The experimental research design is a framework system constructed to evaluate the interrelation of actions and reactions among absolute and conditional variables. (Grove, Gray, & Burns, 2015, p. 212).
A strong element of control is prevalent in experimental research design. Researchers can maneuver and influence variables to coerce the desired effect. Pre-test post-test experiment design is one of the most common design studies used in medicine and nursing. This research design exhibits increased control over key elements to solidify the validity of the study. This design is where a selected group of subjects receive proposed treatment or therapy, and another group of subjects perceives they are also receiving treatment when they are receiving a placebo or conventional care.The researcher is examining the degree of impact the treatment/therapy has to the group of test subjects as apposed to the no treatment/therapy subjects.
Non-experimental research (also known as descriptive and correlational) design is a framework system constructed to evaluate naturally occurring variables not manipulated by a researcher and purposed to analyze and interpret the relationship between these variables. Non-experimental research does not include manipulation of the framework or variables. Observation of the interrelationship of variables with no manipulation, or control is evident in a non-experimental research.
Non-experimental research (descriptive or correlational) are used to observe and investigate a group of subjects with similar characteristics to understand, research and study commonality for possible future experimental research.
According to Grove, Gray, and Burns 2015, “descriptive design may be used to develop theories, identify problems with current practice, make judgments about practice, or identify trends of illnesses, illness prevention, and health promotion in selected groups” (Grove, Gray, & Burns, 2015, p. 213).
Experimental research design exhibits strict control and manipulation over variables and environment whereas non-experimental research design lacks control and manipulation of variables and is strictly observing variables in their natural occurrence.
Grove, S. K., Gray, J., & Burns, N. (2015). Understanding nursing research: building an evidence-based practice (6th ed.). Retrieved from https://pageburstls.elsevier.com/#/books/9781455770601/cfi/8!/4/2/2@0:0