Research Ethics and Quantitative Research

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1 – When conducting quantitative research, there are four different types of research design, descriptive, correlational, quasi-experimental and experimental. The categories of these four types relate to variables related to variables in the experiment (McNiff, & Petrick, 2018). These four types of variables can be further categorized into nonexperimental and experimental. Descriptive and correlational have very little or no controls within the experiment (McNiff, & Petrick, 2018). In contrast, experimental design have very strong controls and quasi-experimental have nearly some controls in the design (McNiff, & Petrick, 2018).

An example of a descriptive research design can be seen in a study by Kadiwala, Hun, and Patel, in 2019, A Study to Assess the Prevalence of Malnutrition & its Association with Dental Caries among Preschoolers at Selected Anganwadis of Vadodara City. The study investigated the correlation between malnutrition and dental caries among preschoolers. The researchers selected demographic variables among preschoolers at selected schools and the studies showed that there is a significant correlation between poor nutrition and dental cares. In contrast to descriptive type of design, experimental design contains strict controls as seen in study conducted by Gao, Yin and Sun, 2019, Preoperative irrigation and vacuum sealing drainage with antibiotic-containing drainage fluid of foot and ankle wounds improves outcome of reconstructive skin flap surgery. This study examined the difference in bacterial growth between using a wound drain with antibiotic drainage fluid and those without the antibiotic. Although there are different types of quantitative studies, they all have indicated uses for investigating various research questions.


2 – Experimental research design is most controlled, has the most manipulation in order to turn out highly reliable outcomes and definitive answers on what factors influence others and how (Grand Canyon University (GCU), 2018). Experimental research focuses on cause and effect relationships with defined variables. The three types of experimental research are pre-experimental research, quasi-experimental and true experimental research (Formplus, 2020). Examples of experimental research would include laboratory experiments of mixing different chemicals to understand what one chemical does to the other chemical when mixed. So, if you were to mix chlorine and alcohol together what would happen.

Non-experimental research design has no control or manipulation that has more chance of bias and has no specific research question (GCU, 2018). This research is usually board and exploratory. Three types of non-experimental research are cross-sectional, correlation and observational (Formplus, 2020). An example of non-experimental research is investigating into characteristics of different chemical agents. So, if you take chorine and study the characteristics, behavior and nature of the chemical.

In summary, experimental research has lots of control and manipulation on the variables of the experiment, where non-experimental research has no control or manipulation on the experiment variables. Experimental research is examining the cause and effect relationship, whereas non-experimental explores one variable for characteristics.


3 – Experimental research is the type of research that uses a scientific approach towards manipulating one or more control variables of the research subject(s) and measuring the effect of this manipulation on the subject. It is known for the fact that it allows the manipulation of control variables. This research method is widely used in various physical and social science fields, even though it may be quite difficult to execute. Within the information field, they are much more common in information systems research than in library and information management research. Experimental research is usually undertaken when the goal of the research is to trace cause-and-effect relationships between defined variables. However, the type of experimental research chosen has a significant influence on the results of the experiment.

Non-experimental research is the type of research that does not involve the manipulation of control or independent variable. In non-experimental research, researchers measure variables as they naturally occur without any further manipulation.This type of research is used when the researcher has no specific research question about a causal relationship between 2 different variables, and manipulation of the independent variable is impossible. They are also used when:

subjects cannot be randomly assigned to conditions.

the research subject is about a causal relationship but the independent variable cannot be manipulated.

the research is broad and exploratory

the research pertains to a non-causal relationship between variables.

limited information can be accessed about the research subject.

What Are The Differences Between Experimental and Non-Experimental Research?

  • Definitions

Experimental research is the type of research that uses a scientific approach towards manipulating one or more control variables and measuring their defect on the dependent variables, while non-experimental research is the type of research that does not involve the manipulation of control variables. The main distinction in these 2 types of research is their attitude towards the manipulation of control variables. Experimental allows for the manipulation of control variables while non-experimental research doesn’t.

Examples of experimental research are laboratory experiments that involve mixing different chemical elements together to see the effect of one element on the other while non-experimental research examples are investigations into the characteristics of different chemical elements.

Consider a researcher carrying out a laboratory test to determine the effect of adding Nitrogen gas to Hydrogen gas. It may be discovered that using the Haber process, one can create Nitrogen gas.

Non-experimental research may further be carried out on Ammonia, to determine its characteristics, behavior, and nature.


4 – is used in research related to psychology, education, and social sciences. It is the typical research method using casual hypotheses. “Experimental research designs are considered to be true experiments and contain three key features: independent and dependent variables, pretesting and post testing, and experimental and control groups” (2020, Experimental Research). The independent variable is the intervention being tested while the dependent variable is the desired effect of the intervention.

An example of experimental research is The Hodge and Hizard, it sought to determine if institutional upbringing effects attachments. A field study was completed about children who were in institutional since an early age up to about to 4 years of age. The study showed that those children who were adopted by age eight were able to form attachments.

Non-experimental research designs are used to answer questions about groups or about whether group differences exist. This type of research is completed without trying to control things that may interfere with the research’s validity.

Questionnaires and surveys are examples of non-experimental research designs.


5.2 – Sampling theory is picking a particular group to represent a population and the two types of sampling are probability and non-probability (Surbhi, 2016). An example of this theory would be studying Hispanic teens to represent the whole Hispanic population in presence of diabetes. Probability sampling refers to where the subjects of the population gets equal opportunity to be selected as a representative sample (Surbhi, 2016). This is known as random sampling and it is unbiased, objective, and yields conclusive research. This type of sampling is randomized and everyone has a fair chance in being part of the sample. For non-probability sampling it is when sampling is not known if an individual from the population will be selected as a sample (Surbhi, 2016). This is also known as non-random sampling that there is basis and exploratory research that is subjective. This type of sampling generates the hypothesis instead of testing it. Also, this type of sampling is usually an assumption that the characteristics exist in the population and will be accurate.

Generalizability is the application of research findings based on a sample of the population and findings in one study will transfer to another similar study (, 2019). This means that in research it is impossible to study the full population and you have to generalize a conclusion from the sample population relates to the full population. In order for generalizability to work you have to have the right sampling techniques, sample size, and application of statistical procedures. This relates to nursing by all of the research into how specific disease spread in a specific population and how it can be prevented. These studies help develop nursing plans to help the specific population in disease prevention and management if they get it. An example of this would be the study of diabetes in Native Americans and how it affects the whole population. With this data you could develop disease prevention education in order to reduce the occurrence of the disease.


6.2 – When conducting research in nursing, typically the population that is being investigated has a specific disease. As it is impossible to include all the persons with this disease, a sample of the whole population which includes the target population (those with the disease) is gathered, this method is called probability sampling (Elfil and Negida, 2017). An example of probability sampling, if a study was investigating heart disease in adults from 40-90 years of age, the sample should include an even distribution of the whole age range, but also include various ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds to gather an accurate representation of all the individuals that would be included in a typical population. This is assuming ethnicities or socio-economic factors were not being targeted. Another example of sampling theory is “non-probability sampling where the sample population is selected in a non-systematic process that does not guarantee equal chances for each subject in the target population” (Elfil and Negida, 2017). One method of obtaining samples in this method is by convenience where researchers obtain subjects by the patient’s accessibility or availability (Elfil and Negida, 2017). An example of this using the above situation, gathering a sample of heart disease patients from an inner city hospital that has a predominant ethnic population, which does not accurately represent the whole population due to where the sample was obtained. Another significant attribute to nursing research is the generalizability of a study. Generalizability of the study refers to how the sample size was taken, the research environment, and level of randomized selection of the sample (McNiff and Petrick, 2018).

Prof. Angela


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