Explain The Experimental Method?

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Definition and Meaning
There are different types of research – the two major types of the research that need to be identified for getting the basic understanding of the experimental method are the exploratory research and the conclusive research.

Experiment is actually the study consisting of the intervention by the researchers beyond that requires for the measurements.

Generally these types of the interventions are very helpful in carrying out the manipulation of the various variables that ultimately help in setting up and observing the effects caused to the subjects that are being studied.

The explanatory variable is manipulated by the researcher and then the researcher observes whether the hypothesized dependent variable is affected by the intervention or not.

The experiment possesses a statement of the problem that is to be solved. One basic point to be kept in mind is that during the designing of the experiment, the design should be such that all the points of view to establish what the experiment is intended to do must be brought out.

By experimentation one is able to get very accurate information and experiments are carried out at basically at the two following scales –
1. Laboratory Scale –
a) Experiments are carried out in an artificial environment.
b) Unwanted effects of the extraneous variables can be minimized.
c) Natural nature of the responses of the subjects cannot be estimated.
d) High level of the internal validity is also available.
e) But sometimes these experiments can become invalid in nature.

2. Field scale –
a) Carried out in the real – world environment.
b) Offers very high level of the external validity.
c) But the internal validity suffers.
d) Are very costly compared to the experiments that are carried out in the laboratory.
e) Are very time – consuming.
f) Very complicated in the working nature.

What are the Objectives of Experiment?
1. Measurement of the outcome or the dependent variable.
2. Determining the functional form that is responsible for the linkage of some of the criterion variable to a set of the input variables.
3. Identifying the relevant variables.
4. Establishing the causal relationships.
5. Formulating the hypothesis.
6. Defining the various variables.

What are the Constituents of an Experiment?
1. Experiment –
(a) Making a statement that is very clear and also is easy to understand.
(b) Selecting the dependent variable or the response factor.
(c) Deciding or selecting those factors in which the variation is to be made.
(d) Selecting the different levels of these factors.

2. Designs –
(a) The number of the observations to be taken is to be decided.
(b) The order in which the experimental procedure is to be followed is to be decided.
(c) Use of the randomization method must be made.
(d) Selecting the mathematical model which helps in describing the experiment.

3. Analysis –
(a) Collecting the data and then processing this data.
(b) Computation of the test statistics.
(c) Interpreting the results for the experiment.

What are the Advantages of the Experiment?
1. Helps in carrying out the manipulation of the independent variable.
2. Provides better effective control for the contamination from the extraneous variables.
3. Helps in better adjustment of the variables.
4. The convenience and the cost of the experimentation are superior to the other methods.
5. Experiments can be repeated.

What are the Disadvantages of the experiment?
1. The artificial nature of this type of method is the main drawback.
2. Although experimentation method is a comparatively cheap method but in some cases it can really affect the budget planning.
3. Generalization from the non – probability samples can pose problems.
4. Predicting is not possible and if it is done – it can be risky in some cases.

This article has been written by KJ Singh a MBA Graduate from a prestigious Business School In India
Article Published:August 20, 2010
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