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Research Methodology - Quantitative and Qualitative methods.

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Introduction

Research Methodology * QUANTITATIVE METHODS ~ the approach concerned with obtaining numerical information which can be analysed using statistics * Descriptive ~ statistics which summarise and describe data * Inferential ~ allow the user to make judgments about probability or the likelihood of getting a particular set of scores by chance 1. Require the researcher to define items to be measured in advance and to control the situation 2. Therefore used in experiments where it's possible to test a hypothesis under rigorous controlled conditions 3. Aim => to establish cause and effect relationships 4. Experiments result in high levels of reliability (same results repeatedly) but often have problems with validity (answers the research question) * QUALITATIVE METHODS ~ the approach concerned with the meaning of the information as the most important thing to consider * Not so concerned with numerical and statistical data but descriptive statistics may be used * The methods allow greater freedom for the subjects of the research to determine the information gathered - so, quality and richness of information is often greater * Reliability is often much harder to achieve * The commonest techniques include questionnaires, case studies and interviews � Triangulation ~ using several different methods to collect the data 1. ...read more.

Middle

Protocols record what people say when they are asked to think aloud as they perform a task 7. Speech is recorded, transcribed, and mental processes are analysed 8. Time consuming => people tend to fall silent when doing tough tasks � QUESTIONNAIRES / SURVEYS ~ written set of questions which are given to a large number of people in order to collect information / ask a large number of people questions in order to find out their attitudes and opinions 1. Valuable techniques 2. Make it possible to collect information from a very large number of people 3. Apply to psychology when: * A new area of research is being opened up * When you want to investigate how widespread a phenomenon is 4. Questionnaires / surveys are good to collection information such as: * Factual information * Past behaviour * Likely future behaviour * Motivation * Attitudes and opinions 5. Problems: * Difficult to design * Questions need to be unambiguous to readers * Differences in populations being sampled (literacy levels, education etc) * Questionnaire fallacy * Multiple choice: a very important factor could be left out => questionnaires tend to assume that they have acquired and accurate picture of human behaviour, but often the questions and limited choice have not made ...read more.

Conclusion

* Utilized by psychologists to make sense of complex topics * The key is categorization of information * Sets of categories are set up * The number of examples for each category * Results presented in a summary table * From this you derive frequencies * Turns qualitative information into quantitative data by converting it into numbers * Enables the researcher to perform statistical tests on material * Problems include: * Ensuring categories are appropriate ones for data * Loss of information O Case Studies single studies; not necessarily focusing on one person though * Method * Appropriate conditions for use * Strengths * Weaknesses * Examples ? Types of Case Study * Person: study of an individual (using various methods) * Group: study of a single distinctive set of people (family, peer group, etc) * Location: study of a particular place or the way it is used or regarded by people * Organization: study of a single organization/company and the way people act in it * Event: study of a particular social/cultural event and the interpretation of that event by the people who were in it ? Case Study research techniques * Self reports: * Observed data: * Diary methods: * Interviewing techniques * Vignettes: * Repertory grids: * Laddering: ...read more.

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