What is the Use of Experimental Method in Data Collection?

These are more effective in establishing cause-and-effect relations. In an experiment, data collection is done in such a manner as to permit relatively unmambigons interpretation. In the relam of the sciences, experiments determine and prove cause-and-effect relations. These are also being used in marketing research efforts of the new century, although these were in use during the last century as well.

Experimentation has become the basis of marketing science. Further, design of experiments allows a rational analysis of research findings. It also provides a role model against which, other research designs can be compared. Boyd, Westfall, and Stanch' define an experiment as follows: "An experiment is a research process in which, one or more variables are manipulated under conditions that permit the collection of data that show the effects, if any, of such variables in an unconfused fashion."

Thus, according to this definition, the difference between experimental research and non experimental research may be a matter of degree rather than of kind.

Experiments a create artificial conditions so as to get the data that are needed to complete the research. Such conditions may also be necessary to measure the data in a most accurate manner or format. Situations are invariable created for conducting experiments and respondents may not feel at home while they cooperate with researchers during experiments due to this phenomenon.

However, this method has the advantage that researchers can analyse the actual cause-and-effect relations between any two variables that are pertinent to the research. Other variables are either not present or are present to the minimum extent.

Thus, the data collected by the researchers are representatives of the actual cause-and effect relations between the two given variables. Further, one of the variables can be changed (only in a controlled experimental setting) and the effects of such changes can be measured on the other. Thus, experiments are popular among researchers, especially those who are in scientific fields.

There are two types of experiments-laboratory and field. Laboratory experiments are conducted in laboratories. Test subjects are brought to these laboratories and administered various tests. They could be shown a TV commercial or newspaper advertisement. They could also be made to witness a small programme prepared by trained artists.

Then, the responses of test subjects are measured, either on a recording medium or in writing. This method is artificial, brings results quickly, is less costly and involves fewer efforts. Field experiments are conducted in the field where test subjects are normally found or identified. Test subjects are asked questions, shown TV commercials or made to read some leaflets. They can even be told to try some products. Their responses are measured at the read some leaflets. They can even be told to try some products. Their responses are measured at the sport and recorded dutifully.

This method is consistent, time-consuming, more costly, and involves more efforts. If cost and operational hassles are not the vital factors to be considered, field experiments are the ones that the researcher should always opt for. Further, Boyd et al have confirmed that laboratory experiments yield much similar results to those produced by field experiments but not similar to those produced by descriptive studied Problems can also be studied by non-experimental methods; researchers would have to take care while using them because their results may not be very much useful or reliable.

Ethnography

It is used to investigate cultures and population sub-groups and seeks to explore, describe and explain cultural behavior. As a form of qualitative research, ethnography requires the collection of in-depth information through face to face contact with individuals over a period of time. Analysis of data concentrates on understanding and describing the situation from the perspectives of the culture or sub-group under study.