Research methods

  • Research methods

    Posted by Leonardo on June 21, 2023 at 3:34 pm

    I’m studying the topic of research methods, could someone summarise the difference between experimental and non-experimental research designs and their strengths and limitations?

    Gaia replied 11 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Gaia

    June 28, 2023 at 2:03 pm

    Sure thing! Let’s discuss the difference between experimental and non-experimental research designs, along with their strengths and limitations:

    Experimental Research Design:

    • Experimental research involves manipulating independent variables to observe the effects on dependent variables. It aims to establish cause-and-effect relationships between variables.
    • The researcher randomly assigns participants to different groups: the experimental group (receives the manipulation) and the control group (does not receive the manipulation).
    • Strengths:
      • Allows for control over variables, which increases internal validity.
      • Enables researchers to draw causal conclusions by establishing cause-and-effect relationships.
      • Provides a systematic and rigorous approach to studying phenomena.
    • Limitations:
      • Findings may lack ecological validity, meaning they may not reflect real-world settings accurately.
      • Ethical concerns may arise when manipulating variables that could potentially harm participants.
      • Artificial laboratory settings may introduce demand characteristics or participant biases.

    Non-Experimental Research Design:

    • Non-experimental research focuses on observing and measuring variables without manipulating them. It seeks to describe and understand phenomena without establishing causal relationships.
    • Researchers collect data through surveys, interviews, observations, or archival analysis.
    • Strengths:
      • Allows for the study of naturally occurring variables and phenomena as they exist in real-world contexts.
      • Can be conducted in situations where manipulation is not feasible or ethical.
      • Provides insights into complex and dynamic social, cultural, or psychological phenomena.
    • Limitations:
      • Does not establish cause-and-effect relationships, limiting researchers’ ability to draw strong conclusions.
      • Lack of control over extraneous variables may decrease internal validity.
      • Results may be influenced by biases or subjective interpretations of the researcher.

    It’s important to note that both experimental and non-experimental research designs have their place in psychological research, and the choice between them depends on the research question, feasibility, and ethical considerations.

    Let me know if you have any further questions!

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