Research techniques generally involve the application of the scientific method which is comprised of observation, creation of a hypothesis, experimentation and the generation of a conclusion (Ziman, 2000). In the experiment of the effects of caffeine on memory, there should be some preliminary information whether one group did not drink any beverage that contains caffeine. The idea that the group was dismissed and asked to return after one hour doesn’t not show any control of the experiment. That same group may have gone to the nearest cafeteria and drank coffee, tea or cola and this would result in the same conditions that have been established with the group that was administered with 5 cups of coffee to consume. In addition, the experiment did not identify the independent and dependent variables.
For this experiment, the dependent variable is the coffee that is given to the group that was confined to stay within the room for one hour. In addition, there is no control over what the dismissed group did for an hour. They could even gone jogging and walking around the locality for an hour and thus memory will not be as good as the group that was kept inside the room for an hour because this group was at a resting condition and this helped them in their memory test. Another mistake is that the experiment should have applied a memory test before the group was segregated and before the coffee was administered to one group.
The results of this initial memory test will serve as a baseline data for the experiment. It may also be possible that the group that was given coffee was inherently good in memory skills and the coffee did not really help boost their memory. The experiment could turn out to be more reliable and robust if a memory test were given before and after giving coffee. In addition, it would be more helpful if the non-coffee drinking group were kept in another room so that other factors would not affect their results in the memory test. In addition, the baseline information on drinking coffee in both groups should be known. It would be better if both groups were non-coffee drinkers so that the administration of coffee to one group would be the only variable that will be considered in the experimental setup.
Ziman J (2000): Real science: What it is, and what it means. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.