There are many different ways to study theories
In psychology, there are many different ways to study theories. The two ways that are rather interesting are correlational and experimental research. Correlational allows generalization, and provides one way to study certain topics. Experimental research can identify cause, but cannot be used to study certain topics.
Therefore, the two differ in what they test, but are both excellent ways to test research.Correlational research is the gathering of data pertaining to these factors and then seeing how the data are associated (Open Mind, 2001). A researcher would gather data on two or more variables from a large number of individuals or groups. The research would then try to find the connection between the variables if any. The problem with correlational research is that you have to stop and see that the obvious interpretation could be wrong. There could be another variable playing a factor in the case you are studying.
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Therefore, it is difficult to come to a conclusion on the cause and effect. Correlational research has its strengths. The research can be useful to a researcher who wants to describe the naturally occurring similarities in a large number of individuals or groups.An example of correlational research could be studying the aging of elderly people. The older people become the more wrinkles they get. There maybe exceptions, that as some people age they do not get ageing wrinkles.
To prove this theory correct you can graph the two variables. The graph would increase because the two variables are associated.Open Mind defines experimental research as a strategy in which a researcher deliberately manipulates certain events and measures the effects of those manipulations on other events (48,2001). Experiments are the best way to identify cause unlike correlational research. In an experiment, you must have an independent variable, which is what the researcher wants to examine. A dependent variable, which is what is being observed.
There also has to be one or more control groups because the manipulations can affect more than just the intended cause. There are weaknesses in experimental research; the researchers cannot always control all the variables. They have no control over the nationality, or race. Sometimes if people know that they are being tested or observed, they will not act like themselves. There are also, strength of experimental research the experiments allow causal conclusions.
Also, if an experiment is proved justifiable, then researchers can use repeatedly to study a given occurrence. Therefore, experimental research can support conclusions about cause and effect.An example of experimental research could be testing whether chocolate milk makes five-year-old girls hyper. To test this hypothesis, the researcher would select three groups of five-year-old girls at random. He would give group A four glasses of chocolate milk and observe them over a period of two hours. He would give group B two glasses of chocolate milk and observe them over a two hour period.
The researcher would not give group C chocolate milk and then would observe them for a two hour period. Group C is the control because they are not drinking the chocolate milk; they are not being affected by it.In conclusion, correlational research can be useful to the researcher who wants to describe the naturally occurring characteristics in large numbers of individuals and groups. Experimental research allows researchers to support conclusions about causes and effect. They both are excellent ways to test research.