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The 3 Basic Types of Descriptive Research Methods

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An example of research in the humanities is historical research, which is embodied in historical method. Historians use primary sources and other evidence to systematically investigate a topic, and then to write histories in the form of accounts of the past. Other studies aim to merely examine the occurrence of behaviours in societies and communities, without particularly looking for reasons or motivations to explain these. These studies may be qualitative or quantitative, and can use a variety of approaches, such as queer theory or feminist theory.

Artistic research , also seen as 'practice-based research', can take form when creative works are considered both the research and the object of research itself. It is the debatable body of thought which offers an alternative to purely scientific methods in research in its search for knowledge and truth.

Generally, research is understood to follow a certain structural process. Though step order may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following steps are usually part of most formal research, both basic and applied:.

A common misconception is that a hypothesis will be proven see, rather, null hypothesis. Generally, a hypothesis is used to make predictions that can be tested by observing the outcome of an experiment.

If the outcome is inconsistent with the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is rejected see falsifiability. However, if the outcome is consistent with the hypothesis, the experiment is said to support the hypothesis. This careful language is used because researchers recognize that alternative hypotheses may also be consistent with the observations. In this sense, a hypothesis can never be proven, but rather only supported by surviving rounds of scientific testing and, eventually, becoming widely thought of as true.

A useful hypothesis allows prediction and within the accuracy of observation of the time, the prediction will be verified. As the accuracy of observation improves with time, the hypothesis may no longer provide an accurate prediction.

In this case, a new hypothesis will arise to challenge the old, and to the extent that the new hypothesis makes more accurate predictions than the old, the new will supplant it. Researchers can also use a null hypothesis, which states no relationship or difference between the independent or dependent variables.

The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use historical sources and other evidence to research and then to write history. There are various history guidelines that are commonly used by historians in their work, under the headings of external criticism, internal criticism, and synthesis.

This includes lower criticism and sensual criticism. Though items may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following concepts are part of most formal historical research: The controversial trend of artistic teaching becoming more academics-oriented is leading to artistic research being accepted as the primary mode of enquiry in art as in the case of other disciplines. As such, it is similar to the social sciences in using qualitative research and intersubjectivity as tools to apply measurement and critical analysis.

It is based on artistic practices, methods, and criticality. Through presented documentation, the insights gained shall be placed in a context.

According to artist Hakan Topal , in artistic research, "perhaps more so than other disciplines, intuition is utilized as a method to identify a wide range of new and unexpected productive modalities". This may be factual, historical, or background research.

Background research could include, for example, geographical or procedural research. The Society for Artistic Research SAR publishes the triannual Journal for Artistic Research JAR , [22] [23] an international, online, open access , and peer-reviewed journal for the identification, publication, and dissemination of artistic research and its methodologies, from all arts disciplines and it runs the Research Catalogue RC , [24] [25] [26] a searchable, documentary database of artistic research, to which anyone can contribute.

Patricia Leavy addresses eight arts-based research ABR genres: Research is often conducted using the hourglass model structure of research. The major steps in conducting research are: The steps generally represent the overall process; however, they should be viewed as an ever-changing iterative process rather than a fixed set of steps. Often, a literature review is conducted in a given subject area before a research question is identified.

A gap in the current literature, as identified by a researcher, then engenders a research question. The research question may be parallel to the hypothesis. The hypothesis is the supposition to be tested. The researcher s collects data to test the hypothesis. The researcher s then analyzes and interprets the data via a variety of statistical methods, engaging in what is known as empirical research.

The results of the data analysis in rejecting or failing to reject the null hypothesis are then reported and evaluated. At the end, the researcher may discuss avenues for further research. However, some researchers advocate for the reverse approach: The reverse approach is justified by the transactional nature of the research endeavor where research inquiry, research questions, research method, relevant research literature, and so on are not fully known until the findings have fully emerged and been interpreted.

Rudolph Rummel says, " It is only when a range of tests are consistent over many kinds of data, researchers, and methods can one have confidence in the results. Plato in Meno talks about an inherent difficulty, if not a paradox, of doing research that can be paraphrased in the following way, "If you know what you're searching for, why do you search for it?!

The goal of the research process is to produce new knowledge or deepen understanding of a topic or issue. This process takes three main forms although, as previously discussed, the boundaries between them may be obscure:. There are two major types of empirical research design: Researchers choose qualitative or quantitative methods according to the nature of the research topic they want to investigate and the research questions they aim to answer:.

Social media posts are used for qualitative research. The quantitative data collection methods rely on random sampling and structured data collection instruments that fit diverse experiences into predetermined response categories. If the research question is about people, participants may be randomly assigned to different treatments this is the only way that a quantitative study can be considered a true experiment.

If the intent is to generalize from the research participants to a larger population, the researcher will employ probability sampling to select participants. In either qualitative or quantitative research, the researcher s may collect primary or secondary data. Primary data is data collected specifically for the research, such as through interviews or questionnaires. Secondary data is data that already exists, such as census data, which can be re-used for the research. It is good ethical research practice to use secondary data wherever possible.

For example, a researcher may choose to conduct a qualitative study and follow it up with a quantitative study to gain additional insights. Big data has brought big impacts on research methods so that now many researchers do not put much effort into data collection; furthermore, methods to analyze easily available huge amounts of data have also been developed. Non-empirical theoretical research is an approach that involves the development of theory as opposed to using observation and experimentation.

As such, non-empirical research seeks solutions to problems using existing knowledge as its source. This, however, does not mean that new ideas and innovations cannot be found within the pool of existing and established knowledge. Non-empirical research is not an absolute alternative to empirical research because they may be used together to strengthen a research approach.

Neither one is less effective than the other since they have their particular purpose in science. Typically empirical research produces observations that need to be explained; then theoretical research tries to explain them, and in so doing generates empirically testable hypotheses; these hypotheses are then tested empirically, giving more observations that may need further explanation; and so on.

A simple example of a non-empirical task is the prototyping of a new drug using a differentiated application of existing knowledge; another is the development of a business process in the form of a flow chart and texts where all the ingredients are from established knowledge. Much of cosmological research is theoretical in nature. Mathematics research does not rely on externally available data; rather, it seeks to prove theorems about mathematical objects. Research ethics involves the application of fundamental ethical principles to a variety of topics involving research, including scientific research.

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. 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.

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Types of research methods can be broadly divided into two quantitative and qualitative categories. Quantitative research “describes, infers, and resolves problems using numbers. Emphasis is placed on the collection of numerical data, the summary of those data and the drawing of inferences from the data” [2].

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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 .

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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 (). General Format of a Research Publication Background of the Problem (ending with a problem statement) — Why is this important to study? What .

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Research Methodology Defined. A research method is a systematic plan for conducting research. Sociologists draw on a variety of both qualitative and quantitative research methods, including experiments, survey research, participant observation, and secondary data. Quantitative methods aim to classify features, count them, and create statistical . Types Of Reports - Free online tutorials for Interpretation And Report Writing Research Methodology () courses with reference manuals and examples.