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I’m working on a psychology discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

Appraise the differences between experimental and non-experimental research.

Differentiate between a correlational study and an experimental study.

  • State the hypothesis being tested in the selected quantitative research study.
  • Identify the major variables and categorize them as independent or dependent.
  • Describe the methods and results of the study.
  • Determine whether the study is descriptive, correlational, or experimental, and explain why it fits this classification.
  • peer 1
  • Experimental research involves the scientific approach that manipulates controlled variables, comparing their limitations of dependent variables. In contrast, non-experimental research does not include the control of variables (Newman, 2016). The significant distinction between experimental and non-experimental researches is their different attitude involving the manipulation of controlled variables.  Experimental research involves explanations of phenomena, which makes it quantitative, multivariable, and controlled, while non-experimental can be both quantitative and qualitative.

Unlike the correlational study, the experimental study employs introducing an incentive and then monitoring its effects on variables relying on the cause and effect reaction. In a correlational study, the methodology used allows the researcher to study for a pattern linking two variables statistically. The distinct difference between experimental and correlational studies is the choice of the methodology. The correlational study allows the research to passively observe naturally occurring phenomena and calculate the relationship arising between them. In the experimental study, the researcher triggers a change in the behaviour of the variables while actively watching the situation.

Psychologists John Darley and Bibb Latané, in their quantitative research study “Bystander intervention in emergencies: Diffusion of responsibility” projected a “counterintuitive hypothesis” (Darley & Latané, 1968), that when more witnesses are to an urgent situation, the more probable or more unhurriedly the onlooker will help or intrude in the crisis. The significant variables in the research study are the gender of all the participants, the number of onlooker thought to be there and whether or not the participant aided the victim. The independent variables in the Darley and Latané study include the number of bystanders the participant believed to be present. In contrast, the dependent variable is the reaction of the participant to aiding the victim. The method used in the study involved stimulation in the laboratory that depicted an emergency. The results of the research stipulated that participants who believed to be alone during the crisis offered help to the seizure victim because they thought the consequences of not helping lay on their shoulders, thus resolving the conflict hastily.  The study was experimental because the researchers used it to determine the cause and effect of controlled variables to determine their relationship supporting the results through statistical analysis.


For this discussion, I choose the article by Casey & Lindhorst (2016) titled ‘The Situational-Cognitive Model of Adolescent Bystander Behavior: Modelling Bystander Decision-Making in the Context of Bullying and Teen Dating Violence’. This study is experimental research because the authors use a qualitative scientific approach that manipulates the control variables to measure their effect on dependent variables. Non-experimental research on the other hand does not involve any manipulation of control variables.

The main difference between experimental research and correlational study is the methodology. In an experimental study as in the case of the research picked for this assignment, the researchers bring in a catalyst which is used to monitor the effects on variables. Correlational research on the other hand has the researcher using a statistical pattern to link two variables.

The hypothesis being testing in this research is the mechanism of adolescent bystander behavior in the context of teen dating violence and bullying. The hypothesis is extended using two theories: Theory of Planned Behavior and Situational Model of Bystander Behavior and whether these theories are mechanisms that increase bullying among adolescents.

In this study, the major variables are adolescent bystander behavior, bullying and teen dating violence. The dependent variables were bullying and teen dating violence which depended on whether adolescent bystanders (independent variable) are willing to save their fellows.

This study collected data using face-to-face interviews and online focus groups among 113 US adolescents aged 14-18. The information collected from the sample was later analyzed through inductive and deductive coding methods.

 The adolescents in the study showed beliefs that were consistent with the Situation-Cognitive model and Teen Dating Violence. The results also showed that there were barriers among adolescents that prevented them from taking action with perception of social consequences and peer norms. These barriers later influenced bystander behavior and promoted bulling and Teen Dating Violence. After a thorough analysis, this study fits the description of a experimental study because

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