Experimental Research


Experimental Research

Boling, C., Martin, S. H., & Martin, M. A. (2002). The effects of computer-assisted
instruction on first-grade students’ vocabulary development. Reading
Improvement, 39, 79-88.

Having looked at correlation studies, you now know that even when they show a relationship between variables, correlation studies DO NOT PROVE that one variable CAUSES the change in the other variable. A relationship exists, yes, but correlation does not prove it.
Experimental research is the only way to actually prove causation, that one variable affects another. While true experimental research always includes a control and random assignment of participants, there are other ways of doing experimental research. The limitations of time and place may make a control group or random assignment difficult or impossible. Quasi-experiments can also be valid and give the researcher some degree of certainty about causation, but without the certainty that true experimental designs provide.

1. What is the hypothesis of the study?

2. Does the article provide a review of literature that indicates limitations that were seen in previous research? If so, what and how did that affect the previous studies?

3. How were the participants selected and what do you know about them?

4. What was the experimental treatment that was being studied?

5. What were the results? Could you determine whether or not the experimental
treatment made a difference? How?

Now look at the correlation article from the last assignment and answer this last question.

6. And finally, take the correlation article and give me a paragraph that explains how you could make it an experimental design that could prove that a causal relationship exists between the variables.


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