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It is a useful design when not much is known about an issue or phenomenon. Experimental research is often used where there is time priority in a causal relationship (cause precedes effect), there is consistency in a causal relationship (a cause will always lead to the same effect), and the magnitude of the correlation is great. For example, with longitudinal surveys, the same group of people is interviewed at regular intervals, enabling researchers to track changes over time and to relate them to variables that might explain why the changes occur.
Causality studies may be thought of as understanding a phenomenon in terms of conditional statements in the form, “If X, then Y.” This type of research is used to measure what impact a specific change will have on existing norms and assumptions. The classic experimental design specifies an experimental group and a control group. Longitudinal research designs describe patterns of change and help establish the direction and magnitude of causal relationships.
Then the intervention is carried out [the "action" in action research] during which time, pertinent observations are collected in various forms.
The new interventional strategies are carried out, and this cyclic process repeats, continuing until a sufficient understanding of [or a valid implementation solution for] the problem is achieved.
• Single, well-designed studies of an innovative nature.
• Brief reports, including replication or null result studies of previously reported findings, or a well-designed studies addressing questions of limited scope.
The function of a research design is to ensure that the evidence obtained enables you to effectively address the research problem logically and as unambiguously as possible.
In social sciences research, obtaining information relevant to the research problem generally entails specifying the type of evidence needed to test a theory, to evaluate a program, or to accurately describe and assess meaning related to an observable phenomenon.