Defining Ex Post Facto Research

Ex post facto research designs evaluate groups of previously existing characteristics based on predictor variables. Ex post facto designs, sometimes referred to as “after the fact” research, are regarded as quasi-experimental since the subjects are classified according to a certain feature or attribute rather than being allocated at random.

Because there is no purposive sampling method, even when different groups are evaluated and assessed in terms of independent and dependent variables, it is not a testable theory. Depending on the variable that interests the investigators, subjects are divided into several groups.

Definition of Ex Postfacto Research

As a result, ex-post facto research is an empirically grounded examination in which the independent variables are not directly controlled by the analysts since those impacts have already been produced and are no longer subject to manipulation. Inferences about the connection between the variables are made without interfering with or changing the independent or dependent variables.

Characteristics of Ex Postfacto Research

It is sometimes referred to as “causal-comparative research” and is founded on the notion of ex-post facto study. Ex-post facto research stands apart from other forms of study due to a few distinctive features. Some of the characteristics are:

  • The study has a reference or control group: It becomes essential for the researcher to maintain a control group, which can be used for comparison with the original experimental group later on, as the research is done based on the study of the cause, which has already led to its effects, to analyze the cause of an already occurred event.
  • It is impossible to control or alter the behaviour, activity, incident, remedy, or predictor variables of the study: The researcher cannot control or alter the already-taken acts or conduct since ex-post research is a type of research that attempts to forecast causes based on activities that have already happened.
  • The study focuses on these outcomes: The researcher’s initial effort is to concentrate on the event or phenomenon that has already happened since they are trying to analyze and forecast the causes of an event or phenomenon. The analyst only attempts to ascertain the reasons for a phenomenon or occurrence after having thoroughly studied the phenomenon or occurrence.
  • The study attempted to examine the “how” and “what” of an incident: The research primarily focuses on how and what causes that phenomenon to exist since the researcher attempts to comprehend the causal consequences underlying a phenomenon.
  • Examines potential origins and implications: Using ex-post facto research, the researcher attempts to examine the cause and effect relationships of a certain occurrence, activity, or attitude.

Procedure of Ex Postfacto Research

Ex-post facto research is methodical and adheres to a predetermined order.The procedure required for this research was mentioned by Isaac and Michael (1971). The steps are as follows:

  1. Identifying the issue: The researcher must concentrate on the issue that deserves attention in an ex-post facto analysis. In addition to identifying a problem, they must also identify, evaluate, and specify the issue they will be addressing.
  2. Review of the Literature: Before attempting to predict causal relationships, the researcher should review all pertinent studies, relevant literature, and other sources that might be useful for further assessment, prognostication, or conclusion regarding the causal relationship between the variables under study.
  3. Hypothesis: Posing potential remedies or replacements that may have had the same or a similar impact is the third phase of ex-post facto research. The presumptions that will serve as the foundation for the study technique and hypothesis need to be specified.
  4. Choosing the sample: The investigator must choose a sample that satisfies the study’s eligibility requirements after defining the problem and formulating the hypothesis. Additionally, they must decide on the grade or build the equipment for gathering the needed data. The researcher then examines the correlation between the variables when the design is complete.
  5. The authenticity of the study: The investigator must confirm the importance of their findings. They must use caution while determining the degree to which their findings will be reliable, important, and useful for understanding and extrapolating conclusions from the collected data.
  6. Evaluation of the findings: The investigator must finally analyze, assess, and interpret the data they have gathered. The researcher only chooses the best alternative of reasons that may have resulted in the effect based on this stage.