Share
Explore BrainMass

Differences between Experimental vs. Non-experimental Design

Research is typically experimental or non-experiment in design. It is important for the investigator to know the difference.

Give an example of a question you would attempt to answer using experimental design and one using non-experimental design. Design two research questions. Write one for an experimental design, and one for a non-experimental design. What makes each research design question different from the other? Review the criteria for each.

Solution Preview

I think what might help you well here is to outline the rationale behind an experimental vs. a non-experimental approach, as well as the benefits and downfalls of each. I'll also link you to two articles that should be good examples of either one answering their own respective research questions.

An experimental approach is necessary in answering research questions that examine a novel phenomenon or as a means to directly manipulate variables to come to a result.

A non-experimental approach is usually used to identify trends and results based off of existing data, or where direct experimentation would be impossible, unethical or logistically costly.

For example, the authors of this paper specifically inhibited the production of nitric oxide in order to test the effects of the lack of nitric oxide on survival of a particular type of neurons. That is an experimental design to answer the question: is nitric oxide required to maintain neuron survival?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25016153

In contrast, ...

Solution Summary

A basic discussion on the differences between experimental and non-experimental design. Some discussion on the basic criteria required for good designs of either.

$2.19