Outline the particular strengths and weaknesses of research questionnaires, panel studies, lab experiments, and field experiments.

Topics: Experiment, Research, Evaluation methods Pages: 3 (649 words) Published: March 22, 2007
The ways in which the experiments presented above differ is in regard to the setting in which they are conducted. Some are laboratory experiments that take place in a setting created by researchers, and others such as field experiments are conducted in a participants natural setting. Additional ways for communication researchers to conduct there studies would be research questionnaires which ask participants to write their answers to questions researchers pose and panel studies which are surveys in which responses from the same people are obtained to learn how their beliefs, attitudes, and/or behaviors change. There are particular strengths and weaknesses of each type of experiment done.

Panel studies for instance allow, "researchers to be more confident about attributing patterns of cause in effect in survey data," (Dominick 415) and they are more reliable. Another strength of the panel study is the benefit of, "longitudinal observation of the individual through time," (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panel_study), and the compilation of information at a nice pace makes the withdraw inaccuracies condensed. On the weakness side of these studies, panel members cannot be replaced, so panel studies are threatened by participant morality which means that there are potential problems due to the loss of respondents. Such a substantial loss of respondents can compromise the results of the study. Other weaknesses include that, "panel … {studies} are expensive to conduct, are sensitive to attrition and take a long time to generate useful data," (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panel_study).

Another way communication researcher's conduct a study is by using a questionnaire. Researchers using questionnaires communicate via written messages and usually do not converse with respondents. There are many strength's of questionnaires; one would be that they are not very expensive. This type of research reaches large audiences and allows them to respond at their convenience. They...

Bibliography: ominick, Joseph R. The Dynamics of Mass Communication. 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2005. 393-437.
Hocking, John E., John W. Stacks, and Steven T. McDermott. Communication Research. 3rd Ed. New York: Allyn & Bacon, 2002. 200-215.
"Panel Study." Wikipedia.Org. Aug. 2006. 30 Dec. 2006 .
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