A nonexperimental research design may also be called descriptive or correlational research designs. These designs are referred to as nonexperimental designs because the examination of the variables is focused on how they naturally occur in the native environments and may include a time element. The researcher has little to no control over the influence of the environment has on the subjects. Grove, Gray, & Burns, 2015, p.212) An example of a nonexperimental research would be the studies that lead to our knowledge of many infectious diseases. As healthcare workers, we learn in yearly blood born pathogen training that Cdiff spores can remain on a surface for around 5 months. This knowledge was gained by a study of Cdiff left untreated in an environment with data taken over a time period. Data was gained on the life cycle and resistance of Cdiff this led to the training we receive to prevent the spred.
Experimental research design examines the cause and effect relationship between changes in dependent variables caused by independent variables or treatments (Grove et al., 2015, p.212). An example of experimental research would be the changes in the color of a fabric when the dye is added. The dye (cause) changes the color of the fabric (effect).
A researcher can manipulate or direct factors to achieve the desired outcome. This control is achieved by limiting the characteristics of the subjects in the sample groups (Grand Canyon University, 2012) . A nonexperimental study has little control. Experimental studies have more control but the amount of control depends on the researcher’s control over a study situation. Studies with a greater control value have more credibility (Grove et al., 2015, p.224).