Nonexperimental research is research that lacks the manipulation of an independent variable, random assignment of participants to conditions or orders of conditions, or both. An example of non-experimental research could be to investigate the potential effects of smoking by identifying a group of smokers and a group of nonsmokers and compare them for differences in their current state of health.
Experimental designs typically use random assignment, manipulation of an independent variable(s), and strict controls. An example would be comparison of a study group to a control group before and after a specific treatment= for example, comparing postop wound infection rates among those who did not have CHG shower and those who did.
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