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What is a quasi-experiment?

An experiment compares different groups of participants on some measure, with group membership usually manipulated by the researcher on the basis of random assignment. In a quasi experiment, the groups to be compared are naturally-occurring or pre-existing, as when males and females are compared on some measure. Unlike the true experiment then, groups in a quasi-experiment are not probabilistically equivalent, rather the assumption is that such groups will differ from the outset on some essential quality – which is the point.

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