Using and interpreting analogue designs

Bryan G. Cook, Phillip D. Rumrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Researchers in rehabilitation counseling and disability studies sometimes use analogue research, which involves materials that approximate or describe reality (e.g., written vignettes, videotaped exemplars) rather than investigating phenomena in real-world settings. Analogue research often utilizes experimental designs, and it thereby frequently possesses a high degree of internal validity. Analogue research allows investigators to exercise tight control over the implementation of the independent or treatment variable and over potentially confounding variables, which enables them to isolate the effects of those treatment variables on selected outcome measures. However, the simulated nature of analogue research presents an important threat to external validity. As such, the generalizability of analogue research to real-life settings and situations may be problematic. These and other issues germane to analogue research in vocational rehabilitation are discussed in this article, illustrated with examples from the contemporary literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005


  • Analogue research
  • Research design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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