I am setting up an experiment where I would like to determine whether there exists a difference between the participants' average self reported mental effort in some condition A and condition B.
The participants will have to do an exercise and report their invested mental effort. Because of learning effects, a participant should not perform the same exercises in both condition A and B. However, I still would like to account for the fact that participants can have a different 'base level' of invested mental effort.
To deal with this, I want to (randomly) split the sample into two groups. Group 1 will do exercise set 1 in condition A, and exercise set 2 in condition B. Vice versa, group 2 will do exercise set 2 in condition A, and exercise set 1 in condition B. This means that every participant will be in both condition A and B, but with different exercises.
However, I am unsure what test would be appropriate to compare the means in condition A and condition B. Even though each participant is in both condition A and B, it is not truly a paired design, because the exercise set is different. On the other hand, it is also not a truly independent sample design, because the same people are in condition A and B.
I am only interested in the difference between condition A and B, so not necessarily in the effect of the exercise set (1 or 2). However, should I still perform e.g. a mixed ANOVA? If so, I am a bit unsure on how to define the factors. Or does there exist another test that is appropriate for this type of experiment design?
Any help would be appreciated!