF THE EXPERIMENTAL PARADIGM AS A TOOL FOR EVALUATION RESEARCH IS PRESENTED, AND THE DECISION-THEORETIC APPROACH OFFERED AS AN ALTERNATIVE BY THESE CRITICS IS EXAMINED.
Abstract: THERE IS AGREEMENT AMONG MANY AUTHORS THAT EVALUATIVE RESEARCH INVOLVES USING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD TO ASSESS THE EXTENT TO WHICH SPECIFIED OBJECTIVES ARE ACHIEVED BY A PROGRAM. THE PARTICULAR FORM OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD THAT HAS DOMINATED EVALUATION RESEARCH HAS BEEN THE CLASSICAL EXPERIMENTAL PARADIGM, WHICH INVOLVES COMPARING TREATMENTS UNDER CONTROLLED CONDITIONS. CRITICS OF THE EXPERIMENTAL PARADIGM IN EVALUATION RESEARCH CLAIM THAT SOCIAL PROGRAMS CANNOT BE SUBJECTED TO THE CONTROL REQUIRED FOR APPROPRIATE APPLICATION OF THE PARADIGM. SPECIFICALLY, CRITICS CLAIM THAT EVALUATORS ATTEMPT TO TO PREVENT CHANGES IN THE PROGRAMS BEING EVALUATED FOR THE DURATION OF THE STUDY; THAT EVALUATORS FAIL TO INCORPORATE CONTINUOUS MEASUREMENT, RELYING INSTEAD SOLELY ON PREMEASUREMENT AND POSTMEASUREMENT; THAT THE CONCEPTUAL APPROACH TAKEN BY TRADITIONAL EVALUATORS IS WANTING; AND THAT TRADITIONAL EVALUATIONS ARE JUDGMENTAL. SUCH CRITICISMS ARE SAID TO BE INACCURATE AND TO BLAME EVALUATORS FOR THE LIMITATIONS OF THE PROGRAMS THEY ARE ASKED TO EVALUATE. THE DECISION-THEORETIC APPROACH IS SAID TO BE A POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO OTHER DECISIONMAKING OR PLANNING APPROACHES, BUT NOT TO THE EXPERIMENTAL PARADIGM. A RESPONSE TO THIS ARTICLE IS PRESENTED IN NCJ-47351. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Evaluation; Evaluation techniques; Evaluative research; Program evaluation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47350

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