Table of Contents There are many ways to get information. The most common research methods are: A literature search involves reviewing all readily available materials.
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 Reasearch metods 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 Reasearch metods 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.
External validity addresses the issue of being able to generalize the results of your study to other times, places, and persons.
For example, if you conduct a study looking at heart disease in men, can these results be generalized to women? Therefore, one needs to ask the following questions to determine if a threat to the external validity exists: Types of Research Studies There are four major classifications of research designs.
These include observational research, correlational research, true experiments, and quasi-experiments. Each of these will be discussed further below.
There are many types of studies which could be defined as observational research including case studies, ethnographic studies, ethological studies, etc. The primary characteristic of each of these types of studies is that phenomena are being observed and recorded.
Often times, the studies are qualitative in nature. For example, a psychological case study would entail extensive notes based on observations of and interviews with the client.Search and browse books, dictionaries, encyclopedia, video, journal articles, cases and datasets on research methods to help you learn and conduct projects.
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. Observational research: There are many types of studies which could be defined as observational research including case studies, ethnographic studies, ethological studies, etc.
The primary characteristic of each of these types of studies is that phenomena are being observed and recorded. Often times, the studies are qualitative in nature. A wide range of research methods are used in psychology.
These methods vary by the sources from which information is obtained, how that information is sampled, and the types of instruments that are used in data collection. 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.
Research methods can be used alone to solve a problem, or explore a question as part of a piece of work. They can also be a key part of writing a thesis or dissertation. For more about this, see our section on Writing a Dissertation, and particularly Writing Your Methodology.