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Eugene Thomlinson

True experimentation, where an independent variable is altered to determine the effects on the dependent variable(s), is not a common research method for tourism research. While not applicable to most situations, it can be a valuable technique to better understand relationships and assign causation. Many key considerations can guide the successful use of experiments in tourism. Experimentation requires control and manipulated subjects, randomly assigned to the different conditions, to determine the impacts of the manipulation. To better assess the changes, only one factor should be altered at a time, and statistical tests that do not selectively leave out certain data should be employed. Ten possible errors can impact on the results of the experiment, so these need to be minimized through the experimental design chosen. Experiments can be more involved than other methods of tourism research, but when used in the right situations, they can be powerful tools in the researcher’s toolbox.