Principles and Methods of Social Research

By William D. Crano; Marilynn B. Brewer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER
9

QUASI-EXPERIMENTS AND
EVALUATION RESEARCH

The preceding chapters drew a clear distinction between research classified as experimental and research that is correlational. In correlational research, the investigator's role is that of an observer. All variables of interest are permitted to vary freely in their natural context. In a real sense, all the variables in correlational studies are dependent variables. The researcher's job in these research contexts is to assess this variation and to tease out the patterns and interrelationships that exist among the critical measures. On the other hand, in experiments, the researcher actively intervenes in the normal pattern of covariation, systematically controlling variation in the independent variable (or variables) to assess its causal impact. For purposes of internally valid cause—effect analysis, controlled manipulation of the causal variable and random assignment of subjects to the manipulated conditions are the necessary hallmarks of true experiments.

In many research contexts, the distinction between experimental and correlational studies may not be all that clear-cut. For example, in our discussion of field experiments, we mentioned studies in which the researcher selects rather than creates the levels of the independent variable, or cases in which “random” assignment occurs naturally rather than by experimental intervention.1 Such studies preserve the logic of experimental design but lack the degree of experimenter control that characterizes “pure” experiments. By the same token, some correlational studies are conducted in the context of interventions into a given social situation (e.g., studies that investigate the reactions of an established group to the introduction of a new member), thus mixing aspects of experimental and correlational design. The distinction, then, between experimental and correlational research should be seen as a continuum rather than a strict dichotomy.

Somewhere between true experiments and pure correlational research studies are those research situations in which some systematic intervention in a social setting has been made for the purpose of assessing its causal effects, but the exposure of participants to this

____________________
1
We use the term random advisedly here because unless the researcher has complete control over the selection or assignment of research units, the process is not truly random.

-146-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Principles and Methods of Social Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 416

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.