What Type of Data Are Collected in Experimental Research?


Heather Bennett

Experimental research involves conducting studies to observe and analyze relationships between variables. To do so, researchers collect various types of data that help them draw conclusions and make informed decisions. In this article, we will explore the different types of data that are commonly collected in experimental research.

Quantitative Data

One type of data collected in experimental research is quantitative data. This type of data is numerical and can be measured and analyzed using statistical methods. It provides objective information and allows for precise comparisons between different groups or conditions.

Examples of quantitative data include:

  • Measurements: These can include physical measurements such as height, weight, temperature, or blood pressure.
  • Counts: Counting the number of participants who exhibit a particular behavior or meet certain criteria.
  • Ratings: Assigning numerical values to subjective judgments or opinions using rating scales.

Qualitative Data

In addition to quantitative data, experimental researchers also collect qualitative data. Unlike quantitative data, qualitative data is descriptive and non-numerical. It provides rich insights into individual experiences, perceptions, and behaviors.

Examples of qualitative data include:

  • Observations: Documenting behaviors, interactions, or events through direct observation or video recordings.
  • Interviews: Conducting structured or semi-structured interviews to gather detailed information about participants’ thoughts and experiences.
  • Open-ended responses: Collecting written or verbal responses without predetermined options or categories.

Categorical Data

In experimental research, researchers also collect categorical data. Categorical data represents characteristics or attributes that can be grouped into specific categories or classes.

Examples of categorical data include:

  • Demographic information: Categorizing participants based on their age, gender, ethnicity, or education level.
  • Treatment groups: Assigning participants to different experimental conditions or control groups.
  • Survey responses: Grouping responses into predefined categories or Likert scales (e.g., strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree).

In conclusion, experimental research involves collecting various types of data to gain insights and draw conclusions. Quantitative data provides numerical measurements and comparisons, while qualitative data offers descriptive information about experiences and behaviors.

Categorical data helps categorize and group characteristics for analysis. By collecting and analyzing these different types of data, researchers can make informed decisions and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their respective fields.

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