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Data Collection Methods

Experimental Research Methods

❶These devices help simplify and quantify people's behaviors and attitudes.

Quantitative and Qualitative Data collection methods

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Laboratory observations are usually less time-consuming and cheaper than naturalistic observations. Of course, both naturalistic and laboratory observation are important in regard to the advancement of scientific knowledge. Case study research involves an in-depth study of an individual or group of indviduals. Case studies often lead to testable hypotheses and allow us to study rare phenomena. Case studies should not be used to determine cause and effect, and they have limited use for making accurate predictions.

There are two serious problems with case studies — expectancy effects and atypical individuals. Describing atypical individuals may lead to poor generalizations and detract from external validity. In survey method research, participants answer questions administered through interviews or questionnaires.

After participants answer the questions, researchers describe the responses given. In order for the survey to be both reliable and valid it is important that the questions are constructed properly. Questions should be written so they are clear and easy to comprehend. Another consideration when designing questions is whether to include open-ended, closed-ended, partially open-ended, or rating-scale questions for a detailed discussion refer to Jackson, Advantages and disadvantages can be found with each type:.

Open-ended questions allow for a greater variety of responses from participants but are difficult to analyze statistically because the data must be coded or reduced in some manner. Closed-ended questions are easy to analyze statistically, but they seriously limit the responses that participants can give. In addition to the methods listed above some individuals also include qualitative as a distinct method and archival methods when discussing descriptive research methods.

It is important to emphasize that descriptive research methods can only describe a set of observations or the data collected. It cannot draw conclusions from that data about which way the relationship goes — Does A cause B, or does B cause A?

Nothing could be further from the truth. Research Methods and Statistics: A Critical Thinking Approach 3rd edition. 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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Comparisons of primary research findings to the findings of the literature review are critically important for both types of studies – qualitative and quantitative. Data analysis methods in the absence of primary data collection can involve discussing common patterns, as well as, controversies within secondary data directly related to the .

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The quantitative types argue that their data is 'hard', 'rigorous', 'credible', and 'scientific'. The qualitative proponents counter that their data is 'sensitive', 'nuanced', 'detailed', and 'contextual'. For many of us in social research, this kind of polarized debate has become less than productive.

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The purpose of this page is to describe important data collection methods used in Research.. Data Collection is an important aspect of any type of research study. Inaccurate data collection can impact the results of . Types of Research Data Data may be grouped into four main types based on methods for collection: observational, experimental, simulation, and derived. The type of research data you collect may affect the way you manage that data.

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Experimental Research Methods. 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. When we talk about ‘scientific research methods’, this is what . Chapter 2: Research Methodology 1. Type of Research 2. Sources of Data 3. Instruments for Data Collection 4. Research Methods 5. Sampling 6. Limitations of the Study. 7 Chapter 2: Research Methodology Research methodology process includes a number of activities to be performed. These are.