The four types of research methods

Animals Types Of Qualitative Research Methods Qualitative research is a general term that includes several types of qualitative research methods that are employed, in order to provide an adequate explanation for certain phenomena and satisfying answers to the questions that such phenomena may raise. Any particular situation is characterized by certain interactions which are unique to that situation. In such a situation the roles of the various types of qualitative research methods is to provide the researcher with an in-depth analysis of the situation and a meaningful interpretation of the role of those involved in that situation.

The four types of research methods

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Research Methods To understand the use of statistics, one needs to know a little bit about experimental design or how a researcher conducts investigations. A little knowledge about methodology will provide us with a place to hang our statistics. In other words, statistics are not numbers that just appear out of nowhere.

Rather, the numbers data are generated out of research. Statistics are merely a tool to help us answer research questions. As such, an understanding of methodology will facilitate our understanding of basic statistics.

Validity A key concept relevant to a discussion of research methodology is that of validity. When an individual asks, "Is this study valid? There are four types of validity that can be discussed in relation to research and statistics. Thus, when discussing the validity of a study, one must be specific as to which type of validity is under discussion.

Therefore, the answer to the question asked above might be that the study is valid in relation to one type of validity but invalid in relation to another type of validity. Each of the four types of validity will be briefly defined and described below.

Be aware that this represents a cursory discussion of the concept of validity. Each type of validity has many threats which can pose a problem in a research study.

Examples, but not an exhaustive discussion, of threats to each validity will be provided. For a comprehensive discussion of the four types of validity, the threats associated with each type of validity, and additional validity issues see Cook and Campbell Unfortunately, without a background in basic statistics, this type of validity is difficult to understand.

According to Cook and Campbell"statistical conclusion validity refers to inferences about whether it is reasonable to presume covariation given a specified alpha level and the obtained variances p.

If a study has good statistical conclusion validity, we should be relatively certain that the answer to these questions is "yes". Examples of issues or problems that would threaten statistical conclusion validity would be random heterogeneity of the research subjects the subjects represent a diverse group - this increases statistical error and small sample size more difficult to find meaningful relationships with a small number of subjects.

Does A cause B? If a study is lacking internal validity, one can not make cause and effect statements based on the research; the study would be descriptive but not causal.

There are many potential threats to internal validity. For example, if a study has a pretest, an experimental treatment, and a follow-up posttest, history is a threat to internal validity.

If a difference is found between the pretest and posttest, it might be due to the experimental treatment but it might also be due to any other event that subjects experienced between the two times of testing for example, a historical event, a change in weather, etc.

One is examining the issue of construct validity when one is asking the questions "Am I really measuring the construct that I want to study? For example, if I want to know a particular drug Variable A will be effective for treating depression Variable BI will need at least one measure of depression.

If that measure does not truly reflect depression levels but rather anxiety levels Confounding Variable Xthan my study will be lacking construct validity.

Thus, good construct validity means the we will be relatively sure that Construct A is related to Construct B and that this is possibly a causal relationship. Examples of other threats to construct validity include subjects apprehension about being evaluated, hypothesis guessing on the part of subjects, and bias introduced in a study by expectencies on the part of the experimenter.Types of research methods and disciplines A dissertation is an extended piece of writing based on comprehensive reading and research, written by an academic scholar at an undergraduate, masters or post graduate level.

There are four main types of quantitative research designs: descriptive, correlational, quasi-experimental and experimental.


The differences between the four types primarily relates to the degree the researcher designs for control of the variables in the experiment. The realm of sociology currently outlines four different types of research methods when conducting research for hypothesis or theories.

The four types of research methods

According to Macionis (), these four research methods of sociological investigation are experiments, surveys, participant observations, and the . Sep 20,  · Best Answer: there are far more than four research methods that are used in sociological investigations. However four major ones are: 1.

Interviews: Structured and Unstructured (including Focus Groups) 2. Observation: Simple Observation and Participant Observation and Action Research 3.

Analysis of written Status: Resolved. 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.

Case studies, surveys, naturalistic observation, and laboratory observation are examples of descriptive or correlational research methods. Using these methods, researchers can describe different events, experiences, or behaviors and look for links between them.

Quantitative Approaches - Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching