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Experimental Research Methods

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What is Research Methodology?
What are Research Methods?

These figures are arbitrary, but at least give a directional method of measuring intensity. By definition, this experiment method must be used where emotions or behaviors are measured, as there is no other way of defining the variables. Whilst not as robust as experimental research , the methods can be replicated and the results falsified. Observational research is a group of different research methods where researchers try to observe a phenomenon without interfering too much.

Observational research methods, such as the case study , are probably the furthest removed from the established scientific method. Observational research tends to use nominal or ordinal scales of measurement. Observational research often has no clearly defined research problem , and questions may arise during the course of the study. Observation is heavily used in social sciences, behavioral studies and anthropology, as a way of studying a group without affecting their behavior.

Whilst the experiment cannot be replicated or falsified , it still offers unique insights, and will advance human knowledge. Case studies are often used as a pre-cursor to more rigorous methods, and avoid the problem of the experiment environment affecting the behavior of an organism.

Observational research methods are useful when ethics are a problem. In an ideal world, experimental research methods would be used for every type of research, fulfilling all of the requirements of falsifiability and generalization.

However, ethics , time and budget are major factors, so any experimental design must make compromises. As long as a researcher recognizes and evaluates flaws in the design when choosing from different research methods, any of the scientific research methods are valid contributors to scientific knowledge.

Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Jun 19, Methodology is the systematic, theoretical analysis of the methods applied to a field of study. It comprises the theoretical analysis of the body of methods and principles associated with a branch of knowledge. Typically, it encompasses concepts such as paradigm , theoretical model, phases and quantitative or qualitative techniques. A methodology does not set out to provide solutions—it is therefore, not the same as a method.

Instead, a methodology offers the theoretical underpinning for understanding which method, set of methods, or [best practice]s can be applied to a specific case, for example, to calculate a specific result.

The methodology is the general research strategy that outlines the way in which research is to be undertaken and, among other things, identifies the methods to be used in it. These methods , described in the methodology, define the means or modes of data collection or, sometimes, how a specific result is to be calculated. When proper to a study of methodology, such processes constitute a constructive generic framework , and may therefore be broken down into sub-processes, combined, or their sequence changed.

A paradigm is similar to a methodology in that it is also a constructive framework. In theoretical work, the development of paradigms satisfies most or all of the criteria for methodology.

The researcher will observe behaviour, listen to conversations, and ask questions. Spend some time looking at general books about research - they will give you an overview of the data collection methods available and help you to make the best choice for your project. Bryman would be a useful starting point. For any piece of research you conduct, be it empirically based quantitative or qualitative or library based, its methods must be justified.

You need to show in the final dissertation how you have given consideration to different methods, and why you have chosen and eliminated these. Often in early supervision meetings they ask students to justify their reasons for choosing a library-based or an empirical study.

Todd, Smith and Bannister , p This was particularly useful for one of our respondents:. With other essays you can rush them if you have to Todd, Bannister and Clegg, , p …. My reasons for data collection is literature based as my research question involved sensitive subjects which would have been unsuitable for primary data collection.

Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University I chose primary data because it would enable me to build skills that would be useful for postgraduate study. Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University It will involve primary data, secondary data, quantitative and qualitative research methods, lit reviews, theory and policy studies and an exploration of alternatives.

My dissertation is to be based around the experience of 'poverty', as poverty is the experience. Theories and policies are not. However, to do justice to the subject, theories and policies will be included so Iam able to demonstrate where failures in the system may exist. Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University.

Research must be conducted in a sensible and ethical manner; data must be analysed and presented in a rational manner. It is important that students do not expose themselves or others to dangers or risks when conducting research. Students need the approval of their dissertation supervisor before embarking on any type of fieldwork see the section on Research Ethics for more information.

In general, deductive research is theory-testing and inductive research is theory-generating. Often people link deductive research with quantitative experiments or surveys, and inductive research with qualitative interviews or ethnographic work.

These links are not hard and fast — for instance, experimental research, designed to test a particular theory through developing a hypothesis and creating an experimental design, may use quantitative or qualitative data or a combination.

If your research starts with a theory and is driven by hypotheses that you are testing e. However much research combines deductive and inductive elements. Research design is vital to conducting a good piece of work. At the start of your research you need to set down clearly:. You and your supervisor will discuss your design and decide whether the research is 'do-able'. Your university may require you to produce a report e.

Other people may have to look at the design to ascertain whether there are ethical issues that affect your research. Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Researching society and culture.

London, Sage Here are some references for specific methods: Interviewing for social scientists: Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. Identifying a research topic: A template for structured observation: Guide to undergraduate dissertations in the social sciences. Content About this site What is a Dissertation? How to start your dissertation Help with finding literature and research Formulating the research question Methodologies.

Introduction What approach should I take - qualitative or quantitative? Can my dissertation be entirely literature-based? What is case study research? What's an empirical study? What is secondary analysis? Where do I find existing research data? Collecting you own data - primary research Will my research be inductive or deductive? What about research design? Resources Further reading Research papers. Methodologies 1 Introduction The way you approach your question will have a profound effect upon the way you construct your dissertation, so this section discusses the types of research you might undertake for your dissertation.

This video clip contains comments from the following academics: What if I want to find out about social trends, or the measurable effects of particular policies? What if I want to record people's views on an issue, and give them a 'voice'? Whether you choose qualitative or quantitative analysis will depend on several things: Your preferred philosophical approach realist, phenomenologist or constructionist. Your skills and abilities with methods of data collection if needed and analysis.

The topic or issue you are interested in. How you frame your research question. Can I combine qualitative and quantitative methods? You may be interested in doing an analysis that is primarily quantitative, looking at social trends, or policy implications. However you also want to introduce a 'human touch' by conducting one or several interviews asking what these trends mean to people or how particular individuals experience events. After doing your quantitative analysis, you should include a chapter or section on the qualitative data you have collected.

In your discussion of findings you can use the qualitative data to help you understand the patterns in the quantitative analysis. You may be interested in doing an evaluative case study of a process or policy. You will have a particular focus — a 'case' that you are looking at. You will triangulate methods — i. You will analyse each type of data and describe this, and then write a discussion that shows how each piece of analysis contributes to the overall picture of what is going on.

Download Case Study 6 Media research If you are interested, for example, in doing historical research, you may need to visit archives. This has the following advantages: They allow you to discuss trends and social changes. The data are often collected through a random sample, which allows you to generalise to the population under consideration.

They may also allow you to make comparisons over time, as some datasets are products of longitudinal studies. Smaller, more targeted datasets may also be available.

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Types of research methods can be classified into several categories according to the nature and purpose of the study and other attributes. In methodology chapter of your dissertation, you are expected to specify and discuss the type of your research according to the following classifications.

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Observational research methods, such as the case study, are probably the furthest removed from the established scientific method. This type is looked down upon, by many scientists, as ‘quasi-experimental’ research, although this is usually an unfair criticism. Observational research tends to use nominal or ordinal scales of measurement.

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Research can be classified in many different ways on the basis of the methodology of research, the knowledge it creates, the user group, the research problem it . Types of Research Methods Adapted from Edvantia SBR Rating for Technical Assistance Programs and Services form () and Carter McNamara Overview of Methods to Collect Information handout.

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Research Methods To understand the use of statistics, one needs to know a little bit about experimental design or how a researcher conducts investigations. A little knowledge about methodology will provide us with a place to hang our statistics. Research methodology in a number of areas like social sciences depends heavily on significance tests. A significance test may even drive the research process in a whole new direction, based on the findings.