Experimental Design and Non-Experimental Design in Psychology

The correct structure of data gathering and analysis through a proposed study is essential for ensuring that the specific aims are satisfied. A conceptual framework, also known as an analysis approach, is a strategy and framework that outlines the approaches and steps to take while gathering and interpreting evidence to respond to survey questions and achieve the goals of the study. Structural here is the theoretical framework employed to define the connections between the analysis model and respond to the analysis questions.

The study used a descriptive method strategy to carry out a study that is largely determined by the structure and aims of the investigation. The investigation kind (explanatory, causal, post, really empirical, or semi), scientific challenge, assumption, data collecting techniques, and analytic strategy are all determined by the survey methodology.

Classification Model

It is critical to know what empirical processes developed since there is a widespread notion that a study that is not empirical is not credible. The most prevalent kind of study, which many refer to as academic experiments, is exploratory. In contrast, the non-investigational study may be used to categorize non-investigational analysis with ease. It is distinct from scientific investigation and has diverse use scenarios. An appropriate design is effective. The most precise and valid data may be found through an effective study strategy. Any unusual occurrences may be measured in any situation with a suitable study. An effective study strategy aids the analyzer in avoiding false conclusions. An original sound study may effectively manage the distinct outer and inner validity challenges.

Experimental Analysis

In exploratory studies, the investigation topic is subjected to one or even more manipulations of their factors while the effects of these manipulations are being monitored. Because it enables the adjustment of dependent variables, it is well recognized. Even though this analysis methodology can be challenging, it is frequently utilized in various physical and behavioral scientific domains.

They are far more prevalent in analysis in this area than in archives and records administration studies inside the topic of knowledge. When tracing affect correlations amongst predictor constructs is the analysis's main objective, investigational analysis is typically conducted. Nevertheless, the exploratory program used greatly impacts the study's outcomes.

Experimental Method in Social Sciences

There is some doubt about the feasibility of doing experiments in social sciences as easily as in physical disciplines. True, social science experimentation is less successful than scientific and chemical sciences. Experiments in physical and chemical research can be repeated indefinitely in under-regulated and realistic settings. In the case of social sciences, however, it is not easy to replicate the experiment under different conditions. Though actual experimentation in social sciences may be minimal, recent advances in applying statistical tools to social problems have resulted in tremendous transformations.

Types of Experimental Designs

Major experimental designs are−

Before-After or Pre-test- Post-test Experimental Design

This is known as classical experimental design. It is more dependable and uses the so-called four-cell architecture. Before the experiment, all of the groups are chosen, monitored, and measured. One independent variable, the therapy, and one dependent variable are present. Subjects are randomly allocated to one of two groups: control or experimental. The dependent variable is then assessed for both groups. Following the pretest, the therapy is only given to patients in the experimental group. The dependent variable is then measured and compared for both groups. The following is the Post-test. This design has one shortcoming: it does not guarantee freedom from the effect of external forces.

After-only or Pre-test Only Experimental Design

The investigation is conducted in social settings completely independent of physical or natural variables in this design. Two sets of participants are chosen who are comparable in all conditions. One is known as the experimental group, and the other as the control group. The experiment is carried out on the experimental group following the predetermined technique. Both groups are watched, and the Experimental Method findings are measured after the allotted period. The findings are compared, and changes noticed in the experimental group due to altering the variable in the experiment are identified.

Quasi or Ex-Post Facto Experimental Design

The term "quasi-experiment" refers to instances in which the investigator cannot randomly allocate participants to experimental groups but can still control the independent variable. However, when such manipulation is impossible - when the stimulus is likewise outside the researcher's control - we can no longer talk of experimentation; instead, we have entirely and simply a study of co-variation. Nonetheless, there are study circumstances that, while missing both experimental aspects (i.e., randomization and manipulation), entail a design that closely mimics experimentation. Such designs are referred to be ex post facto. Ex Post Facto is a Latin term that means "done or created after a thing but retroactive action on it." In this case, the experimenter does not produce the desired change; instead, he discovers the effect after it has already occurred. This design may be used in Library Science to study children's reading habits and the behavior of a new reader.

Special design (Mixed Design)

There is a type of design known as multifactor - between topics design (also known as mixed design). Where one element is between, and one is within. This design requires computer software and a statistical consultant as prerequisites. This type of mixed design is employed when the experimenter: requires power, wants to generalize the results to real-world situations where participants are likely to receive more than two levels of treatment, and believes that order effects are not an issue.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Investigational analysis has the advantage that investigators can manipulate factors. It is compatible with various analysis methods. Typically, the scientific method follows a clear framework. It offers clear findings. The empirical study's findings are simple to reproduce. True Investigational Analysis's Drawbacks- It is extremely vulnerable to human mistakes. The study's obvious prejudices may result from asserting power over unrelated factors. It takes much time. It is pricey. The moral consequences of modifying dependent variables are possible. It generates fabricated outcomes.

Non –Experimental Research

Investigation that is non-investigational does not manipulate input or predictor variables. In non-investigational analysis, variables can be measured as they are without any additional modification. This study is utilized when the causal link between two parameters is unknown to the investigator, and it is impossible to manipulate the critical variables. When it is impossible to allocate individuals to circumstances randomly, they are also utilized. The predictor variables cannot be changed, despite the study topic being a causal link.

The investigation is extensive and investigational; it focuses on a non-causal link among elements. Access to data about the analysis topic is quite restricted. Some popular non-investigational study designs are as follows: Cross-sectional methodologies simultaneously watch and examine or before categories with outlined factors. They might be causal by elucidating the causes and interactions between quantities across a particular time, or they can be informative by one or more values being seen and categorized at a specific point in time. Cross-sectional analysis designs are comparable to causal study methods.

However, the factors in the analysis approach are randomized and continuous. In the continuous study design, the researcher analyzes how a link among characteristics keeps evolving. Survey study methods involve only watching in a natural setting and call for zero alteration.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The study procedure closely resembles a real-world scenario. Due to moral considerations, it prohibits the alteration of variables, and the personality of beings cannot be changed in experiments. Comparative Study's drawbacks because organizations were not randomly chosen, they could be different and individual includes, which would undermine the validity and universal applicability of the report's results. The outcomes will only sometimes be crystal obvious and faultless.

Selection of Good Analysis Model

Divide the subjects from a less-strength analysis team into controlled and investigational groups. Discover a representative sample virtually identical to the investigational and control groups if a convenient sampling cannot be made. When a comparable sample or a randomized control comparison group is unavailable, attempt to employ a moment approach that can reveal patterns before and following initiatives. If a time series approach cannot be employed, try to gather baseline data that may be contrasted with comment data before the commencement of the program. Please be aware that the analysis we can perform will be constrained if foundation data is unavailable. Usually have the question of legitimacy in view.


Many scientists believe it is crucial to distinguish between empirical and non-empirical analyses. This is large because, compared to the conventional investigation, the analysis study allows for modifying explanatory variables. Hence, it is crucial to comprehend the differences between empirical and non-empirical analysis as a scientist ready to adopt either kind. This aids in choosing the most effective strategy for a given project.

Updated on: 05-Apr-2023


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