The Experimental Method and Leisure/Recreation Research: Promoting A More Active Role Academic Article uri icon


  • Many past critiques have noted that experimental research has been underutilized in the study of leisure and recreation. This paper undertook a content analysis of experimental studies published from 1985 to 1989 which revealed that experiments are still not widely reported in most leisure and recreation journals. It also outlined the potential, purpose and application of experimental methodology and argued that experiments are useful not for description but for the analysis of relations and the development of law-like statements. Methodological issues including internal and external validity, randomization and control, and experimenter effects were examined. Examples drawn from the content analysis were used to illustrate the utility of experiments and to point out strategies for improving future experimental research efforts. © Presses de l’Université du Québec.

author list (cited authors)

  • Havitz, M. E., & Sell, J. A.

citation count

  • 8

publication date

  • January 1991