Experimental and Non-Experimental Research Design

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Experimental and Non-Experimental Research Design

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March 7, 2018

Experimental and Non-Experimental Research Design

Question: Provide examples of experimental and non-experimental research design. Contrast the levels of control applied to each.

The examples of experimental and non-experimental research design are as follows:

Contrast the levels of control applied to each

  1. Experimental Research Design
  2. It involves manipulation and assignment of independent variable followed by strict controlling. The outcome from this type of research is always bent towards a single variable (Miller & Salkind, 2002).
  3. Example – In a hospital setting, patients are assigned randomly in two different groups, observe the independent variables of their treatments but give preference to one group. The preference may be in form of medication or a non-pharmacological treatment. The outcomes of these two groups will not be desired as they shall have been manipulated. When the outcome is measured, there will exist a variance between the groups as the treatment was not given to all the groups but was controlled.
  4. Non-experimental research design
  5. In this design, the researcher is bound to just observing the outcomes of the events as they occur without introducing any external variable to influence the outcome. This is majorly used when the independent variables in the events cannot be maintained or its maintenance is deemed unethical (Miller & Salkind, 2002).
  6. Example – A nurse researcher may want to assess the experience of patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. He or she will describe frequency of various symptoms that the patient experienced and treatment type they received.

These two research designs contrast each other diversely. In experimental research design, the researcher deliberately manipulates the variables in question to control the outcome of the events, such as the provision of treatment to one group and not the other. However, such occurrences are not valid in the non-experimental research design. Non-experimental designs allows the events to occur naturally without manipulating the outcomes, such as in failing to alter any symptom of a particular disease but providing room for the treatment to take effect and reduce the symptoms observed (Miller & Salkind, 2002).


Miller, D. C., & Salkind, N. J. (2002). Handbook of research design and social measurement. Sage.

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