Experimental and Correlational Research Methods

Topics: Scientific method, Research, Causality Pages: 2 (397 words) Published: May 25, 2013
The two important research methods are experimental and correlational. Many researchers use both methods to find outcome of their research. They may explore different avenues of an approach to gain the results they want. We will be describing the two methods and finding out which one is best.

The definition of the experimental method is a scientific method message to confirm cause-and-effect relationships by introducing independent variables and observing their effects on dependent. “An example of experimental method, suppose a researcher wants to study the effect of drug A on subjects’ alertness. He divides 100 subjects into two groups of 50, and experimental group and a control group. He dissolves drug A in saline solution and injects it into all the subjects in the experimental group. He then gives all the control group subjects an injection of only saline solution. The independent variable in this case is drug A, which he administers only the experimental group. The control group receives a placebo: the injection of saline solution. The dependent variable is alertness, as measured by performance on a timed test. Any effect on alertness that appears only in the experimental group is caused by the drug. Any effect on alertness that appears in both the experimental and control groups could be due to the subjects’ expectations or to extraneous variables, such as pain from the injection.”

The definition of the correlational method is the psychologist investigates whether an observed behavior or a measure trait is related to, or correlated with, another. Consideration is based on variables of intelligence and academic performance. “An example is a psychologist uses the survey method to study the relationship between balding and length of marriage. He finds that length of marriage correlates with baldness. However, he can’t infer from this that being bald cause’s people to stay married longer. Instead, a third factor explains the correlation: both balding and...
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