Experimental research designs, just as the name suggests, involves carrying out experiments or testing the various hypotheses regarding how two independent variables relate with each other whereby manipulation applies. A major example of an experimental research design is the true experimental research. True experimental research designs are the most preferred among the other experimental studies (Creswell, 2013). Basically, they involve selecting and grouping the participants randomly and then subjecting them to experiment (s).
On the other hand, qualitative studies are popular in the category of the non-experimental research designs. A qualitative research primarily entails searching evidence to answer the hypotheses (Bernard, & Bernard, 2012). The data collected in these types of studies are often non-numerical and the skill of the researcher in interpreting this data largely determines the outcomes.
The level of control between true experimental and qualitative research designs
Generally, true experimental research designs require more control than the qualitative research designs. The high level of control is necessary for external factors not to influence the results of the study (Creswell, 2013). For instance, failure to control external factors, such as sunlight and humidity when experimenting the effects of fertilizers on the plant height can largely alter the results. Therefore, such factors need to be kept constant in order to have relevant results. As such, manipulation in true experimental designs only happens through the independent variables. On the other hand, qualitative research designs lack rigorous control measures and this facilitates the pluralistic nature of this type of research design since the researcher must have an alternative way to explain the research questions (Bernard, & Bernard, 2012). The main form of control involved in qualitative studies is the researcher’s ability to determine where and who they want to include in the study.
Bernard, H.R,. & Bernard, H.R,. (2012).Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Sage.
Creswell, J.W,. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, & mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.