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There are a number of different research methods I can use for my primary research, but I have decided that the methods that will benefit my research are: questionnaires, non-directive interviews and structured interviews.

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Introduction

There are a number of different research methods I can use for my primary research, but I have decided that the methods that will benefit my research are: questionnaires, non-directive interviews and structured interviews I am going to begin with a pilot study before going onto my interviews. By doing this I should be able to obtain some valuable information which I will be able to put into numerical form e.g. pie charts, statistics and percentages. This is a big advantage as I will be able to compare data easily and it will give me a better understanding of what teenage girls feel about the pressures of dieting. Questionnaires are also a cheap, efficient and fast method for obtaining large amounts of information, which is helpful to me, as I do not have much time to carry out my primary research. Potentially, information can be collected from a large portion of a group, but this potential is not often realized as returns from questionnaires are usually low. ...read more.

Middle

My second research method is unstructured interviews. With non-directive interviews there are few problems of misunderstanding or misinterpretation and the interviewee is not restricted to set questions like in questionnaires, they can really say how they feel. The respondent is in control of the content of the interview and is free to explore any aspect of the topic they want. This will give me a more in-depth and detailed insight into the real thoughts and feelings of the interviewee. However, there are a few disadvantages with using this method. By using an unstructured interview it is difficult to generalise as it is a small sample, and in my case only one persons opinion. This also makes it harder to analyse or make any generalisation that all girls feel the same way as the respondent does. There could also be interviewer bias which is quite a big disadvantage. I could in some way influence or direct the answers given by the interviewee, therefore the respondent may change their answer according to the type of question given. ...read more.

Conclusion

A longitudinal study is an ideal way of understanding social life at one point in time, but in order to understand social life in the present it is essential to see it as a development from the past. This method requires a picture of social life over a long time which is not possible for me to do. With participant observation the number of people observed is small therefore generalisations are not possible. This method would not be very useful to my project either, as it would be hard to observe people's eating habits without asking personal questions about weight etc and many people would find covert observation for my topic unethical. A case study could be a good source of primary data for me to use as they can give a more detailed picture than research based on large samples. However, as they are seen as one off examples they cannot be seen as representative. They are also quite time consuming. I am confident that my chosen research methods will provide me with some valuable information from which I can analyse and draw a conclusion from. ...read more.

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