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Random assignment of participants helps to ensure that any differences between and within the groups are not systematic at the outset of the experiment.
At the end of the experiment, the experimenter finds differences between the Experimental group and the Control group.
Because each participant had an equal chance of being placed in any group, it is unlikely the differences could be attributable to some other preexisting attribute of the participant, e.g. Random assignment does not guarantee that the groups are matched or equivalent.
people who arrive early versus people who arrive late.
Imagine the experimenter instead uses a coin flip to randomly assign participants.
What is a random sample, you may be asking, and why would you need one?
Well let’s say, for example, that you want to survey your customers to understand how you’re meeting their needs, and how you could do better. You’re obviously not going to survey every single person in this population.
Random assignment or random placement is an experimental technique for assigning human participants or animal subjects to different groups in an experiment (e.g., a treatment group versus a control group) using randomization, such as by a chance procedure (e.g., flipping a coin) or a random number generator.
This ensures that each participant or subject has an equal chance of being placed in any group.
You want to make sure your sample is randomly selected (hence, a random sample) to make sure that everyone in your sampling frame has an equal chance of being selected.
You don’t want to just select a “convenience sample,” the last 20 people who ordered from you, the last 20 customers when they’re listed alphabetically, etc. If you sample the last 20 customers for example, they may be your newest customers who are only familiar with your most recent products or website design.