How is the aim of an experiment stated?

Being able to clearly state the aim of an experiment, or any study, is important for when you want to clearly describe a study. It is also a key part of the internal assessment.

Since the purpose (or aim) of conducting a “true” laboratory experiment is to investigate a cause and effect relationship between two variables, this should be reflected in the aim.

The “aim” of a research study simply refers to what it intends to find out. In experiments, this usually involves investigating the cause and effect relationship between two variables. These two variables we call in an experiment the independent variable (IV) and the dependent variable (DV).

So the statement of an aim should show the relationship between the two variables. The verbs “investigate” and “determine” are common when stating an aim.

Here are some examples:

  • To investigate the effects of acetylcholine depletion on visuo-spatial memory of rats (Martinez and Kesner)
  • To see if the observation of an aggressive model results in copying of the observed behaviour (Bandura)
  • To investigate the effects of environmental stimulation on brain development (Rosenzweig and Bennett).