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The research design involves methodology and procedure for collecting and analyzing data in a research study. Experimental design is the method to plan research so that you gather objective and valid results. It is the process of conducting research in a controlled fashion in order to ensure maximum precision.
Experimental Design is the common research design type, often used interchangeably with Design of Experiment. The research design is generally used in science fields, such as industrial, medical, computer, social, and other science.
Experimental Design involves establishing principles and rules for an experiment. The focus is on designing the experiment so that you gather appropriate data and the analysis of the data will give you valid inference about the subject of the research.
Experimental Research: involves manipulating one (or more) independent variables and applying it to one (or more) dependent variables to gauge its effect on the dependent variable. The experiment helps researchers draw a conclusion about the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.
Experimental Research Design is an example of a quantitative research method because it involves gathering quantitative data and conducting statistical analysis for the research purpose.
There are three major purposes fulfilled by Experimental design:
These are the three types of Experimental Research designs used by researchers.
The methodology of Pre-experimental Research Design involves monitoring dependent groups to see the effect of independent variables and the changes caused. In the research, one or more groups are observed after a treatment is applied. The purpose is to test whether the applied treatment causes any potential change.
Pre-experimental Research Design is divided into three different designs:
One-shot Case Study Research Design: For this method, only one dependent variable is taken under consideration. It is called a posttest study; the study is run after the treatment is presumed to have caused changes.
One-group Pretest-posttest Research Design: This experiment merges both posttest and pretest study. The research is run on a single variable or group before as well as after the treatment is administered.
Static-group Comparison: Two or more groups are monitored. The treatment is exerted in one of the groups while the other one is held static. The groups involved are post-tested. The differences between the groups are considered as the result of the applied treatment.
Quasi-experimental research design is partially similar to True Experimental research. In the research, the participants are not randomly selected. The subjects for the experiment are assigned based on non-random criteria.
The experiment is used for research settings where randomization is not possible. The researcher has no control over the treatment. It also does not require any control group.
A True Experiment involves statistical analysis in order to approve or disapprove the subject/ hypothesis of the experiment. The experiment can be conducted with or without a pretest and on at least two dependent variables randomly assigned.
For a True Experimental Research Design you need – a control group, variable (can be manipulated), and random distribution.
True Experiment is classified into three designs:
The posttest-only control group design: In this classification, subjects are selected randomly and assigned to the control & experimental group. Both the groups are post-tested to draw a conclusion from the difference between the groups.
Pretest-posttest control group design: In this design, the subjects are assigned to 2 groups. However, the experimental group is the only one treated. Both groups are monitored are post-tested to examine the change in both groups.
Solomon four-group design: This research design is the combination of two control groups Pretest-only & the Pretest-posttest control groups. For this design, the subjects are selected randomly and assigned into 4 groups.
For pre-experimental research, you run a carryout test at the end of a semester on a class of college students. The students are the dependent variables since they are being administered at the semester-end. The professors are the independent variables of the experiment.
The research is an example of pre-experiment because only one group of students are considered for the research, and they are carefully selected.
Let’s say two baseball coaches are training their players in two completely opposite ways. One coach is training the first string players in traditional ways, the other coach is using new training programs of various countries to train the second string players.
You use the pre-existing group of baseball players to study the effect of the traditional training program versus the new training programs on the students.
When you properly look for the systematic difference between the first and the second string player you can be confident that different results will arise from the two training programs.
To run your true experimental research you assign half of your patients to intermittent fasting for diet. The other half (control group) are subjected to a regular diet.
Every three months you have the patients fill out a report describing any symptoms or progress to evaluate if the intermittent fasting produces a better or worse effect on the patients.
There are three principles, as explained by R.A. Fisher, of Experimental Design:
Replication involves repetition of the basic experiment. The principle is that even when the same treatment is used in other experiments, the output would differ. Replication in experimental design helps to study the variation in the yield of different experiments.
“r” refers to a number of replicates which implies the no. of experimental units per treatment.
Randomization involves distributing the treatment to different experimental units using probability. This ensures that each experimental unit is likely to receive the treatments. Randomization eliminates the probability of bias from the result of the experimental research design.
Local control is the method to control the error variation and thus reducing the error by arranging the experimental units. The value of a variable is kept constant to keep it from affecting the conclusion of the experiment.
Experimental Control: helps to predict events that may occur in the experimental design. The process neutralizes the effects of the variables involved.
Physical Control: All the subjects are exposed equally to the independent variables. In this case, the non-experimental variables are controlled.
Selective Control: The error is reduced by indirect manipulation. The variables which cannot be controlled are selected for manipulation.
Statistical Control: In this case of control, the variables which cannot be controlled by Selective or Physical manipulation are subjected to statistical control.
There are three types of experimental research design you can use for your study. We have discussed the definition and features of each design type. To better understand which design type will fit your study we will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages each of the research design poses.
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