A study by Larry Hughes from the University of Nebraska at Kearney titled A correlational Study of the Relationship between Sense of Humor and Positive Psychological capacities serves as a good example of a correlational research study. The study, which involved 92 participants from numerous employers sought to establish or to relate sense of humor to positive psychological capacities or how well humor increases positivity among people. The study also sought to investigate whether a sense of humor increases positive effective experiences.
The study qualifies to be classified a correlational study because it has more than 2 quantitative variables that come from the same group of subjects and the aim of the experiment is to try and determine whether there is a relationship or a co-variation between the variables. In this case, the researcher tries to show that there is a similarity between the variables and not necessarily a difference between them. It is a suitable type of experimental design when there is ample literature on the study and the current study though independent has to borrow and correlate its findings with previous studies.
The variables of interest in this case were the availability of sense of humor and the positive psychological capacities. Neither the availability of sense of humor nor the positive psychological capacities could be manipulated. These variables were to be measured. The Multidimensional Sense of Humor Scale (MSHS) measured the sense of humor while a PsyCap questionnaire measured the four dimensions (confidence and sense of humor, optimism and sense of humor, hope and sense of humor as well as Resiliency and sense of humor.
The possible alternative of the data could have included data that considers leadership as a social influence from the perspective of the leader rather than from that of the followers.
A study by Kristina Gyllensten and Stephen Palmer both from the City University, London qualifies as a quasi experiment. The paper presents the findings on whether workplace coaching has the potential to reduce stress. 31 participants were gathered for the study. They were all from a finance organization in the UK. The researchers measured anxiety, stress and depression levels before and after the coaching as the participants were organized in a control and coaching group. It was noted that the levels of stress decreased more in the coaching group as compared to that in the control group both at the beginning and at the end of the study. Interestingly, the levels of depression had increased more in the control group than in the coaching group. The researchers used mixed ANOVAS to analyze the findings and found there were no significant interactions between time and coaching in relation to stress, anxiety and depression.
This study qualifies as a quasi experiment because the coaching and the levels of stress, depression and anxiety are all subject to internal validity since the control and treatment groups do not compare at the baseline. Each of the 31 participants from the selected organization had an opportunity to fall into either the control or the experimental group.
The measured variables for the study were depression, anxiety and stress. These were measured before and after the application of a variable that could be manipulated- coaching. There was also a non-equivalent groups pretest on both the control and the coaching groups.
Although Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) are recommended when studying interventions within psychology they may involve ethical problems and the conditions for RCTs may not always be fulfilled. Quasi experimental procedures are in themselves adequate alternatives with RCTs and can investigate the workability of solutions in practice. Since it was not possible to randomize individuals into conditions or to alter the level of control in comparison to the interventions needed in RCTs, then the quasi experiment would suffice. Moreover, the study aimed at showing whether coaching, which is practiced in actual workplaces can produce beneficial results.
A true experiment study is one in which a hypotheses can be approved or disapproved and it is regarded as the most accurate type of experimental design. A study by Kristina Shampanier, Nina Mazar and Dan Ariely titled Zero as a Special Price: The True Value of Free Products sought to prove or disapprove a hypotheses. The researchers noted that people choose the option that gives them the highest cost-benefit difference. The researchers sought to offer a different view in regard to free (zero price) products. As such, the researchers contrasted the demand of two products with one priced very lowly. The researchers hypothesized that people do not simply subtract costs from benefits but rather they perceive the benefits associated with free products as higher. Eventually, the researchers proved their hypotheses.
This study qualifies for a true experimental design because it can prove or disapprove a hypothesis mathematically using ample statistical analysis. For instance, the product offered free, Hershey’s had a boost in demand from 28% to 92% while that product offered for its rightful price suffered a loss in demand from 72% to 8% even the absence of a dominated alternative.
The following were the variables that could be manipulated for the study. All the subjects had three choices: to buy a low value product say a Hershey’s Kiss, buy a product of higher value (Lindt truffle) or buy nothing. The measured variable was the regularity with which each of the two products was bought as well as noting the number of people who chose not to buy anything. As such, the variables which were of interest to the researchers were “cost” and “preference”.
Shampanier, K., Mazar, N., & Ariely, D. (2007). Zero as a Special Price: The True Value of Free Products. Marketing Science. Vol. 26, No. 6, November–December 2007, pp. 742–757.