Sunday, July 31, 2016

Research Methods - An Overview

DEFINITION & IMPORTANCE: Research in simple terms is the quest for knowledge. It is the process of logical and coordinated enquiry into materials, circumstances and phenomenon to establish new facts and conclusions for the purpose of further action/improvement in important matters for the benefit of the society.

The importance of research can never be undermined as it is the tool through which anything substantial can be found for enhancing and improving knowledge and taking the next step of advancement for the better.

QUANTITATIVE METHODS OF RESEARCH: Quantitative research is the systematic empirical investigation of observable phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques.

1) Fundamental, Pure or Theoretical Research:  Research that looks to discover something new or undiscovered till date for enrichment of the human knowledge fundamentally is known as Fundamental/Pure of Theoretical Research.

The ways in which it is done is belowmentioned:

a) Discovering a New Theory

b) Development of an existing theory by adding or refuting facts pertaining to the same

2) Applied Research: It is based on application of known theories and models to the actual operational fields or populations. It is to test the empirical and basic assumptions  or validity of a theory under given conditions. Thus, it helps in helps in providing further evidence to continue or discontinue a theory and its validity as well as develop and utilize techniques to serve the research and speed up the process of generalization.


1) Ex- Post Facto Research: Empirical enquiry where the scientist does not have direct control over the independent variable as their manifestations have already occurred or because they are inherently not  manipulable. Relations among variables are made without direct intervention from con-commitment variation of independent and dependent variables.  The strengths and importance of this are many, but lets take a look at some of its weaknesses too.

Weakness of this type of research:
a) Inability to control changing patterns of independent variables.
b) Owe the risk of improper interpretations due to the abovementioned reason.
c) It may not have a particular hypothesis as it may predict a spurious relationship between independent and dependent variables.

2) Laboratory or Experimental Research

3) Field Investigation Research

4) Survey Research

5) Evaluation Research: It is further classified in to a) Concurrent Evaluation, b) Phasic or Periodic Evaluation, c) Terminal Evaluation

6) Action Research: It is a research through launching of a direct action with the objective of attaining workable solutions to the given problems. Methods used are generally personal interviews and survey method. 


Major steps:

a) Selection and statement of research problem
b) Formulation of Hypothesis
c) Methodology and definitions of concepts and variables
d) Data collection

Sources of a Hypothesis: General culture, scientific theory,analogies,personal experience


It is social research based on field observations analyzed without statistics. It is to explore basically to get a good grip on the basis of the reason and causes and effects of a phenomenon. It helps develop hypothesis for further deeper research into the subject.

1) Focus group
2) In-depth interview (IDI, one-on-one)
3) Dyads, triads
4) Paired interviews


1) Ethics
2) Techniques
3) Recording Data
4) Analysis
5) Validity

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome post, I just read it from start to end. Learned something new after a long time.

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