Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Many novel researchers have a misconception regarding experimental and non-experimental research. Both of these research methods are different and leads toward different kind of end results. So, it is necessary to know about the key differences and select one of the methods as per the research problem and objective. The key difference between both methods can be observed in terms of types, results, repeatability, and many more aspects. As per the need, this article aims to discuss the key differences between experimental research and non-experimental research in detail. 

What are the Key Differences Between Experimental and Non-Experimental Research?

Following are the key differences between experimental and non-experimental research:

Experimental and non-experimental research can be differentiated based on their types. 

Experimental Research

The experimental method is used to find the effects of different research variables. The researchers, through this method, evaluate the dependence of different variables on each other. It focuses on the dependent or independent variables. This kind of research is mostly used in social sciences, physics and psychology studies. This method uses an experiment to analyze the cause-effect relationship between a group of variables. 

You can better understand experimental research with the help of an example. Take an example of a hospital where doctors collect blood samples of different patients. When a doctor determines the condition of a patient, he concludes the results by comparing the collected values with the standard values of a particular disease. In this way, it becomes easy to find the desired and identified ranges. Different quantitative research methods have a particular purpose, while experimental methods focus on manipulation and control protocol. Based on the purpose of the study, you can further explore experimental quantitative research methods, including the following designs:

  • Pre-experimental research design
  • True experimental research design
  • Quasi-experimental research design

Non-Experimental Research

Descriptive Research

One of the most commonly used research methods is the descriptive one. This quantitative research method evaluates the whole population to identify relationships between two or more variables. Here, you have to be very careful about the selection of variables. A little mistake while selecting a variable can set a whole different track for research, and you would not be able to meet the right end result of a study. The best approach to having variables is to critically evaluate the research question. 


Are you trying to answer a question like whether people with similar characteristics are more likely to experience something? Then correlational research may be your best stake. This study measures relationships between variables but does not include an experimental group, and it does not measure cause and effect. Correlational studies often take place over a long period (for example, 10 or 30 years), which means they can reveal long-term effects rather than just short-term ones. From several research methods, the correlation method is one that helps you come up with three aspects. It includes zero, negative and positive correlations. A brief description of these correlations is mentioned below:

  • Zero Correlation: whenever a research study shows that there is no relation between selected variables, it means zero correlation exists between them.
  • Negative Correlation: When finding a relationship between different variables, you may find that the change in one variable is opposite to the change in other variables. In simple words, when there is an inverse relationship between the change of variable, this type of correlation is termed a negative correlation of research.
  • Positive Correlation: when conducting research, you can also find a positive correlation between variables. In a positive correlation, you can see that the change relation is direct. Suppose, one variable is increasing in value. In positive correlation, the second variable will also increase at the same rate.

Specific and Consistent Results

Using experimental research leads to specific and consistent results. The results and findings of this research have higher validity and help researchers determine the success or failures of their research. It is a much faster process for determining the validity of an idea or a product than other research methods.

On the other hand, non-experimental research does not help to get consistent results because of the low manipulation and control of variables. 

Repeatability of Research

Using experiments for research work has crucial importance in the formulation of theories and scientific laws. Experiments are repeatable, and results are replicable in experimental research. Researchers can conduct the same experiment under the same conditions, and if they get similar results, it increases the reliability of research findings. It promotes the credibility of results, and duplicating experimental results leads to establishing scientific laws and theories.

In contrast, non-experimental research can be very challenging because of the changes in conditions. In this, you do not get a chance to get similar conditions so results may vary. While conducting non-experimental research, you can get assistance from a dissertation writing service.

Replication of Real-Life Phenomenon in a Laboratory Setting

Experimental research enables the replication of natural environmental settings in a laboratory. Researchers can easily replicate the variables in laboratory settings which would be costly and time-consuming otherwise. It is a method that allows the researchers to exert substantial influence over potential auxiliary variables. Consequently, it limits the unpredictable nature of unforeseen factors while generating data.

While non-experimental research has a different approach, which is more subjective and it focuses on theories and principles rather than real-life problems.

Integration with Other Research Methods

Researchers can integrate the experiments with other research methods to ensure the accuracy of acquired data. Researchers can gather rich and varied data by combing the experimental research with other research methods. The combination of various research methods with experimental methods allows for rigorous validation of research results and offers new perspectives that lead to future research. While the non-experimental research has a different integration system, and for its integration dissertation writers UK can help you very well. 

Final Thoughts

From the above-discussed points, it is clear that experimental research and non-experimental research have several differences. Each difference is explained in detail, and you can better grasp the core concept of each pointer very easily. In the last, just remember that the selection of research method should be made very wisely. Go for the one which can help you meet all requirements of the study. 

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