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Experimental Research Methods

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What is a Research Design?

Don't miss these related articles:. Check out our quiz-page with tests about: Back to Overview "Research Design". Search over articles on psychology, science, and experiments. Leave this field blank: Want to stay up to date?

Get all these articles in 1 guide Want the full version to study at home, take to school or just scribble on? Get PDF Download electronic versions: Save this course for later Don't have time for it all now? Add to my courses. Take it with you wherever you go. By definition, this experiment method must be used where emotions or behaviors are measured, as there is no other way of defining the variables. Whilst not as robust as experimental research , the methods can be replicated and the results falsified.

Observational research is a group of different research methods where researchers try to observe a phenomenon without interfering too much. Observational research methods, such as the case study , are probably the furthest removed from the established scientific method. Observational research tends to use nominal or ordinal scales of measurement. Observational research often has no clearly defined research problem , and questions may arise during the course of the study.

Observation is heavily used in social sciences, behavioral studies and anthropology, as a way of studying a group without affecting their behavior. Whilst the experiment cannot be replicated or falsified , it still offers unique insights, and will advance human knowledge. Case studies are often used as a pre-cursor to more rigorous methods, and avoid the problem of the experiment environment affecting the behavior of an organism. Observational research methods are useful when ethics are a problem.

In an ideal world, experimental research methods would be used for every type of research, fulfilling all of the requirements of falsifiability and generalization. However, ethics , time and budget are major factors, so any experimental design must make compromises. As long as a researcher recognizes and evaluates flaws in the design when choosing from different research methods, any of the scientific research methods are valid contributors to scientific knowledge.

Check out our quiz-page with tests about:. Martyn Shuttleworth Jun 19, Retrieved Sep 13, from Explorable. The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4. You can use it freely with some kind of link , and we're also okay with people reprinting in publications like books, blogs, newsletters, course-material, papers, wikipedia and presentations with clear attribution. Want the full version to study at home, take to school or just scribble on?

Whether you are an academic novice, or you simply want to brush up your skills, this book will take your academic writing skills to the next level. In some cases, these types coincide with quantitative and qualitative research designs respectively, [2] though this need not be the case. In fixed designs, the design of the study is fixed before the main stage of data collection takes place. Fixed designs are normally theory-driven; otherwise, it is impossible to know in advance which variables need to be controlled and measured.

Often, these variables are measured quantitatively. Flexible designs allow for more freedom during the data collection process. One reason for using a flexible research design can be that the variable of interest is not quantitatively measurable, such as culture.

In other cases, the theory might not be available before one starts the research. The choice of how to group participants depends on the research hypothesis and on how the participants are sampled.

In a typical experimental study, there will be at least one "experimental" condition e. Confirmatory research tests a priori hypotheses — outcome predictions that are made before the measurement phase begins. Such a priori hypotheses are usually derived from a theory or the results of previous studies.

The advantage of confirmatory research is that the result is more meaningful, in the sense that it is much harder to claim that a certain result is generalizable beyond the data set. The reason for this is that in confirmatory research, one ideally strives to reduce the probability of falsely reporting a coincidental result as meaningful.

Exploratory research, on the other hand, seeks to generate a posteriori hypotheses by examining a data-set and looking for potential relations between variables.

It is also possible to have an idea about a relation between variables but to lack knowledge of the direction and strength of the relation. If the researcher does not have any specific hypotheses beforehand, the study is exploratory with respect to the variables in question although it might be confirmatory for others. The advantage of exploratory research is that it is easier to make new discoveries due to the less stringent methodological restrictions.

In other words, if the researcher simply wants to see whether some measured variables could be related, he would want to increase the chances of finding a significant result by lowering the threshold of what is deemed to be significant. Sometimes, a researcher may conduct exploratory research but report it as if it had been confirmatory 'Hypothesizing After the Results are Known', HARKing—see Hypotheses suggested by the data ; this is a questionable research practice bordering on fraud.

A distinction can be made between state problems and process problems. State problems aim to answer what the state of a phenomenon is at a given time, while process problems deal with the change of phenomena over time. Examples of state problems are the level of mathematical skills of sixteen-year-old children or the level, computer skills of the elderly, the depression level of a person, etc. Examples of process problems are the development of mathematical skills from puberty to adulthood, the change in computer skills when people get older and how depression symptoms change during therapy.

Typical Experimental Designs

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NOTE: To search for scholarly resources on specific research designs and methods, use the SAGE Research Methods Online and Cases database. The database contains links to more than , pages of SAGE publisher's book, journal, and reference content on quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methodologies.

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Before examining types of research designs it is important to be clear about the role and purpose of research design. We need to understand what research design is and what it is not. We need to know where design fits into the whole research process from framing a question to Design methods design.

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It gives direction and systematizes the research. Different types of research designs have different advantages and disadvantages. Different Research Methods. There are various designs which are used in research, all with specific advantages and disadvantages. Basic Research Designs. Basic Research Designs. Overview of Psychology Research Methods - This article describes the most commonly used research methods in the field of psychology and gives a more in-depth look at specific quantitative research methods often utilized.

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The research question, ethics, budget and time are all major considerations in any design.. This is before looking at the statistics required, and studying the preferred methods for the individual scientific discipline.. Every experimental design must make compromises and generalizations, so the researcher must try to minimize these, whilst remaining realistic. Research Design and Research Methods CHAPTER 3 This chapter uses an emphasis on research design to discuss qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research as three major approaches to.