I'm doing a project where I predict whether the US will reach its carbon-neutral goal using past data. And I want to know if it would be an observational study or an experimental study. I feel like it's a bit of both so I'm not sure which one it would be.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you doing something as part of your study that would affect the US outcome? $\endgroup$
    – BruceET
    Jul 10, 2021 at 21:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I fail to see how this question is related to mathematics... $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2021 at 21:09

1 Answer 1


First, welcome to MSE. This question is probably better posted to Cross-Validated, the statistics and data analysis Q&A site. However, given this is a conceptual statistics question, I think it has a place here.

You are performing an observational study, not an experimental one. Why?

  1. You are not applying changes to treatment and control groups.
  2. You are using historical data that was generated for other purposes.

Experimental studies require active manipulation of a situation to see a result. Outside of the natural sciences, it is very hard to accomplish this (save for psychology, which has had some good successes).

You are planning to use historical data for your study


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