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Distinguishing Between Descriptive & Causal Studies

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❶Without a complete understanding of your research plan and what you are trying to prove, your findings can become unreliable and have high amounts of researcher bias.

What is Causal Research?

What Are Extraneous Variables in a Research Survey?
Use 'causal research' in a Sentence
What Is a Cross-Sectional Study?

It is very important to pay attention to the variables because, in most cases, the lack of control over variables can lead to false predictions. This is why most researchers manipulate the research environment. In the social sciences especially, it is very difficult to conduct causal research because the environment can consist of many variables that influence the causality that can go unnoticed. Now let us move on to correlational research. A research on the lack of female political participation can identify causality.

The correlational research attempts to identify associations among variables. The key difference between correlational research and causal research is that correlational research cannot predict causality, although it can identify associations.

However, it is important to stress that the researcher tries to comprehend the variables as separate entities as well as the association of variables.

Another difference that can be highlighted between the two research methods is that in correlational research, the researcher does not attempt to manipulate the variables. Let us comprehend this through an example of a research from the social sciences. A researcher who studies on aggressive child behavior will notice that the family plays a key role in shaping the behavior of the child.

Other confounding influences must be controlled for so they don't distort the results, either by holding them constant in the experimental creation of data, or by using statistical methods.

There are often much deeper psychological considerations that even the respondent may not be aware of. There are two research methods for exploring the cause-and-effect relationship between variables:. Experiments are typically conducted in laboratories where many or all aspects of the experiment can be tightly controlled to avoid spurious results due to factors other than the hypothesized causative factor s.

Many studies in physics , for example, use this approach. Alternatively, field experiments can be performed, as with medical studies in which subjects may have a great many attributes that cannot be controlled for but in which at least the key hypothesized causative variables can be varied and some of the extraneous attributes can at least be measured.

Field experiments also are sometimes used in economics , such as when two different groups of welfare recipients are given two alternative sets of incentives or opportunities to earn income and the resulting effect on their labor supply is investigated.

Causal research falls under the category of conclusive research, because of its attempt to reveal a cause and effect relationship between two variables. Like descriptive research, this form of research attempts to prove an idea put forward by an individual or organization.

However, it significantly differs on both its methods and its purpose. Where descriptive research is broad in scope, attempting to better define any opinion, attitude, or behaviour held by a particular group, causal research will have only two objectives:.

These objectives are what makes causal research more scientific than its exploratory and descriptive counter parts. In order to meet these objectives, causal researchers have to isolate the particular variable they believe is responsible for something taking place, and measure its true significance.

With this information, an organization can confidently decide whether it is worth the resources to use a variable, like adding better traffic signs, or attempt to eliminate a variable, like road rage. Causal research should be looked at as experimental research. Remember, the goal of this research is to prove a cause and effect relationship.

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Causal research, also known as explanatory research is conducted in order to identify the extent and nature of cause-and-effect relationships. Causal research can be conducted in order to assess impacts of specific changes on existing norms, various processes etc.

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A causal study must meet certain criteria. According to the University of Southern California’s Library Guide, a causal study contains “empirical association,” “appropriate time order” and “nonspuriousness.” Researchers must use empirical research methods to gather data, such as through observation and experimentation.

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Causal research, also called explanatory research, is the investigation of (research into) cause-and-effect relationships. To determine causality, it is important to observe variation in the variable assumed to cause the change in the other variable(s), and then measure the changes in the other variable(s). Causal research should be looked at as experimental research. Remember, the goal of this research is to prove a cause and effect relationship. With this in mind, it becomes very important to have strictly planned parameters and objectives.

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Definition of causal research: The investigation into an issue or topic that looks at the effect of one thing or variable on another. For example, causal research might be used in a business environment to quantify the effect that. A causal study’s hypothesis is directional -- it does not simply claim that two or more variables are related, but predicts that one variable or set of variables, called “independent variables,” will affect another variable or set of variables, .