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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. For biology, psychology and social sciences, there can be a huge variety of methods to choose from, and a researcher will have to justify their choice.
The first method is the straightforward experiment, involving the standard practice of manipulating quantitative, independent variables to generate statistically analyzable data. Generally, the system of scientific measurements is interval or ratio based. The researcher is accepting or refuting the null hypothesis. The results generated are analyzable and are used to test hypotheses , with statistics giving a clear and unambiguous picture. This research method is one of the most difficult, requiring rigorous design and a great deal of expense, especially for larger experiments.
The other problem, where real life organisms are used, is that taking something out of its natural environment can seriously affect its behavior. It is also the biggest drain on time and resources, and is often impossible to perform for some fields, because of ethical considerations.
The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was a prime example of experimental research that was fixated on results, and failed to take into account moral considerations. In other fields of study, which do not always have the luxury of definable and quantifiable variables - you need to use different research methods.
These should attempt to fit all of the definitions of repeatability or falsifiability , although this is not always feasible. Opinion based research methods generally involve designing an experiment and collecting quantitative data. For this type of research, the measurements are usually arbitrary, following the ordinal or interval type. Questionnaires are an effective way of quantifying data from a sample group, and testing emotions or preferences. This method is very cheap and easy, where budget is a problem, and gives an element of scale to opinion and emotion.
These figures are arbitrary, but at least give a directional method of measuring intensity. 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.
Others argue that research design refers to the choice of specific methods of data collection and analysis. In your dissertation you can define research design as a general plan about what you will do to answer the research question. .
Design lacks rigorous standards applied to methods of data gathering and analysis because one of the areas for exploration could be to determine what method or methodologies could best fit the research .
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 ﬁnally analysing and reporting data. This is the purpose of this chapter. methods design design. THE CONTEXT OF DESIGN. A mixed research design involves having both a quantitative design and qualitative design. Mixed designs is the best approach if the study requires both quantitative and qualitative designs to address the problem statement.
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. The design is the structure of any scientific work. It gives direction and systematizes the research. Different types of research designs have different advantages and disadvantages.