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Major research methods

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Major research methods

  1. 1. Major Research Methods Sources
  2. 2. Primary <ul><li>Participant Observation </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Observation </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Questionnaires (Open, closed and coded) </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys (Comparative and longitudinal) </li></ul><ul><li>Sampling (Representative and random) </li></ul><ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Hypothesis testing </li></ul>
  3. 3. Secondary <ul><li>Official Statistics (eg. social trends ONS) </li></ul><ul><li>Published studies </li></ul><ul><li>Other people’s diaries or personal documents </li></ul><ul><li>Public records (e.g. birth, death certificates) </li></ul><ul><li>Mass media reports </li></ul><ul><li>Books (fictional and non-fiction, biographies and auto-biographies) </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic media (Govt dept websites) </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Pick two primary and two secondary </li></ul><ul><li>Write five advantages and disadvantages of using each method for research </li></ul>
  5. 5. Example 1: Direct Observation <ul><li>In direct observation a researcher does not seek to become a member of the group to be studied and such observation is usually linked to other methods such as studies or questionnaires </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. study of the behaviour of a small group of prisoners in Cortonvale Women’s Prison </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews might also be used but might not be as useful as studying behaviour </li></ul>
  6. 6. Advantages… <ul><li>Non-verbal communication can be noted </li></ul><ul><li>Unexpected events might be witnessed </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction between group members classified </li></ul>
  7. 7. Disadvantages <ul><li>Personal bias may influence observations </li></ul><ul><li>Presence of observer may influence behaviour of those being studied (depending on how behaviour measured – taped, recorded etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Time-consuming method of study </li></ul>
  8. 8. Example 2: Statistics <ul><li>Official agencies need facts in order to make decisions. These facts are expressed in the figures we call official statistics. </li></ul><ul><li>Without evidence in the form of statistics it would be difficult for governments and agencies to make decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics are often presented as tables, graphs, pie charts, histograms etc. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Advantages <ul><li>Can help you to establish your hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Can link together variables in your research </li></ul><ul><li>Allow you to compare countries or present with the past </li></ul>
  10. 10. Disadvantages <ul><li>They may be incomplete or inaccurate </li></ul><ul><li>The may be biased </li></ul><ul><li>They can go out of date quickly </li></ul>
  11. 11. Specific problems with crime statistics <ul><li>Some communities report crime less than others </li></ul><ul><li>Some crimes reported less than others </li></ul><ul><li>Police activity varies from force to force </li></ul><ul><li>Size and nature of the police force may influence crime figures </li></ul><ul><li>Police more trained and highly equipped increases detection not incidence of crime </li></ul><ul><li>Some crimes more likely to be discovered than others </li></ul><ul><li>The media can create crime </li></ul><ul><li>More laws create more crime (mobile phones/ cars) </li></ul><ul><li>Public attitudes change and increase apparent crime </li></ul><ul><li>Clear up figures for crime might be similarly misleading </li></ul>

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