Meaning, Characteristics and Steps of Experimental Research 

Experimental research refers to the method of research that uses a scientific method known as the gold standard. It performs experiments to reach conclusions based on the findings of some previous research. It is used in fields such as physical sciences, social sciences, education, and psychology. 

Meaning of Experimental Research 

1. Creswell, 2012: An experimental research is a testing the independent variable (s) to determine whether it influences a dependent variable(s).

2. Harappa Education: Experimental research is a scientific method of conducting research using two variables: independent and dependent.

3. Ajit Singh: Experimental research is a study that strictly adheres to a scientific research design. It includes a hypothesis, a variable that can be manipulated by the researcher, and variables that can be measured, calculated and compared. Most importantly, experimental research is completed in a controlled environment.

4. Shrutika Sirisilla: Experimental research design is a framework of protocols and procedures created to conduct experimental research with a scientific approach using two sets of variables. Herein, the first set of variables acts as a constant, used to measure the differences of the second set. The best example of experimental research methods is quantitative research.

5. The Experience Journal: Experimental research is a study conducted with a scientific approach using two sets of variables. The first set acts as a constant, which you use to measure the differences of the second set.

6. Pollfish: Experimental research uses a scientific method for conducting research, employing the most methodical research design. Known as the gold standard, it involves performing experiments to reach conclusions and can be conducted based on some of the findings from previous forms of research.

7. S. Bell, 2009: Experimental design is the process of carrying out research in an objective and controlled fashion so that precision is maximised and specific conclusions can be drawn regarding a hypothesis statement.

8. C.F. Poole, S.K. Poole, 2012: Experimental design is an efficient method of optimizing the experimental conditions for SPE to maximize the amount of useful information obtained with the minimum number of experiments. It provides a more efficient and complete optimization compared with the ‘vary one factor at a time’ approach with other factors assigned fixed values.

9. G. Hanrahan, D.G. Patil, 2005: Experimental design methods allow the experimenter to understand better and evaluate the factors that influence a particular system by means of statistical approaches.

10. Voxco: Experimental research is a scientific methodology of understanding relationships between two or more variables.

Types of Experimental Research

There are three main types of experimental research which are as follows: 

1. Pre-experimental research design 

2. True experimental research design 

3. Quasi-experimental research design 

Characteristics of Experimental Research

1. It involves a hypothesis in the form of a variable that the researcher manipulates along with measurement and comparison. 

2. The data involved in experimental research must be quantified. 

3. The observation of the subjects involved in the research must be executed qualitatively. 

4. Experimental research makes comparisons between two or more groups or variables. 

5. Experimental stimulus is given to some variables which are known as the treatment group. 

6. It involves a control group too in which variables do not receive any stimulus. 

7. The research is conducted in a laboratory in field settings. 

8. The predictions can be made and tested by researchers only after they consider the relation of the variables. 

9. The behaviour of the object under study must be observed by the researcher. 

10. The independent variables are manipulated by the researcher to gain various results. 

Steps of Experimental Research 

1. Define the variables and explain their relationship.

2. Prepare a specific hypothesis that can be tested.

3. Design experimental treatments to manipulate the independent variable.

4. Assign subjects to groups, either between-subjects or within-subjects.

5. Plan the process of measuring the dependent variable.

Experiments are context-dependent, and a good experimental research is based on all the considerations of the study system to produce valid and relevant information for the research question.