Research Methodology

 

Method vs Methodology:

Methods:

  • Participant observation, interview
  • Specific tasks to be used in research

Methodology:

  • Is the science of research
  • Solve the research problem
  • Includes the methods but also the logic behind the method, the justification of a method for a scientific research type, the justification of certain analysis

Categorisation of research

  • By scope
  • By sources
  • By location
  • By goal

Basic research:

  • Search for elementary principles, without concrete need for application, solely for advancement of human knowledge
  • Is sometimes called blue sky research

Applied research:

  • Search for solutions to real-world problems by applying these elementary principles

Primary research: results in original findings

Secondary research: using other existing research to derive new findings (literature research, library research)

Laboratory research: conduct research under controlled conditions

Field research: conduct research in the real environment

Exploratory research: identify new problems

Constructive research: find solution to a problem

Conceptual research: is related to abstract idea or theory. Used by philosophers or theoretical physicists

Empirical research: relies on experience or observation alone

Analytical research: analyse existing facts to make critical evaluation of material

Descriptive research: find a description of the ‘state of affairs’ (social science)

  • Also called ex post facto research
  • Researcher has no control over variables

The scientific method

  1. Observe
  2. Predict
  3. Test
  4. Generalise

Inductive reasoning

  • From observation to proposition
  • From the specific to the general
  • Creates generalisation from individual observations

Deductive reasoning

  • From general to specific
  • From abstract to concrete
  • Used general principles to deduct predictions of specific behaviour

Qualitative research:

Can’t quantify people’s opinions. You construct things from what you’re investigating. Observing human behaviour. Don’t have theories before. Researcher interacts with what is being researched. It is important to have a full description of what researcher did so reader is aware of the conditions interviews took place under.

Triangulation: Inclusion of multiple sources and several analysis methods. Make the same experiment from different viewpoints and try make sense of it

Grounded theory:

  • Interpretive research
  • Inductive approach: develops theory/hypothesis from interviews by finding patterns
  • Starts with data (observations), without a hypothesis

A hypothesis cannot be proven to be true.

  • One can only find evidence which supports the hypothesis, but no evidence that proves it
  • Alternative hypotheses may also be true and could also explain the results
  • E.g. all swans are white. Can only be proven if all swans are observed. But can easily be disproven.

As mentioned in quite a few previous posts, I have said that I wasn’t sure if my research report would really feature anything that would be deemed as scientific. This was also highlighted a little in the feedback of my project pitch, where my tutor mentioned that my aims and objectives needed to be tweaked in order to appear to be more scientific. This lecture really reminded me of the importance of this and to be honest it made the research report seem to be that much more daunting to write up. I had not come across a lot of the terminology in this lecture before so I really had to concentrate on what was being mentioned above in order to accommodate this to my research. Despite feeling a little stressed by it all, it made really understand that although I have been worried that my research wouldn’t be scientific it could be tweaked to be structured in such a way. My research will mostly be down to the opinions of the cosplayers that I interview and so therefore I must construct a hypothesis based around such thoughts.

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