|To create a snapshot of the current state of affairs
|Provides a relatively complete picture of what is occurring at a given time. Allows the development of questions for further study.
|Does not assess relationships among variables. May be unethical to participants if they do not know they are being observed.
|To assess the relationships between and among two or more variables
|Allows testing of expected relationships between and among variables and the making of predictions. Can assess these relationships in everyday life events.
|Cannot be used to draw interferences about the causal relationships between and among variables.
|To assess the causal impact of one or more experimental manipulations on a dependent variable
|Allows drawing of conclusions about the causal relationships among variables.
|Cannot experimentally manipulate many important variables. May be expensive and time consuming.