Experimental research is a scientific approach to research where one or more independent variables are manipulated and applied to one or more dependent variables to measure their effect on the latter.
There various types of experimental research designs. They include pre-experimental research, partial experimental research, and true experimental research.
It randomly assigns participants to groups, they provide control over extraneous variables, they physically manipulate the treatment conditions for one or more group, measure the outcomes for the groups by statistically comparing the groups and they design an experiment to reduce the threats to internal and external validities.
Pros of Experimental Research
- Used to determine what is best for the population
The results that are got from the experiments are compared and the best can easily be determined to be used for the population.
- Provides better transferability
Experimental research involves the recording the findings and this can make it easier to be passed from one individual to another as compared to where the results are given in an informal way.
- Can easily be combined with other research methods
Through experimental research, the dependent and independent variables are found out and this can make it easier to be involved with other research methods to get a more accurate result.
- It a human nature of learning
Humans perform experiments for them to learn the causes, the effects and get solutions to certain things and through these experiments, they are able to learn.
- They have control over the variables
Researchers have control over the variables in that they can get accurate results by adjusting the variables so that they may not cause change to the results.
- A better method of instruction
When people do research, they are able to learn a lot as compared to other methods of instruction as they are able to see what is being done and the outcomes.
- No limit to the subject matter
The researcher is not limited on what to study. He or she can study as many concepts as he can through the use of experiments.
- It provides specific conclusions
The conclusions from the research are very specific depending on the variables that were involved hence the accurate way of getting results.
- The results can be duplicated
This can happen when the same variables used are put under control so that different results can be got from the same experiment.
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Cons of Experimental Research
- Difficult to measure
It can be difficult to measure the human responses that are obtained from the research as different humans react differently in different situations.
- Variables are easily manipulated
When variables are manipulated, it reduces the objectivity of the research and this may make the researcher not to get accurate results as the objective demands.
- Participants can easily be influenced
The situation can influence the participants and this may make the researcher not to get the accurate results from the experiment.
- Extraneous variables cannot be easily controlled
Although other variables can be controlled in an experiment, some extraneous variables cannot be easily controlled.
The environment provides certain challenges that are not easy to deal with hence they can easily affect the research.
- It does not provide an explanation
It is difficult for someone else to understand the results as it does not provide an explanation as to why the results came out like that hence it only useful to the researcher.
- Risk of the animal dying
When the test is done on animals, there is a risk that the animal may die before the end of research and this may make the researcher not have a solution in such a case because he or she did not conduct the research to be used to solve the situation.
- Time-consuming process
It takes a long time for the researchers to find out the causes, effects and the solution to certain problems hence it takes a lot of time.
- Can lead to unrealistic situations
As the variables involved are controlled, the researcher may still get the results but it may turn out to be unrealistic in daily life situations.
- Possibility of errors
As human beings are bound to make errors, the results may be subjective. This is because the human can make errors but still come out with the results which he or she can defend it hence it is very subjective.
- Political pressure
There can be political pressure involved in the research and this may make the researcher give the results as required by the one in control but not as per the findings.
- The sample used may not be the exact representative
This will bring different results as the researcher will be using a different sample but to test what is expected hence not the very effective method.
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Experimental research is the best method of instructions but there are various drawbacks related to it. If the drawbacks are controlled then the researchers can be able to present the correct results and this may limit the number of cases suffering due to the problem as the right solution will have been found.