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What are the advantages and disadvantages of experimental research?

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Quick Answer

Experimental research is essential for uncovering facts about medicine, basic science and other fields, but sloppiness can cause problems. In addition, some experiments can be dangerous for participants. Ethics plays a significant role in experimental research.

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Full Answer

Experimental research involves testing hypotheses to determine if they match the evidence. One of the most difficult parts of performing experimental research is eliminating confounding factors. While research tends to be slow, it is essential for testing physics hypotheses, determining if specific medical treatments are effective and testing a variety of equipment.

However, studies have shown that a significant portion of experimental research is tainted by improper methodology, bias and poor statistical analysis. Small mistakes committed by the researchers can cause experiments to show significant effects when none exist, and some scientists have even made up results in the past.

Experimental results must be replicated for them to be accepted, and peer-reviewed publication is essential for finding any problems that existed in the methodology researchers used. In addition, many experts are calling for more sophisticated statistical analysis. While problems are common, experimental research has led to longer lifespans, improved health and a broad base of basic scientific knowledge that has led to countless inventions.

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