Experimental and nonexperimental research design

 Topic 3 DQ 1

The main difference between experimental and non-experimental research is the degree to which the researcher can manipulate the environment. Experimental research design is defined as, “A type of quantitative research design that is highly controlled [by the researcher] and to study cause and effect with independent and dependent variables” (McNiff & Petrick, 2018). In this type of study there is less chance of a bias because of the level of manipulation (McNiff & Petrick, 2018).

An example of an experimental study is “The effect of propofol infusion with topical epinephrine on cochlear blood flow and hearing: An experimental study.” In this study 21 rats were divided into three equal groups (Jang et al., 2016). The first group of seven rats, the control group, was given IV infusion of phosphate buffered saline (PBS) with topical application of PBS in the round window of the ear. The second group of seven rats, the first experimental group, received topical phosphate buffered saline with IV infusion of propofol (4–6 ml/kg/hour) on cochlear blood flow (CBF). Afterwards, their hearing was evaluated (Jang et al., 2016). The second experimental group (n=7) received topical epinephrine with IV infusion of propofol (4–6 ml/kg/hour) on CBF. Their hearing was evaluated afterward (Jang et al., 2016). The researchers had a substantial amount of control in this study. The number of subjects, the decision to have two experimental groups, and the dose of propofol was their decision and could be manipulated as needed.

Non-experimental research does not have the manipulation of an independent variable. Researchers measure variables as they occur naturally. Most non-experimental designs are retrospective in nature. Consequently, there are no variables to manipulate.

The article “Patient experiences of caring and person-centredness are associated with perceived nursing care quality” is an example of non-experimental research. The aim of the study was “To explore the extent to which patient ratings of perceived caring and person-centredness are associated with perceived nursing care quality in an acute hospital sample of inpatients” (Edvardsson et al., 2017). In this study, 210 previous patients completed a study survey including demographic data and the Caring Behaviours Inventory, the Person-centred Climate Questionnaire, the SF-36 and the Distress thermometer (Edvardsson et al., 2017). This study did not have any variables to adjust because the nursing care was already performed. The researchers were only collecting the results.

Using 200-300 words with a least two references to support this discussion

 Provide examples of experimental and nonexperimental research design. Contrast the levels of control applied to each. 

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