Basic Approaches to Research

Nonexperimental Research

Much research can be categorized as being either experimental or nonexperimental in nature. In nonexperimental research (also called nonmanipulative or correlational research), the investigator simply studies the association between two or more naturally occurring variables. A naturally occurring variable is one that is not manipulated or controlled by the researcher; it is simply observed and measured (e.g., the age of insurance salespersons).

The insurance study described previously is a good example of nonexperimental research since you simply measured two naturally occurring variables (i.e., goal difficulty and amount of insurance sold) to determine whether they were related. If, in ...

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