Strengths and Limitations of Correlational Research Design

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Correlational designs have been used in all areas of research. Forensic psychology research is no exception. As you have seen from your readings, many phenomena do not lend themselves to true experimental design. For example, an experimental research study that looks at the effect of viewing violent content, either on television or in video games, would be more challenging, both practically and ethically, than a similar study using a correlational design. Correlational research designs allow researchers to study behavior as it occurs naturally. However, to do so probably would compromise the ability to draw cause-and-effect conclusions.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review Chapter 9 in your course text, Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences. Consider the strengths and limitations of using correlational data, in general, and as it relates to research in forensic psychology or in forensic settings.
  • Review the article, “Forensic Psychology: An Empirical Review of Experimental Research.” Focus on the strengths and limitations of empirical and correlational design.
  • Select and review two research articles covering different topic areas, both of which use a correlational design.
  • Think about the strengths and limitations of the correlational design used in each of the two research articles you chose.

The assignment (1–3 pages):

  • In APA formatting briefly describe each of the studies in the two research articles you selected. Include a description of the results of the studies and the correlational relationship reported.
  • Explain the strengths and limitations of using a correlational design in each of the studies.
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