Experimental PhD Study Designs
Experimental designs represent true experiments where the researcher artificially manipulates some variable, condition, or treatment in the design to isolate and better observe dependent variables. Conducting experimental studies often takes more preparation and review of what extant literature suggests about the variables under study.
Advantages of an experimental study design
One of the most important advantages of using an experimental study design has to do with establishing causation. Conducted correctly, the researcher can establish or suggest causation rather than just correlation between and among variables in the study. Many researchers conducting non-experimental research often mistake the correlations they find with causation.
Disadvantages of an experimental study design
By nature of the manipulation of a variable, condition, or treatment imbedded in experimental designs, researchers lose external validity. External validity is concerned with the degree to which experimental conditions mirror the real world. Too much artificial manipulation of a variable in experimental research may make replication of the relationships among variables possible only in a lab. With no bearing on the real world, some experimental designs are not useful for explaining phenomena outside of a lab.