Research methodologies


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Research methodologies

  1. 1. Research MethodologiesQuantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods
  2. 2. Consider . . .• “The research design is the ‘blueprint’ that enables the investigator to come up with solutions to these problems and guides him or her in the various stages of the research” (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2008, p. 89) Frankfort-Nachmias, C., & Nachmias, D. (2008). Research Methods in the Social Sciences (7th ed.). New York, NY: Worth.
  3. 3. MethodologiesQualitative Research
  4. 4. Definition• Creswell (2003) describes qualitative research as a procedure of research that relies on text and image data collection, which draws a diverse inquiry to the research plan – More so, this research method requires closer attention to the interpretive nature of the study and situating the research with political, social, and cultural context of the readers, participants, and even the researcher of the study (Creswell, 2007). Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  5. 5. Definition• Qualitative research typically grows out of in- depth interviews, specific observations, or written documents (Patton, 2002).• Consider that “a questionnaire or interview that asks both fixed choice [or closed] questions and open-ended questions is an example of how quantitative measurement and qualitative inquiry are often combined” (Patton, 2002) Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  6. 6. Approach of Qualitative Research• Qualitative research – different assumptions/ approach than quantitative research• Emphasis on seeing the world from the eyes of the participants• Strive to make sense of phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them• Holistic emphasis – studying the person, group, culture in the natural setting © 2007 Pearson Education 6-6 Canada
  7. 7. Table 1.2, Qualitative and Quantitative Research ContrastedQUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVE Multiple realities  Single reality Reality is socially constructed  Reality is objective Reality is context interrelated  Reality is context freeHolistic  Reductionistic Strong philosophical perspective  Strong theoretical base Reasoning is inductive  Reasoning is deductive and inductive Discovery of meaning is the basis  Cause-and-effect relationships areof knowledge the bases of knowledge Develops theory  Tests theory © 2007 Pearson Education Canada 6-7
  8. 8. Table 1.2, Qualitative and Quantitative Research Contrasted (continued)QUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVE Theory developed during study  Theory developed a priori Meaning of concepts  Measurement of variables Process oriented  Outcome oriented Control unimportant  Control important Rich descriptions  Precise measurement of variables Basic element of analysis is words Basic element of analysis is numbers Uniqueness  Generalization Trustworthiness of findings  Control of error © 2007 Pearson Education Canada 6-8
  9. 9. Three Qualitative MethodsTABLE 6.1 COMPARISON OF QUALITATIVE METHODSMETHOD STUDY FOCUS ANALYTIC DISCIPLINES FOCUSEthnography culture/cultural describe a Cultural group culture/cultural Anthropology groupGrounded cultural groups generate theory Sociology/Theory about a basic Symbolic social process Interaction/ CriminologyPhenomenology individual discern the Philosophy/ experience essence of the Psychology/ lived experience Sociology © 2007 Pearson Education Canada 6-9
  10. 10. Three Qualitative Methods: Ethnography• Focus: study human behaviour in the cultural context in which it is embedded• Ethnography is the work of describing a culture – the way of life of a cultural group – Associated with Cultural Anthropology• Example: David Counts and Dorothy Ayer Counts: “An Ethnography of RVing Seniors” © 2007 Pearson Education 6-10 Canada
  11. 11. Three Qualitative Methods: Grounded Theory• Focus: develop a theory to explain underlying social processes of a cultural group• Useful in areas where little is known or when a new perspective is needed – Used for exploratory, descriptive studies• Because the theory emerges from the data, it is said to be grounded in the data – Foundation in Symbolic Interactionism• Example: Kerry Daly and the social construction of fatherhood © 2007 Pearson Education 6-11 Canada
  12. 12. Three Qualitative Methods: Phenomenology• Focus: reveal the meaning of the lived experience from the perspective of participants• Describe the essences of lived experience – Essences: elements related to the true meaning of something that gives common understanding to the phenomenon under study – Conveyed with descriptive language – Drawn from Philosophy; used across disciplines• Example: J.E. Solchany: A phenomenological study of women’s preadoptive experiences © 2007 Pearson Education 6-12 Canada
  13. 13. Approaches to Data Analysis: 1. Ethnographic Data Analysis• The ethnographer integrates data analysis into the data collection process while in the field – Helps the ethnographer to guide his/her participation and observations in the field• While in the field, the researcher conducts four levels of analysis simultaneously A. Domain Analysis B. Taxonomic Analysis C. Componential Analysis D. Theme Analysis © 2007 Pearson Education 6-13 Canada
  14. 14. Ethnographic Data Analysis: A. Domain Analysis• The researcher is moving from observing a social situation (set of behaviours carried out by people in a social situation) to discovering the cultural scene• Cultural domain – categories of meaning that include smaller categories – Strive to identify the semantic relationship in the observations made • E.g., x is a kind of y; x is the result of y; x is a part of y © 2007 Pearson Education 6-14 Canada
  15. 15. Ethnographic Data Analysis: B. Taxonomic Analysis• More in-depth analysis in which the researcher is searching for larger categories to which the domain may belong• A taxonomy is a set of categories organized on the basis of a single semantic relationship – Major difference: the taxonomy shows more of the relationships among things inside the cultural domain © 2007 Pearson Education 6-15 Canada
  16. 16. Ethnographic Data Analysis: C. Componential Analysis• Componential analysis looks for contrasts among the cultural categories in the domains – “Systematic search for the attributes (components of culture) associated with cultural categories” (Spradley) – Uses idea of mail to explain. In our culture, we can classify our mail – e.g., junk mail (flyers, notices, etc.), bills, magazines, personal letters – because each cluster has an attribute that conveys meaning. Not visible to someone from another culture © 2007 Pearson Education 6-16 Canada
  17. 17. Ethnographic Data Analysis: D. Theme Analysis• Cultural themes are recurrent patterns in the data that are used to connect domains – Themes are assertions that apply to numerous situations and have a high degree of generality• Spradley suggests a number of universal themes, such as social conflict, cultural contradictions, informal techniques of social control, managing impersonal social relations, acquiring and maintaining status, solving problems, etc. © 2007 Pearson Education 6-17 Canada
  18. 18. MethodologiesQuantitative Research
  19. 19. • Quantitative methods “use theory deductively and places it toward the beginning of the plan for a study . . . [it] becomes a framework for the entire study . . .” (Creswell, 2003, p. 125). Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  20. 20. • See handout!
  21. 21. Defining Surveys• Survey Design – To provide a quantitative description of trends, attitudes, or opinions of a population• Components of a Survey Method Plan – The Survey Design – The Population and Sample – Instrumentation – Variables in the Study – Data Analysis and Interpretation Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  22. 22. A Survey Method Plan• The Survey Design – Provide a rationale for using a survey – Indicate the type of survey design: • Cross-sectional (data collected at one point in time) • Longitudinal (data collected over time)• The Population and Sample – Specify the characteristics of the population (size, sampling frame) – Specify the sampling procedures • Single stage or multi-stage • Random or convenience – Use a sample size formula to determine the needed sample size Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  23. 23. A Survey Method Plan• Instrumentation – Provide detailed information about the survey instrument • How developed, Pilot testing • Sample items, Types of scores – Describe the validity and reliability scores of past and/or current uses of the instrument • Validity: whether one can draw meaning and useful inferences from scores on the instruments • Reliability: whether scores resulting from past use are internally consistent, have high test-retest correlations, and result from consistent scoring – Describe steps for administering survey and ensuring a high response rate Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  24. 24. Defining Experiments• Experimental Design – To test the impact of a treatment on an outcome, controlling for other factors that might influence that outcome• Components of an Experimental Method Plan – Participants – Variables – Instrumentation and Materials – Experimental Procedures – Threats to Validity Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  25. 25. An Experimental Method Plan• Participants – Describe the selection of participants • Random or convenience – Describe the assignment of participants to groups • Random or not; Consider matching participants – Describe the procedures for determining the number of participants per group• Variables – Clarify the groups – Identify the independent variable(s), including the treatment variable – Identify the dependent variable(s), the outcomes Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  26. 26. An Experimental Method Plan• Instrumentation and Materials – Discuss instruments • development, items, and scales • reliability and validity reports of past uses – Thoroughly discuss materials used for the treatment• Experimental Procedures – Identify the type of experiment • Pre-experimental, true experiment, quasi-experiment, and single-subject designs – Identify the type of comparisons: within-group or between-subject – Provide a visual model • X = treatment • O = observation Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  27. 27. An Experimental Method Plan• Consider Threats to Validity – Threats to internal validity: procedures, treatments, or experiences of the participants that threaten the researchers ability to draw conclusions about cause and effect – Threats to external validity: characteristics of the sample, setting, or timing that threaten the researchers ability to generalize the conclusions to a population – Threats to statistical conclusion validity: inadequate statistical power or violation of statistical assumptions that threaten the researchers ability to draw statistical inferences – Threats to construct validity: inadequate definitions and measures of variables that threaten the researchers ability to measure relevant constructs Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  28. 28. Threats to Validity (Tables 8.5 & 8.6)• Threats to Internal Validity • Threats to External Validity – History – Interaction of selection and – Maturation treatment – Regression – Interaction of setting and – Selection treatment – Interaction of history and – Mortality treatment – Diffusion of treatment – Compensatory/resentful demoralization – Compensatory rivalry – Testing – Instrumentation Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  29. 29. An Experimental Method Plan• The Procedure – Describe in detail the procedure for conducting the experiment – Procedures for pre-test post-test control group design • Measure dependent variable as a pre-test • Assign participants to matched pairs based on scores • Randomly assign one member of each pair to the control and experimental group • Expose experimental group to the treatment • Measure dependent variable as a post-test from both groups • Compare groups statistically Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  30. 30. MethodologiesMixed Method Research
  31. 31. The Nature of Mixed Methods Research• Describe this approach in your proposal – Trace its history – Provide a definition • Mixed methods research is an approach to inquiry that combines or associates both qualitative and quantitative forms. It involves philosophical assumptions, the use of qualitative and quantitative approaches, and the mixing of both approaches in a study. Thus, it is more than simply collecting and analyzing both kinds of data; it also involves the use of both approaches in tandem so that the overall strength of a study is greater than either qualitative or quantitative research (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007). – Discuss the challenges with this approach Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  32. 32. Planning Mixed Methods Procedures Timing Weighting Mixing Theorizing No Equal Integrating Explicit SequenceConcurrentSequential - Qualitative Connecting ImplicitQualitative firstSequential - Quantitative EmbeddingQuantitative first Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  33. 33. Data Collection Procedures• Identify the types of quantitative and qualitative data• Develop a rigorous sampling procedure that may include aspects of both random and purposeful sampling• Provide details in a visual diagram of your study Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  34. 34. Data Analysis and Validation Procedures• Match data analysis to the mixed methods strategy of inquiry• Popular procedures include: – Data transformation – Explore outliers – Instrument development – Examine multiple levels – Create a matrix• Validation procedures: – Quantitative procedures (e.g., validity and reliability of scores) – Qualitative procedures (e.g., check accuracy of findings) – Mixed methods procedures (e.g., legitimation of the mixed methods study) Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  35. 35. Report Presentation Structure• Report structure follows from the mixed methods strategy of inquiry – Sequential study: • Organize the report into sections ordered to match the phases of the study – Concurrent study: • Organize the data collection into separate sections • The analysis and interpretation may be combined – Transformative study: • Use either a sequential or concurrent report structure • Advance the advocacy issue at the beginning and an agenda for change at the end Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.