The first method is the straightforward experiment, involving the standard practice of manipulating quantitative, independent variables to generate statistically analyzable data.
Generally, the system of scientific measurements is interval or ratio based. The researcher is accepting or refuting the null hypothesis. The results generated are analyzable and are used to test hypotheses , with statistics giving a clear and unambiguous picture. This research method is one of the most difficult, requiring rigorous design and a great deal of expense, especially for larger experiments.
The other problem, where real life organisms are used, is that taking something out of its natural environment can seriously affect its behavior. It is also the biggest drain on time and resources, and is often impossible to perform for some fields, because of ethical considerations. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was a prime example of experimental research that was fixated on results, and failed to take into account moral considerations.
In other fields of study, which do not always have the luxury of definable and quantifiable variables - you need to use different research methods. These should attempt to fit all of the definitions of repeatability or falsifiability , although this is not always feasible. Opinion based research methods generally involve designing an experiment and collecting quantitative data.
For this type of research, the measurements are usually arbitrary, following the ordinal or interval type. Questionnaires are an effective way of quantifying data from a sample group, and testing emotions or preferences. This method is very cheap and easy, where budget is a problem, and gives an element of scale to opinion and emotion. 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, A variable is something that changes. It changes according to different factors. Some variables change easily, like the stock-exchange value, while other variables are almost constant, like the name of someone.
Researchers are often seeking to measure variables. The variable can be a number, a name, or anything where the value can change. An example of a variable is temperature. The temperature varies according to other variable and factors.
You can measure different temperature inside and outside. If it is a sunny day, chances are that the temperature will be higher than if it's cloudy. Another thing that can make the temperature change is whether something has been done to manipulate the temperature, like lighting a fire in the chimney. In research, you typically define variables according to what you're measuring. The independent variable is the variable which the researcher would like to measure the cause , while the dependent variable is the effect or assumed effect , dependent on the independent variable.
These variables are often stated in experimental research , in a hypothesis , e. In explorative research methodology, e. They might not be stated because the researcher does not have a clear idea yet on what is really going on.
Confounding variables are variables with a significant effect on the dependent variable that the researcher failed to control or eliminate - sometimes because the researcher is not aware of the effect of the confounding variable. The key is to identify possible confounding variables and somehow try to eliminate or control them. Operationalization is to take a fuzzy concept conceptual variables , such as ' helping behavior ', and try to measure it by specific observations, e.
The selection of the research method is crucial for what conclusions you can make about a phenomenon. It affects what you can say about the cause and factors influencing the phenomenon.
It is also important to choose a research method which is within the limits of what the researcher can do. Time, money, feasibility, ethics and availability to measure the phenomenon correctly are examples of issues constraining the research.
Choosing the scientific measurements are also crucial for getting the correct conclusion. Some measurements might not reflect the real world, because they do not measure the phenomenon as it should. To test a hypothesis , quantitative research uses significance tests to determine which hypothesis is right. The significance test can show whether the null hypothesis is more likely correct than the research hypothesis. 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. The t-test also called the Student's T-Test is one of many statistical significance tests, which compares two supposedly equal sets of data to see if they really are alike or not. The t-test helps the researcher conclude whether a hypothesis is supported or not.
Drawing a conclusion is based on several factors of the research process, not just because the researcher got the expected result. It has to be based on the validity and reliability of the measurement, how good the measurement was to reflect the real world and what more could have affected the results. Anyone should be able to check the observation and logic, to see if they also reach the same conclusions. Errors of the observations may stem from measurement-problems, misinterpretations, unlikely random events etc.
A common error is to think that correlation implies a causal relationship. This is not necessarily true. Generalization is to which extent the research and the conclusions of the research apply to the real world. It is not always so that good research will reflect the real world, since we can only measure a small portion of the population at a time. Validity refers to what degree the research reflects the given research problem, while Reliability refers to how consistent a set of measurements are.
A definition of reliability may be "Yielding the same or compatible results in different clinical experiments or statistical trials" the free dictionary. Research methodology lacking reliability cannot be trusted.
In my fifth writer’s toolkit post I set out a plan for writing an introduction for a research report after initially developing my abstract to both guide and focus my writing. In my next post I’ll use the same SmartArt tool in Microsoft Word to think through the layout of my methodology and method section. [ Continue Reading ].
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.
Difference Between Research Methods and Research Methodology - Research methods are the means of conducting a research. Research methodology is the science. The research methods are often confused with research methodology, which implies the scientific analysis of the research methods, so as to find a solution to the problem at edupdf.ga, it seems apt to clarify the differences between research method and research methodology at this juncture, have a .
Official website of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH is one of the world's foremost medical research centers. An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH is the Federal focal point for health and medical research. The NIH website offers health information for the public, scientists, researchers, medical professionals, patients, educators, and students. Method is simply a research tool, a component of research – say for example, a qualitative method such as interviews. Methodology is the justification for using a particular research method. So if for example, like me, you want to understand the motivations and perceptions of a group of bloggers then you would most likely choose a qualitative.