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Non-Experimental Research Design and Examples

The 1961 Milgram experiment can be considered a non-experimental design. It is essential to first differentiate between an experimental and non-experimental research designs. In the former, a controlled factor is subjected to some type of treatment and then compared with another factor that was kept constant. It also entails allocating participants to different groups based on some criterion. In contrast, in a non-experimental design, the groups are not randomly assigned (Price et al., 2015). Since the groups are preexisting, the researcher simply examines them. In Milgram’s experiment, the learner was an actor while the teachers were the participants who volunteered, which means the groups were not randomly assigned (Zero Media, 2015). Further, the experiment did not have a control condition since all the participants underwent the same experimental procedure. For these reasons, Milgram’s research was based on a non-experimental design.

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In research, validity refers to whether a test truly investigates what it purports to measure. Consequently, validity also implies that the results of a research reflect what the research question claimed to investigate (Jackson, 2009). For instance, a research designed to measure memory is considered valid if it investigates memory, and not any other variable such as intelligence. It is essential for a research to be valid for the results to be interpreted and applied accurately. On the other hand, reliability pertains to how stable and consistent a measure of research is. For instance, if a research is conducted to measure memory, the scale used must be reliable. This means it must measure memory in a consistent manner throughout the research. Reliability is relevant in research because it ensures accuracy of results. Before this module, I had difficulty in distinguishing between the two research concepts. I now have a better understanding of validity and reliability.

References

Jackson, S. L. (2009). Research methods and statistics: A critical thinking approach (3rd ed.). Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Price, P., Jhangiani, R., & Chiang, I. (2015). Chapter 7: Nonexperimental Research. In Research Methods of Psychology (2nd ed.). BCcampus.

Zero Media. (2015). Experimenter official trailer Winona Ryder, Peter Sarsgaard Drama Movie HD. Web.

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