A Reflection on Research Methods
Research refers to the systematic investigation of different situations to establish facts, solve new or any existing problems and develop new theories usually using a scientific method. Research can either be qualitative or quantitative.
Qualitative research is a subjective research where researchers introduce their own bias in coming up with conclusions while quantitative research is where things separated and measured statistically or with appropriate machines, therefore, eliminating any room for researcher bias. This essay fully explicates the methods involved in both qualitative and quantitative research as below. Case study is the thorough investigation of an individual unit such as a person or a group stressing its developmental context. This method of research is used both social and human sciences. It involves many descriptions relating to an event or a person. Case studies usually involve in depth examination of an individual unit.
It provides for keen observation of events or individuals, collection of data, analysis of the information gathered and finally the reporting of results. This method can be appropriately applied in finding out why a few individuals and communities die of hunger and famine while there is surplus production in other regions within the country. Ethnography is a research method that involves scientific study of human phenomena and communities through a field study. A researcher has to go into the community, stay with the people and even learn their language in order to get the correct responses to the research questions. This type of research takes a longer period because of the procedures involved.
At the end of the research, a comprehensive report has to be presented. This research is more appropriate in studying the culture of a given community or a group of people and why the culture is relevant to them and the challenges faced in practicing the culture. A phenomenology study is the learning of the perception towards a specific phenomena and their experience. It mainly involves gathering deep and essential information concerning human individual first experience towards a situation, which can be carried out through interviews, discussions or even personal participation of individuals. It mainly focuses on personal perceptions and not the general feeling hence making it more subjective, its other point of focus is conventional wisdom borne by a given individual. This method is in appropriate for use in a research problem because it only takes into account individuals’ views without putting n consideration that some of these individuals could be holding negative attitudes towards the situation at hand thus giving extremely negative results.
Content analysis refers to the methodology used in social sciences for studying the message contained in the information. It involves summarizing and analyzing the different the message contained in various kinds of sources. Researchers make conclusions by objectively and systematically considering the nature of the message in a given content. Content analysis involves a question such as who says what to a recipient, when is the information said, and why is it said. This method is viewed by many as being scholarly because it involves gathering and analyzing much more information before it can be written or authored. It is an appropriate research method in carrying out relevant investigations involving serious matters of concern such as planned robbery and murder cases on innocent individuals especially by the high and mighty.
Prediction research is the forecasting in advance the expected future outcome. This method is based, on current trends and the extent, to which they change. A hypothesis is drawn and future inferences are made relying on it. In the Science world, this method is also achieved by looking at the change in behavior or certain animals and birds hence predicting the future. In the business world, the method is based on the stability the country’s currency or the securities bought. Prediction research is a very appropriate method to be applied in a research problem involving the stability of world markets with the changing business outlook as the economy goes through the different stages such as recession, boom and depression.
This will enable investors draw conclusions as to what areas to invest in for higher returns on their initial output. Observation study is the research method in which the researcher systematically observer the behavior of an individual or a group of people basing on the area of interest. The researcher is supposed to physically be present for a successful observation of events and individuals eyesight accuracy is a matter of concern in observation research as conclusions are drawn basing on the eyesight accuracy. Notes of the activities taking place in the field of study are essential because they assist in ensuring accuracy of the whole situation. A researcher can observe people secretly or openly, secretly when they do not know that there is somebody watching them and openly if they have prior knowledge that they are being observed.
Consistency is an essentiial aspect in observation studies as conclusions can only be drawn basing on the repetitiveness of an event or behavior. Observation study is an extremely appropriate method in a research problem involving the behavior of certain animals during different seasons of the year. That is, their migratory habits or hibernation for others. Experimentation as a method of research refers to establishing, disapproving or approving the correctness of a hypothesis. In most case, experiments are carried out with different objectives aiming to achieve different results. Most experiments are carried out in the laboratories or even in the field of research.
It involves testing of different hypothesis with the goal of explaining the reality of a given situation. Experimentation mostly involve the use of specific instruments or measures that will give a definite result. It could take a longer time to get the results especially if high-technology equipment is to be used. Experimentation is significant because it enables people to at last easily distinguish between two or more competing hypothesis. However, an experiment that produces varying results at different instances can easily lead to conflicts in determining the validity of a given hypothesis.
Experimentation is an appropriate research method in problems involving the presence or absence of given components in a given mixture of different component. This is mainly successful in laboratories by professionals in a particular field. Ex post facto method of research is based on after the facts. This method seeks conclusions after facts have already been presented. It is commonly used to determine the results first before any tangible conclusion is drawn to support the hypothesis. The researchers have to be patient with the conclusion in the field of study so that any conclusion drawn after then is accurate or near accurate for acceptability.
This method is more appropriate when addressing research problems to do with the effect of phenomena such as drought where the results are used as a basis of the conclusion. In conclusion, research is a wide aspect involving the critically collecting of vital information, which is utilized in different essential instances. In addition, qualitative methods of research, which are more subjective, and based on personal and individual feelings, should not be used independently because they bear many biases. They should be fully and adequately supplemented with quantitative that are fair and not subjective. Research should be globally embraced for fresh knowledge and development of newer ideas.