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Pilot Study

Pilot Study

Description:

This lesson will explain why pilot surveys are sometimes used.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

This tutorial will cover the basics of pilot studies. You’ll learn about:

  1. Pilot Studies
  2. Pilot Surveys

1. Pilot Studies

Pilot studies are very popular with clinical trials. Clinical trials are specific kinds of experiments where pharmaceutical companies or government entities test newly developed drugs on humans to try and determine if it's safe and if it's effective as a treatment. Clinical trials are typically the last step in bringing a new drug to market. They take a lot of time and require a lot of money from the drug company to fund all of this research.

Because trials are so expensive and time-consuming, many drug companies will perform their clinical trials in waves, starting with a smaller-scale project called a pilot experiment. That way, the company won't waste all their time and money on a clinical trial for a drug that might not do anything.

Terms to Know

Pilot Study

A smaller scale version of an experiment, survey, or observational study to determine if there is reason to do a larger version of the study.

Pilot Experiment

A smaller scale version of an experiment to determine if there is reason to do a larger version of the experiment.

So a pilot is a smaller, less time-consuming, less expensive version of the experiment. If the results are promising, meaning that the drug does appear safe and effective, then the experimenters will continue with a bigger experiment. So a pilot is just the first test that we'll see if the experiment makes sense to continue.


2. Pilot Surveys

You can also do pilots surveys, because a smaller-scale survey may be useful to determine whether the larger-scale version will be necessary

Term to Know

Pilot Survey

A smaller scale version of a survey to determine if there is reason to do a larger version of the survey.

ExampleSuppose that, rather than giving an entire organization an employee culture survey, they give it only to a few people in the company, a small subset. And maybe if that subset shows glaring concerns, maybe they're not happy with their workplace, then the company will administer the survey to the rest of the employees. But if they don't see any reason to continue, maybe they won't administer the survey to the entire company because it might be a waste of time.


Summary

Pilot studies are early, less time-consuming, less expensive versions of a large-scale study. You can do this in pilot surveys, or you can do it as a pilot experiment. And they're done to see if there's even a reason to pursue a larger scale experiment. So whoever is going to do this is concerned about wasting time, energy, resources, and money when they really might not need to. So pilot experiments are going to be smaller experiments. And pilot surveys are going to be smaller versions of a larger survey.

Thank you and good luck.

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR JONATHAN OSTERS

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Pilot Survey

    A smaller scale version of a survey to determine if there is reason to do a larger version of the survey.

  • Pilot Study

    A smaller scale version of an experiment, survey, or observational study to determine if there is reason to do a larger version of the study.

  • Pilot Experiment

    A smaller scale version of an experiment to determine if there is reason to do a larger version of the experiment.