Types of Experimental Research Methodologies

Topics: Scientific method, Research, Science Pages: 5 (1401 words) Published: November 12, 2011
 Natural observation occurs when researchers observe participants in their natural setting. When researchers use natural observation they do not change the environment the participants are in and the researchers do nothing to change the behavior of the participants. Natural observation is used when researchers are looking for a particular behavior but this can be a very time consuming method of research. The researcher has no guarantee that he or she will witness the particular behavior he or she is looking for.

The second methodology used in gaining qualitative and quantitative data is the survey method. The survey method is a method that polls or questions a large group of people on a particular subject. Researchers do have to trust participants and hope that the participants taking the survey answer the questions honestly. The researchers also have to ensure they have a proper sample of people to poll. The survey method is quick and very efficient but often in-depth knowledge is not something a researcher can obtain from a survey. 

The third methodology researchers' use is case studies. Case studies are a way of gaining detailed information to develop a general idea about a behavior or behaviors. Researchers study and observe one participant or a small group of participants to obtain as much information as possible. Case studies are used when researchers would like to gain more information on a particular circumstance or rare disorder. Case studies require a great deal of time, can be expensive but they can reveal a great deal of information.

 Correlational design occurs when researchers measure the relationship between two different variables. Correlations are either positive or negative; positive correlation is defined by a variable that goes up and the other variable goes up or if one variable goes down the other variable goes down. Negative correlation is one variable does the opposite of the other variable. Researchers have to be careful because correlational design does not equate cause and effect. Two different variables can have a correlation but that does not mean only two variables exist, there may be a variable that wasn't measured.

The fifth research methodology. The experimental method occurs when a researcher manipulates at least one variable while measuring at least one other variable. Often the experimental method is used in psychosocial research in order to find answers to cause-effect questions. Participants in the experimental method are randomly assigned to two different groups and the group that receives the independent variable is labeled the experimental group while the other group of participants does not receive the independent variable. The group that does not receive the independent variable is called the control group. The experimental method is valuable to science because the researcher can control the situation and the variables.

The sixth methodology used in collecting qualitative and quantitative data is the heuristic methodology. The heuristic methodology is a technique that assists researchers to problem solve in rapid manner to find a solution to a problem. The answer to the problem is the best possible answer or an educated guess and the heuristic methodology is important when constructing scientific theories. The downfall to the heuristic method is the lack of qualitative data used to back it up; heuristic methodology often allows for a problem to have several possible solutions so finding the proper data to backup the possible answer can be challenging.

The seventh methodology used in collecting qualitative and quantitative data is ethnographic methodology. Ethnographic methodology refers more the procedure of gaining information to describe people in their natural setting; researchers use writing via many methods such as case studies or questionnaires to gain the information for their research. This method is used to study cultures, it can be time consuming,...
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