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Differences between experimental

research and non experimental


EDLE 5000
Presentation Question

What are the basic differences between experimental

research and non-experimental research? Give
examples using journal articles of your interest. You
can download journal articles from
http://eric.ed.gov/ (chapter 2)
Basic Building Blocks of research

The basic building blocks of research are variables.

Variables are the opposite of constants or in other
words they can change a lot.
Different Types of Variables

Quantitative variables vary in degree or amount

(e.g., annual income).
Categorical variables- vary in type or kind (e.g.,
Independent variables- (symbolized by "IV") are the
presumed cause of another variable.
Dependent variables- (symbolized by "DV") are the
presumed effect or outcome. They are influenced by
one or more independent variables.
Different Type of Variables (cont.)

Extraneous variables- variables that compete with

the independent variable in explaining the outcome.
Claims about cause and effect (i.e., that changes in
an IV cause changes in a DV) must rule out
extraneous variables.
Intervening variables- (also called mediator or
mediating variables): variables that occur between
two other variables.
Moderator variables - a relationship between
variables changes under certain conditions or
Experimental Research

Studies the cause and effect between Independent

variables Dependent variables.
Experimental Research Characteristics

Manipulates independent variables

Experiments invested cause and effect between
You can find extraneous variables and confounding
variables in this research.
Experimental Research Steps

1. Creates equal groups.

2. Measures variable before manipulating the
Independent variables.
3. Will change the Independent variables by doing
something different with the groups.
4. Will measure the differences in the groups on the
dependent variable and if they is a difference they
assume the independent variable had caused the
Experimental Research Examples

A example from Cluster Randomized Trial of Alcohol

Prevention in Small Businesses: A Cascade Model of
Help Seeking and Risk Reduction The experiment
targeted 1510 employees from 45 businesses and
employees were randomly assigned to receive no training
or one of the interventions.
An example of one of the interventions in a 4 hour
classroom lesson where the instructor promoted healthy
living and encourage the participants to see professional
help if they had a problem.
Results- businesses who received the training had a huge
drop in drinking problems among their employees.
Non-experimental Research

There is no manipulation of independent variable

and the group assignments aren't random.
Because there is no manipulation of the Independent
variable it is hard to cause and effect .
Example from text book- gender would not cause
difference in performance levels, but two genders
might differ in performance levels.
Non-experimental Research Examples

An example from The Search for Causal Inferences:

Using Propensity Scores Post Hoc to Reduce
Estimation Error With Nonexperimental Research-
On the second study the groups were not equal they
had a large number in the control group and the
groups were not random. The study was trying to
figure out how well a treatment worked on a patient.
They concluded that making the control larger would
allow for research to see how well the treatment was

Chiachi Bonnie, L., Chen, M. S., Powell, M. J., & Cordia Ming-Yeuk,
C. (2015). Self-Reported Changes in the Implementation of
Hospital-Based Health Promotion in Taiwan. American Journal Of
Health Promotion, 29(3), 200-203
Johnson, R. B., & Christensen, L. (2013). Chapter 2: Quantitative,
Qualitative, and Mixed Research Lecture Notes (5th ed.). Retrieved
June 11, 2017, from

Tumlinson, S. E., Sass, D. A., & Cano, S. M. (2014). The search for
causal inferences: Using propensity scores post hoc to reduce
estimation error with nonexperimental research. Journal Of
Pediatric Psychology, 39(2), 246-257. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jst143