Experimental And Correlational Research

Research is finding out information in relation to a hypothesis a researcher has constructed in order to prove or disprove it. Research designs refer to the way in which this information is collected in order for it to be analysed, it provides a standard layout for data collection. A research design is chosen by the researcher in order to fit the criteria of the required data to satisfy their hypothesis. The two forms of research designs discussed in this essay will be Experimental and Correlational research.

The purpose of experimental research is to compare situations in a controlled environment, under strict conditions in order to establish causality. Causality is the relationship between the reason for something and the subsequent effect this reason has on the outcome. By manipulating a single aspect while controlling all others as strictly as possible, researchers are able to determine what may cause the effect. Results from manipulating this aspect will support or refute a hypothesis. Experimental research is very analytic and focuses on a specific element of research. Researchers have a high control of context and high explicitness with the data collection.
An experiment is set up with a control group and experimental group. The control group acts as a constant with all the set conditions and no change to any aspect. They serve as base line to which to compare the experimental group too in order to identify an effect. The experimental group are under the exact same conditions except for an aspect that is changed in order to learn the result of this change. Cause-and-effect is the desired outcome from the experimental group in comparison to the control group. Randomisation is a key factor in the unbiased allocation of sub...

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...e research, there must be at least two measures, or it will be impossible to calculate a correlation. A correlation may be statistically significant but be weak or low which means it is not associated and has no practical significance.
When a correlational research design is appropriate for a study, it can be designed by following the steps outlined by Creswell (2008) and Lodico et al. (2006):
• Identify two variables that may be related
• Select a sample
• Select a method of measurement
• Collect necessary data
• Analyze the data
• Interpret results

In conclusion the purpose of correlational research is to discover relationships between two or more variables. It is important to remember that correlation does not prove causation but can prove an association between two variables making it useful for researchers to use as a pre-cursor to experimental research.
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