What is an Observational Study?
An observational study uses sample data to find correlations in situations where the researchers do not control the treatment, or independent variable, that relates to the primary research question. The definition of an observational study hinges on the notion that the researchers only observe subjects and do not assign them to the control and treatment groups. That’s the key difference between an observational study vs experiment. These studies are also known as quasi-experiments.
True experiments assign subject to the experimental groups where the researchers can manipulate the conditions. Unfortunately, random assignment is not always possible. For these cases, you can conduct an observational study.
In this post, learn about the types of observational studies, why they are susceptible to confounding variables, and how they compare to experiments. I’ll close this post by reviewing a published observational study about vitamin supplement usage. [Read more…] about What is an Observational Study: Definition & Examples