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Difference Between Research Methods and Research Methodology

Experimental Research Methods

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This article is a part of the guide:
What are Research Methods?
What is Research Methodology?

This type of research is often used in science or medicine. Mixed methods combine qualitative and quantitative research. This type of methodology uses several different measures that include both contextual understanding like interviews or observations along with facts or statistics. Using mixed methods can help the researcher investigate a topic on multiple levels, gaining different views and a comprehensive look at the subject. A mixed methodology meshes more than one philosophical perspective, allowing for the integration of different theories and ideas.

Within each major methodology are various designs. These provide a framework or philosophy for the study, and are different than the actual methods used. For example, a case study design focuses on exploring and describing a specific instance, person or group. A researcher may use observations, interviews or self-reports from the subject to create a complete picture. This picture, or case, provides a detailed example of a phenomenon that can then be generalized to a similar population.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

The database based on Word Net is a lexical database for the English Language. Qualitative Research Qualitative research seeks to explore a specific phenomena, not prove a prediction, according to "Qualitative Research Methods: Quantitative Methods Quantitative research is is more objective than qualitative methods.

Mixed Methods Mixed methods combine qualitative and quantitative research. Prior to the observation, an observation schedule will be produced which details what exactly the researcher should look for and how those observations should be recorded.

If you are conducting a qualitative analysis you are likely to wish to use at least some original material. This may be collected through in-depth interviews, participant observation recordings and fieldnotes, non-participant observation, or some combination of these. Below are some data collection methods that you might want to use for your dissertation:.

A way of asking questions which allows the interviewee to have more control of the interview. A form of interviewing where there are several participants; there is an emphasis in the questioning on a tightly defined topic; the accent is on interaction within the group and the joint construction of meaning. The moderator tries to provide a relatively free rein to the discussion. This involves studying people in naturally occurring settings.

The researcher participates directly in the setting and collects data in a systematic manner. 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. Secondary analysis has disadvantages also: You have to find out something about that purpose, as well as the methods of collection, in order to justify your use of a secondary dataset.

Collecting you own data - primary research Quantitative data may also result from non-participant observations or other measurements e. Your research methods tutor can give you further information on these types of data, but here are some common quantitative data collection methods and their definitions: Self-completion questionnaires A series of questions that the respondent answers on their own.

Structured interviews Similar to a self-completion questionnaire, except that the questions that are asked by an interviewer to the interviewee. Structured observation Watching people and recording systematically their behaviour. Below are some data collection methods that you might want to use for your dissertation: In-depth interviews A way of asking questions which allows the interviewee to have more control of the interview.

Focus groups A form of interviewing where there are several participants; there is an emphasis in the questioning on a tightly defined topic; the accent is on interaction within the group and the joint construction of meaning. Participant observation This involves studying people in naturally occurring settings. This was particularly useful for one of our respondents: Level 6 students at Sheffield Hallam University Note: Will my research be inductive or deductive?

What's all this about research design? At the start of your research you need to set down clearly: Your research focus and research question. How you propose to examine the topic: How you will access these sources of information be they people, existing datasets, biographical accounts, media articles or websites, official records. The proposed outcome of this research in your case, a dissertation and the form it will take.

A time-frame for all this. Summary Quantitative or qualitative? A quantitative approach will mean you will need substantial datasets, as well as the inclusion of tables and statistics in your final submission. This information could come from a variety of sources - remember to acknowledge them!

A qualitative approach will probably mean conducting interviews or focus groups or observing behaviour. Ask yourself if you are prepared to do this, and think about the best way of getting the answers you want from people. Will you stop people in the street? Will you conduct telephone interviews?


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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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Mixed methods combine qualitative and quantitative research. This type of methodology uses several different measures that include both contextual understanding like interviews or observations along with facts or statistics.

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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. 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 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 investigates etc. This research is conducted largely for the enhancement of knowledge, and is research which does not have immediate. General Format of a Research Publication Background of the Problem (ending with a problem statement) — Why is this important to study? What .