Research design has two basic purposes; to provide answers to research questions and to manage variation. A wide range of research methods are used in psychology. A few are: naturalistic observation, case study, survey, correlation, experimental and quasi-experimental. Most methods collect qualitative data (the why and how of decision making), quantitative data (information dealing with numbers and anything that is measurable) or both. This paper examines the comparison and contrast of research designs. Specific research designs will be examined for their strengths and weaknesses in addition to the most suitable use for each approach.
A survey is a method used to gather information from “sample size” group of people. The survey method utilizes interviews and questionnaires to collect data. These are conducted by mail, email, phone and in-person with local, state or national samples. Information is collected by means of standardized procedures so that every individual is asked the same questions in more or less the same way. The survey’s objective is not to describe the particular individuals who, by chance, are part of the sample but to obtain a combined profile of the population. Some surveys attempt to discover the result of an event on peoples’ behavior. Surveys provide statistical facts that assist in examining correlation as well as cause and effect relationship patterns (McBurney & White, 2009, p.245).
Survey data is often used to improve various behaviors, stereotypes, attitudes, address perceptions, myths and beliefs. Surveys are best utilized to study animate or inanimate objects, but have a disadvantage because only a small sample of the population is surveyed Naturalistic observation is conducted in an environment that is natural with no attempts to influence or control behavior. However; the observation of the behavior cannot be made until the event occurs, as a result eliminating... [continues]
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