There are multiple ways to test and do research on new ideas, products, or theories. One of these ways is by experimental research. This is when the researcher has complete control over one set of the variable, and manipulates the others. A good example of this is pharmaceutical research. They will administer the new drug to one group of subjects, and not to the other, while monitoring them both. This way, they can tell the true effects of the drug by comparing them to people who are not taking it. With this type of research design, only one variable can be tested, which may make it more time consuming and open to error. However, if done properly, it is known as one of the most efficient and accurate ways to reach a conclusion. There are other things that go into the decision of whether or not to use experimental research, some bad and some good, let’s take a look at both of these.
The Advantages of Experimental Research
1. A High Level Of Control
With experimental research groups, the people conducting the research have a very high level of control over their variables. By isolating and determining what they are looking for, they have a great advantage in finding accurate results.
2. Can Span Across Nearly All Fields Of Research
Another great benefit of this type of research design is that it can be used in many different types of situations. Just like pharmaceutical companies can utilize it, so can teachers who want to test a new method of teaching. It is a basic, but efficient type of research.
3. Clear Cut Conclusions
Since there is such a high level of control, and only one specific variable is being tested at a time, the results are much more relevant than some other forms of research. You can clearly see the success, failure, of effects when analyzing the data collected.
4. Many Variations Can Be Utilized
There is a very wide variety of this type of research. Each can provide different benefits, depending on what is being explored. The investigator has the ability to tailor make the experiment for their own unique situation, while still remaining in the validity of the experimental research design.
The Disadvantages of Experimental Research
1. Largely Subject To Human Errors
Just like anything, errors can occur. This is especially true when it comes to research and experiments. Any form of error, whether a systematic (error with the experiment) or random error (uncontrolled or unpredictable), or human errors such as revealing who the control group is, they can all completely destroy the validity of the experiment.
2. Can Create Artificial Situations
By having such deep control over the variables being tested, it is very possible that the data can be skewed or corrupted to fit whatever outcome the researcher needs. This is especially true if it is being done for a business or market study.
3. Can Take An Extensive Amount of Time To Do Full Research
With experimental testing individual experiments have to be done in order to fully research each variable. This can cause the testing to take a very long amount of time and use a large amount of resources and finances. These costs could transfer onto the company, which could inflate costs for consumers.
Important Facts About Experimental Research