Experimental and non-experimental research design

Experimental and non-experimental research design

A non-experimental research is the one in which the author lacks the ability to control, manipulate or alter the variable or the subjects in research but instead rely on observation, interpretation and interactions of the variables to come up into conclusion in the study. In this case, a researcher only relies on correlation and the results obtained in such a case are not considered as true. An example of a non-experimental research is finding if boys are rude than girls in a class. In this case, the subjects of the study that is the boys and the girls cannot be altered or interfered with such that one can’t change boys to girls and vice versa and therefore the results obtained can only be analyzed through correlation therefore making them unreliable.

Experimental research, on the other hand, is the case where a researcher can alter or manipulate the predictor variables and the subjects and therefore using this to identify a case and effect in their relationship. The experimental research mainly occurs in a laboratory. An example of experimental research is where a medication or a drug is tested in the laboratory where two rats are exposed to the same disease, and one is injected with the drug while the other one is not treated at all. This, therefore, is used to show the side effects or the effectiveness of the drug and how it acts in relation to the disease.

Both research designs are however important in the field of research as they help the researchers collect data in different fields as not all the fields can use the same research design.


Northey, M., Ferguson, K., & Bradley, J. G. (2017). Making sense: A student’s guide to research and writing.

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