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Explain how a natural experiment differs from a traditional one

1. Explain how a natural experiment differs from a traditional one by providing an example of each and discussing the differences. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Which design do you think is most useful and why? 

2. Of the four types of survey methods discussed in the text - self-administered questionnaire, interview survey, telephone survey and online survey - discuss how each might be applied to your research proposal. Based upon your research question/hypothesis, what do you think would be the most appropriate method of conducting a survey? Why?

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Q-1

Both the experimental types - natural experiment and traditional experiment will vary in several ways. Now, considering the given aspect of growth of jails in Rural America, it is noticed that the researchers need to first define the objectives of the research (Lynch, 2013). Second, they need to choose the type of experimental study that they will be conducing in a given environment.

Based on the needs of the research, the researchers will be able to select on the research type in a given environment. The major advantages of conducting natural experiment include - will be able to capture natural behavior of the stakeholders associated with it, will be able to conduct research that otherwise would be unethical, and also will not require to change the values of variables during any time (Lynch, 2013).

However, there are also disadvantages associated with it. These include - lack of control over the variables under study, and also the researcher will not be able to control the participants in a given environment. On the other hand, the traditional experiment will be taking place in an open environment and under controlled conditions (Callahan et al., 2013).

The major strengths of such experiments include - easier to generalize the results, tighter control of variables, and also will be less time-consuming in a given working environment. However, the disadvantages associated with it include - biasing issues associated with the researcher, artificial environment, and weak control of extraneous variables (Callahan et al., 2013). Thus, the researcher while conducting such an experiment needs to take into account the objectives and accordingly select the best experiment method in a given environment.

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Q-2

There are four major types of survey methods that include - self-administered questionnaire, interview survey, telephone survey and online survey. The current research proposal focuses on the aspects of determining the rising number of jails in the Rural America. It implies that even the crime rates are increasing and thus the researcher needs to gather different data related to this research (Sevigny, Pollack, & Reuter, 2013).

For this purpose, they will even require understanding the position of the prison, opinion of the prison staff, and also conduct an interview with the head of the prison department. However, considering the research proposal and the research questions formulated, the best method of conducting a survey will be - self-administered survey (Sevigny, Pollack, & Reuter, 2013).

This survey method first will allow including all those questions for which data is required. It will allow the research to conduct the necessary data and also ask the questions to all the concerned people associated with this research scenario.

Further, the researcher will be able to determine the major factors due to which it is observed that the jails in the Rural America have increased. They can accordingly prove the hypothesis and accordingly achieve the desired objectives of research in a given environment.

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