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What is the meaning of methodology in research

Choosing appropriate research methodologies Choosing appropriate research methodologies It is vital you pick approach research methodologies and methods for your thesis - your research after all is what your whole dissertation will rest on.

Choosing qualitative or quantitative research methodologies Your research will dictate the kinds of research methodologies you use to underpin your work and methods you use in order to collect data.

If you wish to collect quantitative data you are probably measuring variables and verifying existing theories or hypotheses or questioning them. Data is often used to generate new hypotheses based on the results of data collected about different variables.

Significance and purpose of Research Methodology

However, often collections of statistics and number crunching are not the answer to understanding meanings, beliefs and experience, which are better understood through qualitative data. And quantitative data, it must be remembered, are also collected in accordance with certain research vehicles and underlying research questions. Even the production of numbers is guided by the kinds of questions asked of the subjects, so is essentially subjective, although it appears less so than qualitative research data.

Qualitative research This is carried out when we wish to understand meanings, look at, describe and understand experience, ideas, beliefs and values, intangibles such as these.

Using quantitative and qualitative research methods together This is a common approach and helps you to 'triangulate' ie to back up one set of findings from one method of data collection underpinned by one methodology, with another very different method underpinned by another methodology - for example, you might give out a questionnaire normally quantitative to gather statistical data about responses, and then back this up and research in more depth by interviewing normally what is the meaning of methodology in research selected members of your questionnaire sample.

Research methods in brief Look at the very brief outlines of different methods below. Consider which you intend using and whether you could also find it more useful to combine the quantitative with the qualitative. Qualitative research methods Interviews Interviews enable face to face discussion with human subjects.

If you decide to interview you will need to draw up an interview schedule of questions which can be either closed or open questions, or a mixture of these. Closed questions tend to be used for asking for and receiving answers about fixed facts such as name, numbers, and so on. They do not require speculation and they tend to produce short answers. With closed questions you could even give your interviewees a small selection of possible answers from which to choose.

  • For example, clinical trials test new medicines or devices;
  • Consider which you intend using and whether you could also find it more useful to combine the quantitative with the qualitative;
  • Choosing qualitative or quantitative research methodologies Your research will dictate the kinds of research methodologies you use to underpin your work and methods you use in order to collect data;
  • With closed questions you could even give your interviewees a small selection of possible answers from which to choose.

If you do this you will be able to manage the data and quantify the responses quite easily. The Household Survey and Census ask closed questions, and often market researchers who stop you in the street do too. The problem with closed questions is that they limit the response the interviewee can give and do not enable them to think deeply or test their real feelings or values. This would give you a very good idea of the variety of ideas and feelings people have, it would enable them to think and talk for longer and so show their feelings and views more fully.

But it is very difficult to quantify these results. You will find that you will need to read all the comments through and to categorise them after you have received them, or merely report them in their diversity and make general statements, or pick out particular comments if they seem to fit your purpose. If you decide to use interviews: Draw up a set of questions that seem appropriate to what you need to find out. Do start with some basic closed questions name etc.

Don't ask leading questions. Try them out with a colleague. Pilot them, then refine the questions so that they are genuinely engaged with your research object. Contact your interviewees and ask permission, explain the interview and its use. Thematically analyse results and relate these findings to others from your other what is the meaning of methodology in research methods. Quantitative research methods Questionnaires Questionnaires often seem a logical and easy option as a way of collecting information from people.

Research methodology

They are actually rather difficult to design and because of the frequency of their use in all contexts in the modern world, the response rate is nearly always going to be a problem low unless you have ways of making people complete them and hand them in on the spot and this of course limits your sample, how long the questionnaire can be and the kinds of questions asked.

As with interviews, you can decide to use closed or open questions, and can also offer respondents multiple choice questions from which to choose the statement which most nearly describes their response to a statement or item.

Their layout is an art form in itself because in poorly laid out questionnaires respondents tend, for example, to repeat their ticking of boxes in the same pattern.

If given a choice of response on a scale 1-5, they will usually opt for the middle point, and often tend to miss out subsections to questions. You need to take expert advice in setting up a questionnaire, ensure that all the information about the respondents which you need is included and filled in, and ensure that you actually get them returned. Expecting people to pay to return postal questionnaires is sheer folly, and drawing up a really lengthy questionnaire will also inhibit response rates.

You will need to ensure that questions are clear, and that you have reliable ways of collecting and managing the data.

  1. Expecting people to pay to return postal questionnaires is sheer folly, and drawing up a really lengthy questionnaire will also inhibit response rates.
  2. You need to take expert advice in setting up a questionnaire, ensure that all the information about the respondents which you need is included and filled in, and ensure that you actually get them returned.
  3. Don't ask leading questions. What kinds of research methods would be best suited to the kind of research you are undertaking and the research questions you are pursuing?
  4. This would give you a very good idea of the variety of ideas and feelings people have, it would enable them to think and talk for longer and so show their feelings and views more fully.
  5. Consider which you intend using and whether you could also find it more useful to combine the quantitative with the qualitative.

You would find it useful to consult the range of full and excellent research books available. These will deal in much greater depth with the reasons for, processes of holding, and processes of analysing data from the variety of research methods available to you.

Developing and using a questionnaire - some tips: Quantitative, or qualitative, or a mixture of both?

Choosing appropriate research methodologies

What do you think your methods will enable you to discover? What might they prevent you from discovering? What kinds of research methods would be best suited to the kind of research you are undertaking and the research questions you are pursuing? What sort of problems do you envisage in setting up these methods?

What are their benefits? What will you need to do to ensure they gather useful data?