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Experimental vs Non-Experimental

So, now that we have the basics of what they are, we can see some of the differences between Experimental and Non-experimental research.
Ø  An experiment is any study in which a treatments introduced.
Ø  A new method of teaching
Ø  Experimental researchers are capable of performing experiments on people and manipulating the predictor variables.
Ø  The ability to find a cause-and-effect relationship is kind of a big deal in the world of science! Being able to say X causes Y is something that has a lot of power.
Ø  To have a true experimental study we would need to be able to manipulate the predictor variable. If we had a way to switch men into women and women into men, back and forth, so that we could see which gender is more violent, then we could run a true experimental study. But, we can't do that.
Ø  A non-experimental study does not introduce a treatment.
Ø  Comparing opinions from natural groups.
Ø  Non-experimental researchers are forced to observe and interpret what they are looking at. Being able to manipulate and control something leads to the next big difference.
Ø  While non-experimental research can come close, non-experimental researchers cannot say with absolute certainty that X leads to Y. This is because there may be something it did not observe, and it must rely on less direct ways to measure.
Ø  So, our little experiment becomes a non-experimental study because we cannot manipulate our predictor variable.

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