Quasi-experimental research is a type of study characterized by the fact that the study subject is not selected randomly, but is found or established previously.
The methodology of this type of research is characterized by being descriptive, which consists of observing the behavior of individuals and the different social variables and recording qualitative and quantitative data.
Quasi-experimental research falls between experimental research and observational study . However, it does not have control of variables or of the elements that intervene in the context of the subject of study.
- The study population that is part of this research is not randomly selected, on the contrary, the researcher selects previously established groups.
- Quasi-experimental research is of utmost importance for applied research.
- Although its origin arose to carry out research in the educational sector, currently, it is also used in the branch of psychology for the purpose of conducting social studies.
- This type of research focuses on identifying the way in which an independent variable is related to the dependent variable and what this produces.
- The quasi-experimental research is carried out in the field, in an environment where the study subject develops naturally, which reduces the control of the variables.
Steps to conduct a quasi-experimental investigation
Next, we have for you this guide that will help you to carry out a quasi-experimental investigation correctly:
Selection of the study group : The first step to carry out a quasi-experimental investigation is the selection of the group that you are going to study and a variable is assigned to them.
As we mentioned before, it is not done randomly, but rather they are established groups such as hospital workers, university students, etc.
Run the study: Let us remember that quasi-experimental research is based mainly on descriptive methodology and on the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data .
Analysis of the results: The data analysis consists of identifying the influence of the independent variables on the dependent variables and their consequences. Among the elements that are analyzed and social behaviors.
Establish conclusions: After analyzing the information obtained, it is important to establish conclusions and present results to interested parties to create strategies that allow the solution of the problem.
Quasi-experimental research methods
To successfully conduct quasi-experimental research, it is imperative that researchers select between two types of designs that will make sense of the process.
The cross-sectional studies are used to compare different target groups at specific moments of time.
With this type of design, it is not possible to obtain a general conclusion, on the contrary, a variable is measured at a specific moment.
The longitudinal research aims to study the changes that traverses the subject of study in a continuous period of time.
These designs consist of selecting different measures of the variable for each study subject, which can be a person or a group of people that make up a unit.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Unlike other types of social research, quasi-experimental research works with already established groups, which meet the necessary characteristics to carry out the study and are also accessible, which facilitates the process.
- This type of research is not very accurate, however, it is still possible for the researcher to identify general trends.
- Quasi-experimental research, unlike other traditional methods, is easy to carry out and does not require the use of many financial resources.
- Finally, quasi-experimental research can be done for both individual and group cases.
- By preventing researchers from randomly sampling , the collected data may be biased.
- Researchers have no knowledge of the context of the study subject. This can lead to inaccurate results and different conclusions.
- Sometimes the study subjects change their behavior when they know that they are in a research process.