design of experiments

The design of experiments (DOE, DOX, or experimental design) is the design of any task that aims to describe or explain the variation of information under conditions that are hypothesized to reflect the variation. The term is generally associated with true experiments in which the design introduces conditions that directly affect the variation, but may also refer to the design of quasi-experiments, in whichnatural conditions that influence the variation are selected for observation.

In its simplest form, an experiment aims at predicting the outcome by introducing a change of the preconditions, which is reflected in a variable called the predictor. The change in the predictor is generally hypothesized to result in a change in the second variable, hence called the outcome variable. Experimental design involves not only the selection of suitable predictors and outcomes, but planning the delivery of the experiment under statistically optimal conditions given the constraints of available resources.

Main concerns in experimental design include the establishment of validity, reliability, and replicability. For example, these concerns can be partially addressed by carefully choosing the predictor, reducing the risk of measurement error, and ensuring that the documentation of the method is sufficiently detailed. Related concerns include achieving appropriate levels of statistical power and sensitivity.

Correctly designed experiments advance knowledge in the natural and social sciences and engineering. Other applications include marketing and policy making.

Design of Experiments (DOE)


  1. Introduction
  2. Preparation
  3. Components of Experimental Design
  4. Purpose of Experimentation
  5. Design Guidelines
  6. Design Process
  7. One Factor Experiments
  8. Multi-factor Experiments
  9. Taguchi Methods

In the design of experiments, optimal designs (or optimum designs[2]) are a class of experimental designs that are optimal with respect to some statistical criterion. The creation of this field of statistics has been credited to Danish statistician Kirstine Smith.[3][4]

In the design of experiments for estimating statistical models, optimal designs allow parameters to be estimated without bias and withminimum variance. A non-optimal design requires a greater number of experimental runs to estimate the parameters with the sameprecision as an optimal design. In practical terms, optimal experiments can reduce the costs of experimentation.

The optimality of a design depends on the statistical model and is assessed with respect to a statistical criterion, which is related to the variance-matrix of the estimator. Specifying an appropriate model and specifying a suitable criterion function both require understanding ofstatistical theory and practical knowledge with designing experiments.

Three Needs Theory

Need theory, also known as Three Needs Theory,[1] proposed by psychologist David McClelland, is a motivational model that attempts to explain how the needs for achievement,power, and affiliation affect the actions of people from a managerial context. This model was developed in the 1960s soon after Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in the 1940s. McClelland stated that we all have these three types of motivation regardless of age, sex, race, or culture. The type of motivation by which each individual is driven derives from their life experiences and the opinions of their culture. This need theory is often taught in classes concerning management or organizational behaviour.

David Kolb learning style inventory

Kolb – Learning Styles
by Saul McLeod published 2010, updated 2013

David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984 from which he developed his learning style inventory.

Kolb’s experiential learning theory works on two levels: a four stage cycle of learning and four separate learning styles. Much of Kolb’s theory is concerned with the learner’s internal cognitive processes.

Kolb states that learning involves the acquisition of abstract concepts that can be applied flexibly in a range of situations. In Kolb’s theory, the impetus for the development of new concepts is provided by new experiences.

“Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (Kolb, 1984, p. 38).

Gerard Hendrik (Geert) Hofstede

Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication, developed by Geert Hofstede. It describes the effects of a society’s culture on thevalues of its members, and how these values relate to behavior, using a structure derived from factor analysis.[1]

Hofstede developed his original model as a result of using factor analysis to examine the results of a world-wide survey of employee values by IBM between 1967 and 1973. It has been refined since. The original theory proposed four dimensions along which cultural values could be analyzed: individualism-collectivism; uncertainty avoidance; power distance (strength of social hierarchy) and masculinity-femininity (task orientation versus person-orientation). Independent research in Hong Kong led Hofstede to add a fifth dimension, long-term orientation, to cover aspects of values not discussed in the original paradigm. In 2010 Hofstede added a sixth dimension, indulgence versus self-restraint.

Hofstede’s work established a major research tradition in cross-cultural psychology and has also been drawn upon by researchers and consultants in many fields relating to international business and communication. The theory has been widely used in several fields as a paradigm for research, particularly in cross-cultural psychology, international management, and cross-cultural communication. It continues to be a major resource in cross-cultural fields. It has inspired a number of other major cross-cultural studies of values, as well as research on other aspects of culture, such as social beliefs.

Gerard Hendrik (Geert) Hofstede (born 2 October 1928) is a Dutch social psychologist, former IBM employee, and Professor Emeritus of Organizational Anthropology and International Management at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, well known for his pioneering research on cross-cultural groups and organizations.

His most notable work has been in developing cultural dimensions theory. Here he describes national cultures along six dimensions: Power Distance, Individualism, Uncertainty avoidance, Masculinity, Long Term Orientation, and Indulgence vs. restraint. He is known for his books Culture’s Consequences and Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, co-authored with his son Gert Jan Hofstede.[1][2] The latter book deals with organizational culture, which is a different structure from national culture, but also has measurable dimensions, and the same research methodology is used for both.

Dimensions of national cultures

Differences between the degrees within the Power Distance Index.

  • Power distance index (PDI): The power distance index is defined as “the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.” In this dimension, inequality and power is perceived from the followers, or the lower level. A higher degree of the Index indicates that hierarchy is clearly established and executed in society, without doubt or reason. A lower degree of the Index signifies that people question authority and attempt to distribute power.[6]

Differences between the degrees within the Individualism vs. Collectivism index.

  • Individualism vs. collectivism (IDV): This index explores the “degree to which people in a society are integrated into groups.” Individualistic societies have loose ties that often only relates an individual to his/her immediate family. They emphasize the “I” versus the “we.” Its counterpart, collectivism, describes a society in which tightly-integrated relationships tie extended families and others into in-groups. These in-groups are laced with undoubted loyalty and support each other when a conflict arises with another in-group.[6][7]

Differences between the degrees within the Uncertainty Avoidance Index.

  • Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI): The uncertainty avoidance index is defined as “a society’s tolerance for ambiguity,” in which people embrace or avert an event of something unexpected, unknown, or away from the status quo. Societies that score a high degree in this index opt for stiff codes of behavior, guidelines, laws, and generally rely on absolute Truth, or the belief that one lone Truth dictates everything and people know what it is. A lower degree in this index shows more acceptance of differing thoughts/ideas. Society tends to impose fewer regulations, ambiguity is more accustomed to, and the environment is more free-flowing.[6][7]

Differences between the degrees within the Masculinity vs. Femininity index.

  • Masculinity vs. femininity (MAS): In this dimension, masculinity is defined as “a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success.” Its counterpart represents “a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life.” Women in the respective societies tend to display different values. In feminine societies, they share modest and caring views equally with men. In more masculine societies, women are more emphatic and competitive, but notably less emphatic than the men. In other words, they still recognize a gap between male and female values. This dimension is frequently viewed as taboo in highly masculine societies.[6][7]

Differences between the degrees within the Long-Term vs. Short-Term Orientation index.

  • Long-term orientation vs. short-term orientation (LTO): This dimension associates the connection of the past with the current and future actions/challenges. A lower degree of this index (short-term) indicates that traditions are honored and kept, while steadfastness is valued. Societies with a high degree in this index (long-term) views adaptation and circumstantial, pragmatic problem-solving as a necessity. A poor country that is short-term oriented usually has little to no economic development, while long-term oriented countries continue to develop to a point.[6][7]

Differences between the degrees within the Indulgent vs. Restraint index.

  • Indulgence vs. restraint (IND): This dimension is essentially a measure of happiness; whether or not simple joys are fulfilled. Indulgence is defined as “a society that allows relatively free gratification of basic and natural human desires related to enjoying life and having fun.” Its counterpart is defined as “a society that controls gratification of needs and regulates it by means of strict social norms.” Indulgent societies believe themselves to be in control of their own life and emotions; restrained societies believe other factors dictate their life and emotions.[6][7]

Earl Nightingale

Published on Aug 12, 2013
Born in Los Angeles, California in 1921, by 1933, his father had left him, his mother and two brothers. At the bottom of the Great Depression with millions unemployed, Earl’s mother worked at the WPA sewing factory to provide for her three boys. They lived in a tent in Tent City, behind the Mariner Apartments on the waterfront in Long Beach, California, and while being poor didn’t seem to bother most of the other kids, it bothered Earl, and he wanted to know why they were so poor, while others, he observed, appeared to be so rich. Why some people were so miserable, while others, so happy. Simply, what made people turn out the way they do.

Learning taxonomy

Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy

If you have trouble accessing the interactive Flash-based model below, the content is available in a text-only table. View Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy Model (text-only)website.

SOLO Taxonomy

SOLO Taxonomy (structure of observed learning outcomes) provides a simple, reliable and robust model for three levels of understanding – surface deep and conceptual (Biggs and Collis 1982).

The SOLO taxonomy stands for:

Structure of

It was developed by Biggs and Collis (1982), and is well described in Biggs and Tang (2007)

It describes level of increasing complexity in a student’s understanding of a subject, through five stages, and it is claimed to be applicable to any subject area. Not all students get through all five stages, of course, and indeed not all teaching (and even less “training”) is designed to take them all the way.

Read more: SOLO taxonomy
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