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Examine the disadvantages of longitudinal studies

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Introduction

´╗┐Examine the disadvantages of longitudinal studies (20 marks) A longitudinal research is a form of research that is used for an extended period of time. The advantages are that it will create in depth-analysis of a particular subject, however there are many disadvantages that follow. The main victim of this form of research is on positivists. One main disadvantage is the practicality of the research. Since the research is over long period of years, it will be very expensive to run and takes up a huge part of a researcher?s life. For example the 7 up documentary is still running to this day from 1964 and this shows the impacts it has on the researcher. ...read more.

Middle

Especially if the research is documented like the 7 up series, participants will want to make themselves sound more plausible in the audience?s eyes and therefore behave differently to their normal selves. This will create a massive flaw in validity, as it does not reflect their true emotions and feelings. This problem is further pushed by the fact that the researcher could ?go native.? This is where the researcher becomes too actively involved meaning that they start conforming to their participants beliefs. This will greatly affect validity and reliability as the researcher will have an element of bias when they start to understand other people?s beliefs. There are many theoretical issues with the research also. Comparability and reliability becomes an issue as it can be affected through the change in the researcher and research design. ...read more.

Conclusion

The fact that researchers could evade privacy by asking them personal questions about their lives will also be an ethical problem. Although this form of research is good for interpretivists, positivists do not agree with this method. This is because it produces qualitative data and therefore patterns and trends can?t be spotted directly to create a solid explanation. Furthermore it will take longer and be harder to analyse especially with the long span of the research but also the tendency of having a larger number of participants. Overall, longitudinal research has its advantages but there are quite a number of disadvantages. The fact that reliability, validity and representativeness is affected could show that this form of research isn?t particularly viable and other forms such as life histories or case studies should be taken into account. ...read more.

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