Large-N Designs Small-N (or N = 1) Designs
  • conclusions drawn from comparisons between conditions with substantial numbers of subjects
  • participants are grouped and treated not as a individuals but as a whole
  • means are used to describe the average behavior of the group
  • statistical tests are used to determine how reliable the data are
  • focus on behavior of a single individual or small group of individuals (repeated measures designs)
  • individuals’ data are presented
  • replication is used to determine the reliability of data
  • some areas in psychology have a tradition of small-n designs
    • operant conditioning – B.F. Skinner
    • psychophysics
    • clinical settings  (applied behavioral analysis)
  • evaluation of data by visual inspection (inferential statistics often not used)