- Specific tasks to be used in research
- Examples: analysis of documents, participant observation, interview…
- Systematically solve the research problem
- Is the science of research
- Includes the methods, but also the logic behind the method, the justification of a method for a specific research type, the justification of certain analysis
Categorisation of research
There are many ways of categorising research:
- By scope
- By source
- By location
- By goal
- Search for elementary principles, without concrete need for application, solely for advancement of human knowledge
- Is sometimes called blue sky research
- Search for solutions to real problems by applying these elementary principles.
Research types by sources:
- Primary research: results in original findings.
- Secondary research: using other existing research to derive new findings.
Research types by location
- Library research: analysis of literature.
- Lab research: Conduct research under controlled conditions.
- Field research: Conduct research in the real environment.
Research types by Goal:
Exploratory research: Identify new problems.
Constructive research: Fund solutions to a problem.
- Conceptual research: Is related to abstract idea or theory. Used by philosophers. Or theoretical physicists.
- Empirical research: Relies on experience or observation alone.
- Analytical research Analyse existing facrs to make critical evaluation of material.
- Descriptive research Find a descriptive of the ”state of affairs” (social science).
- Also called ex post facto research.
- Researcher has no controll over variables.
The scientific Method:
- From observation to proposition.
- From the specific to the general.
- Creates generalisation from individual observation.
- From general to specific.
- From abstract to concrete.
- Uses general principles to deduct predictions of specific behaviour.
- Qualitative research: In humanities and social sciences, observing human behaviour without quantifying the results
- Constructivist, Naturalistic, Interpretive, Post postitivist, Postmodern.
What is the relationship of the reseacher to the topic?
- Quantitative researcher is independent from what is researched
- Qualitative researcher interacts with what is being researched
Subtypes of Quantitive Research
- Inferential approach: Surveys of a subset, then infer characteristics to whole population.
- Experimental approach: Manipulate variables, apply control over research environment
- Simulation approach: Construct artificial environment and study system under controlled conditions.
Qualitative Research Methodologies
- Inclusion of multiple sources and several analysis methods.
- Interpretive research
- Inductive approach: Develops theory from interviews by finding patterns.
- Starts with data (observations), without a hypothesis.
Basis of Scientific Method
- Relies on empirical evidence/
- Utilises relevant concepts
- Is committed to only objective considerations
- Ethical neutrality: Making only adequate
- Free from personal bias or prejudice
- A hypothesis cannot be proven to be true.
- One can only find evidence which supports the hypothesis but no evidence that proves it.
- Alternative hypotheses may also be true and could also explain the results.
- But the hypothesis can be disproved.
More research designs
- Inductive reasoning through grounded theory in focus groups.
- Information gained may be limited in transferability.
- Qualitative research, exploring culture phenomenon.