Research Methods Lecture

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Research methods Lecture #4

Planning phase 1. understanding the problem gather information use multiple sources of information if possible

Posing/refining questions
1. what are the questions we want to adress? descriptive (studying the world as it is) vs. normative questions

2. Verifying the questions transforming/organizing questions into research hypotheses checking if our questions/hypotheses are: explicit(no hidden assumptions), logical, testable

Planning phase 2. selecting research design selecting data collection strategy

Decision cycle:
1. what would be an optimal solution in terms of selecting research design?
2. what are the resources?
3. assessing feasibility
4. determining the trade-off’s

Basic criteria of research design selection
1. credibility - our conclusions should be supported in a valid way
2. Utility - we will be able to address the questions of interest
3. Feasibility - project might be conducted given all the constraints (ethical, financial, time)

4 basic methods of conducting research
1. observational studies
2. case studies
3. correlational research
4. experimental research

Observational studies method: behaviour is observed in its natural environment sometimes observation is the only choice

Naturalistic observation - pros.
+ firsthand info
+ behaviour is natural and uninfluenced
+ important part of exploratory research
+ unique observations
+ challenging existing theories

cons. if the observed is known to be observing, behaviour may be altered replication problems generalisability problems representativeness/sampling problems

Different levels of involvement
1. secret outsider limited knowledge
2. Recognized outsider observer known to participants hawthorne effect -
3. Marginal participant
4. Full participant - ethical issues

Data recording
1. note taking
2. using pre-coded checklists
3. creating maps/plans/diagrams
4. photographs/videotape

Behaviour recording define the behaviour top be observed which type of recording is best

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